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Old 04-12-2016, 10:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Relocating hedgehog

So my baby Basil is about 3 months old, really friendly and sweet hedgehog. My boyfriend really likes him and was wondering if he'd be able to take care of him too, shared custody if you will, we live in different houses so we would have 2 of everything for him, and I would obviously let him know all the dos and donts of taking care of a hedgehog. We were planning on having Basil live with him for a week and seeing how that goes. Basil wouldn't be living with him all the time, just maybe every 3 weeks or so he has a 'week long sleepover camping trip' before coming back to his permanent home here with me.

I guess my question is: is it bad to keep moving a hedgehog from one location to another? Would switching back and forth freak them out? Or is it good to expose them to different environments and sounds?
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As always, light and heat should be kept consistent.

Hedgies don't have excellent vision. It's really scent change that upsets them. Maybe you could add some of his used bedding to your boyfriend's cage before dropping him off for the week?

I've also heard that some can be sensitive to changes in water, so you should look into filtering or bottled if he gets freaked out.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, I think that switching Basil back and forth might freak him out. However some hedgehogs are sensitive to stress and others are not. Maybe he isn't and in that case it could be totally fine.

Think of it like this- when you take a hedgehog to a new home they are typically a bit stressed and anxious for the first few days. By moving him frequently he would probably be getting stressed out every time you moved him. At least for the first few times. Don't get me wrong, it could work out just fine, but it also might complicate your relationship with Basil. If he spends three weeks bonding with your boyfriend, he will take a few days to get used to you again after the separation. Obviously you could visit him at your boyfriend's apartment, but it probably won't be every day.

However, it's certainly worth a try if it''s what you both want. It's a great idea to try what Mitzi27 recommended with the old bedding. I would actually say that it would be better if you kept most of his cage accessories the same instead of buying him a whole new set. That way it will seem more familiar. Tossing one of your old T-shirts (after a day of wearing it) into the new cage might help him remember your smell if you can't visit for a few days.

I hope that your idea works, I don't blame your boyfriend for wanting in of the hedgie love!
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I share my home with one, big, slobbery dog, a ragdoll, a blind domestic shorthair, a slinky tabby, one crowntail betta, a double tail halfmoon betta, and our latest quilled addition... Prudence!
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Before this goes any further, I just have to ask as it isn't terribly clear; how old are you and your boyfriend? Mostly I'd really just want to know if you're minors living with your parents or if you're both adults. If you're minors, there's other issues to consider. What happens if Basil is at your boyfriends house and suddenly Basil needs to be taken to the emergency vet? Who is responsible for that? Furthermore, what happens if you two breakup and Basil is at your boyfriends house at the time? These are still the sorts of things that need to be considered whether or not you're adults, but if you happen to be minors, this brings in a whole new level of complexity as now your parents have to have a level of involvement.

In cases of divorce, some couples fight more vehemently over custody of the pets than they do over children. It's a big deal and not something I would personally consider doing with someone I wasn't living with.
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for you input! And shinydistraction I completely understand your concern. My boyfriend and I are 23/24 years old and we've been dating for 4 years. If Basil needs to be taken to a vet we both have the resources and transportation to take him. We used to live together for 3 years~ while I attended university in the city but recently I moved back home to save money and pay off my student loans.

After reading some more comments maybe this isn't a good idea. The last thing I would want is to stress him out or ruin his relationship with humans. He's so unbelievably friendly and cuddly, I would hate for that to change. But I'd also like to socialize him somehow. I don't want for him to only see the 4 walls of my room. Do they need to be socialized though? To expose them to different smells and sounds, or should I keep the size of his world to a minimum?

My boyfriend and I plan on moving back together when I pay off my student loans so maybe then we can finally live under one roof P: He wants in on the hedgehog love so badly.
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You know, hedgehogs are all individuals. It could be that Basil would be ok with it. But it's possible that he wouldn't be. When it comes right down to it though, he probably doesn't care that his surroundings don't change much. So long as you have plenty of enrichment items for him, and handle him every night, he'll be fine.

I'm super glad that you're both adults! If you were teenagers I could see this going south super fast. For now though, it might be more reasonable for him to just come visit Basil (and you!) as much as possible.
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