We are excited to let our fans and customers know we're now carrying hedgehogs. Below are a few pictures of some of our first hedgehogs for sale at Pet World as well as some care information on these cool new critters!
Use the rule that we use for a rabbit or guinea pig. They need room to eat, sleep, poop, and play. The larger cages that we carry work perfectly for them. Same bedding rules apply as well. Absolutely no Cedar. Any of the recycled paper bedding is totally fine. Just as with rabbits and guinea pigs, always be aware that there are small respiratory infection risks that come along with using a scented bedding.
Pet hedgehogs are a sensitive to temperature change. They prefer to be in the range of 70º- 80ºf. Some European hedgehogs will attempt to go into hibernation if they get too cold. But the domestic hedgehogs in the U.S. pet trade are African and not capable of hibernation. Their little bodies aren't prepared to go days upon days without food.
If a hedgehog is too cold, it will walk around like it's drunk. It will be wobbly and probably stumble a lot. He might stop eating as well. In the case of pet hedgehogs, remember, this is not an attempt to go into hibernation (which they can't do); it's a symptom of temperature related illness.
To warm them up, most places recommend wrapping them in a shirt or a warm towel. Other people will put them in a box of some sort with a warm cup of water to gently warm them up. We prefer to cuddle them close as much as possible and use our body heat.
The hedgehog diet that we sell is great for them. We have two different kinds right now. Either one is fine. The one in a bag, as apposed to the one in a box, is a little higher quality, though. Naturally they are insectivores, so some people choose to feed them mealworms and crickets (Both live or freeze dried) as a treat.
There are a few things that hedgies have a very hard time digesting. Avoid feeding or giving a hedgehog any of the following: Grapes, Bird Seed, Caffeine, Tea Tree Oil, Bread, Aloe, Nuts, Chocolate, and Citrus Fruit.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal and love to be active at night. They should definitely have a wheel in their cage. A wheel with a solid floor is best. Hedgehogs have small feet have a tendency to get stuck in the wire wheels. As for toys, they love anything that is really plush and soft. Blankets and the really soft beds and what not that we have are perfect. They also love to play with tubes. If you have too small of a tube though, their heads can get stuck. Which will freak them out, resulting in them puffing out, and getting themselves even more stuck. Since they are so shy, they need a hide/shelter. The overall cage set up is going to resemble a rabbit set up essentially.
They are known for nibbling on random toys and whatever they have in their cage, but they are not something that requires a whole bunch of chews like a chinchilla or hamster. Having a few in the cage wont hurt anything, but they do not need them nearly as much.
They are easily startled and very prickly. Pick them up slowly and gently. Otherwise they will go into a ball and puff out their quills. The more time you put into socializing and handling the pet, the more social and decent to hold it'll be.
Come in and speak with a Pet World employee about our new hedgehogs and meet them for yourself!