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Old 11-29-2011, 06:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Is a hedgehog a good college pet?

Hello! I was wondering if a hedgehog is a good pet for college. my room mate is moving out of my room and getting a medical single in another dorm, so now I have space for a pet! I don't want a gerbil or rat or mouse or guinea pig because they can be stinky and also easily catch diseases. I plan to put a lot of love and care into a pet Hedgehog, and I have read the care page of this website. So I know that the hedgehog is easier then most other rodents to take care of. (Is a hedgehog a rodent?)

For those of you who are wondering, my school policy on pets is that anything that can fit inside of a shoebox (but of course not live in a shoebox) is fine. The RDs at our college can even have small dogs!

So what I'm mainly wondering if a hedgehog is a good pet for college. Will the hedgehog be okay if I leave it alone when I go to classes for a couple hours? How much socialization does the hedgehog need? How much time does it need to spend with it's owner?

I also might mention that at my house (as in, my parents house) I have huskies. Two of them. The dogs are trained not to come upstairs, although when we had a chinchilla they disobeyed this rule and killed the chinchilla. (idk why, but the chinchilla smell drove them nuts. i've never seen anything like it, not even for squirrels.) So If I go home for the summer, will the smell of the hedgehog entice my huskies to charge upstairs?
And there is also a snake in my room (it is a tiny corn snake) that my sisters own and care for. The snake won't be attracted to the hedgehog will it? (the snake eats frozen mice).

Hope you can answer all my questions!

-Purple_Hefalump
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is a hedgehog a good college pet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by purple_hefalump
I don't want a gerbil or rat or mouse or guinea pig because they can be stinky
Just gonna let you know that I have had hamsters for many many years, and I've never once had problems with them stinking when I keep on top of cleaning their cage weekly. Any animal will smell if you don't clean their habitat often enough, including hedgehogs.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is a hedgehog a good college pet?

A hedgehogs isn't a rodent
I think a hedgehog would be a fine pet if you will have enough time for it and provide it with what it needs. Yes, they will be fine if you leave durning the day because they are nocturnal and sleeping anyways. The ideal amount of socialization is at least 30 minutes everyday. This can be just having them sleep on your lap in a blanket or snuggle bag Also, keep in mind that you have to clean a hedgehog's wheel daily and a hedgehog can smell pretty bad right after they relieve themselves on their wheel then run through it

When you bring you hedgie home will it be possible for you to keep the door shut? So then even if your dogs do go upstairs, they wont be able to get to it? And as long as both hedgehogs and snake are kept in seperate cages with tops, I think that should be fine.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is a hedgehog a good college pet?

Can you control the heat in your room? Hedgies need a temp around 73-78F. Any lower and you risk hibernation, which is deadly. So you will probably need a heat setup, like a CHE with thermostats etc etc.

They will also need 12-14hrs of "light". Most people set a desklamp on a timer to turn on around 7-8 am and off at 9pm.

They can be pretty pungent at night when they wake up and start doing their thing. And if you share sinks, make sure it's ok with everyone for you to clean a dirty poop covered wheel in it.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is a hedgehog a good college pet?

The only problem I can think of is having a CHE. When I lived in the dorms, we were not allowed to have any sort of heating elements in our rooms- including CHEs. I'm not sure how your dorms are, but ours were horribly drafty in the winter and blisteringly hot in the summer.

Also, the poopy wheel issue, I bought a separate plastic bucket to clean Brillo's wheel in- I don't like the idea of cleaning his wheel in sinks that I use to do the dishes.

In my dorm, I had some pretty inconsiderate wall-mates. They blasted music at all hours and people were constantly making noise in the halls. This can be very stressful for a hedgehog.

So, I suppose if you have floor mates that don't mind a poopy wheel soaking, are noise considerate, and you can keep your room very temperature regulated- then yes, a hedgehog would be a good pet.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is a hedgehog a good college pet?

Another thing you have to consider is money because hedgehogs are expensive pets and being in college can be a time where one's budget is tight (I know mine was! ). Getting your hedgie and everything you need for it will cost you around 500 $ and you need an emergency vet fund of at least 300 $. Exotic vets are expensive and vet fees can pile up really fast.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is a hedgehog a good college pet?

Also one more thing to think about is if they are legal not only where you go to school but your home too. And if you plan on changing schools will you chose a school in the state they're legal? And after collage is your job going to be in a legal area? They live for 5+ years so this is just something else to consider. :3

I know personally is is something I considered because I go to school in manhattan where they are not legal. But I live on long island were they are. It's an hour commute to school because I have a hedgehog and can't live in the city. But then again I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my little girly <3
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is a hedgehog a good college pet?

I am a Junior in college and have had my hedgie since September. I would say that a hedgehog is a good pet to have in college if you are able to provide for it.

*As a few people mentioned, hedgehogs require a pretty specific temperature range. If you can't control the room temperature or it isn't reliable enough, you'll need an outside heat source like the CHE or a space heater, which many dorms don't allow. Also, you need to keep in mind that hedgehogs are expensive. The initial setup is costly and if your hedgie needs to go to the vet, it isn't going to be cheap. *This can be challenging if you're on a college student's budget.*

I've found that my hedgehog's schedule is really perfect for me. I'm in class during the day while he's sleeping, and I'm still awake when he wakes up at night. I set his light to go off around 9pm, and he's usually up and moving around shortly after the light is out. *Another thing to consider is noise. *Sometimes my little guy Felix can be pretty loud at night, and occasionally he wakes me up because his cage is at the foot of my bed. If you're an incredibly light sleeper, this could be a problem.*

Overall, I think Felix is the perfect pet for my situation.*
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is a hedgehog a good college pet?

One more thing you should consider: How often does your school perform fire drills? When I lived in the dorms, our campus would make our fire alarms go off randomly about once a month, to make sure we knew where to go in case of an emergency, ect. They were VERY loud, and could go off at any time, day or night. I'm pretty sure the screetching of a fire alarm would terrify any hedgie.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is a hedgehog a good college pet?

Another thing is you have to be sure if keeping hedgehogs as pets is legal where you are from.

Hedgehogs need about 4 sq.ft of space for their cage. You have to be able to fit in the wheel, hide-out, litter pan, food & water dishes and still have a bit of space left over for them. From my experience with student dorms, there usually isn't that kind of space to spare in a student room. See if your room can hold a cage that's that size and you'd want it away from windows, so it's not drafty too!

Are you ready to accept that your hedgehog might not be friendly/bond as well? Some hedgehogs are basically loners and don't like spending time with humans. There are people on this forum who have trouble with their hedgehogs being "antisocial" like half a year into owning them. You have to be prepared.
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