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Old 12-15-2011, 06:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Last few questions before getting my hedgie

Hello all,

I'm officially a prospective hedgie caretaker. I will be getting my first hedgehog in just a few weeks. I've designed a nice 28x42 inch enclosure with non-pill fleece lining for my new friend and will be adding a wheel, some toys, a little house with fleece scraps for snuggling, a litter box and of course, food and water dishes. The enclosure will be rendered using storage cube grids I ordered from walmart(purchasing my own materials proved to be much cheaper than those on the C&C website).

Now, before I get my hedgehog, there are a few things I would like to ensure. There's a lot of misinformation all over the internet, and the information I received at the pet store was obviously poor-I was told to house my friend in an aquarium, with pine shavings.

I need to know if there is a specific type of bowl I should be using. I could easily grab a clean ceramic bowl from my pantry, but I worry that there may be some chemical that is harmful to my hedgehog. Please let me know if this is so.

I also cannot find substantial information on a complete diet; I'd also like to know how much, when and how often I should be feeding him.

Third, I'd appreciate some more information on hygiene. Is it alright to be replacing liners every 5-7 days? What do I do if my hedgie doesn't like to use his litter box? What kind of litter should I use?

I believe those encompass the remainder of my concerns. Any other advice will be appreciated. I take having a pet very seriously and want to ensure the absolute healthiest condition for my new friend so he may live a long and healthy life!

Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Last few questions before getting my hedgie

Great questions and I'm glad you're doing your research instead of listening to that pet store...Talk about your wrong information!

For bowls, I know there's a lot of us on here who use ceramic small animal or reptile bowls that you can get from the pet store. There's also a lot of people that use ceramic or glass bowls they found at the dollar store, etc. But I know there's also another person who mentioned the possible dangers in ceramic dishes, depending on where they were made, so it's up to you. If you're concerned about that, you could go with a glass dish for food/water, if you can find something that works well.

How often you change the liners depends on your hedgie. Some of them poop EVERYWHERE and you have to change the liners every other day or two days. Some get litter-trained pretty easily, or are just naturally neat, so you may not have to change them as often. I can usually get away with only changing Lily's once or twice a week. If your hedgie refuses to be litter-trained, there's not much you can do...It's a hit-or-miss kind of thing with hedgies, really. You can keep trying to encourage use of a litter box by moving poops into it, but if he absolutely refuses, then you pretty much have to deal with it. It does usually help to put the litter box under the wheel, since they also go as they wheel so the poop/pee will run off and into the litter box. Most people prefer to use paper towels in the litter box, since there's no risk of it getting caught in little boy parts and it's nice and white so that off-color pee or poop is very easy to see. You could also use a pelleted litter, like Yesterday's News. Just make sure you don't use clay cat litter, as it can get caught in their private parts, and there's been a couple horror stories of what happens when it gets caught in a little boy's parts.

As far as other advice, just read on the forum a LOT, especially in the Behavior Expectations section! And look over the health section, but try not to freak yourself out too much with all of the "What ifs". Can't wait to see pictures!
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Last few questions before getting my hedgie

I'm so excited for you! Owning a hedgehog is hard work, but it's so rewarding.

Lilysmommy gave you great advice as usual - I just want to add one thing. My hog refused a litter box, which wasn't a big deal or anything, but she, like most hogs, pottys on her wheel when she runs. She will poo and then pee, and it will get all mixed together into a nasty liquid and it gets all over her, her wheel, and especially her feet. I don't mind giving her regular foots baths and cleaning her wheel every morning, but my problem is this. I recently started laying 3 or 4 sheets of paper towel under her wheel so when she steps off her wheel, she unintentionally wipes her poopy feet on the paper towel instead of tracking it all over her fleece liner. This worked great for the first night. Then the second night she drug the nasty, poopy paper towel out from under the wheel and into her igloo and made it part of her "nest". Whatever, I didn't mind picking it up and throwing it out much, so I did, and the next night tried the paper towel again. She was obviously offended that I took the dirty paper towel out, because the next night she proceeded to tear up the 3 sheets of paper towel into tiny little pieces and then scatter them all over her cage. It must have taken her all night, because there was no poo on her wheel.

So! That's my horror story with paper towel. I would definitely say you should try Yesterday's News first. Lots of places sell it and you can order it online, too. Good luck with everything! Make sure to post pictures for us when you bring your little one home!
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Last few questions before getting my hedgie

Thanks for the advice! I can't tell you how excited I am...well, actually, I'm sure everyone here understands. I'll be sure to post plenty of pictures when I get him!
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Last few questions before getting my hedgie

HanHan27 that's a hilarious story!

Mine has taken to fleece diving which turns his water bowl over every night soaking him and the fleece. But he's potty trained lol.

They all have their little quirks
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