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Old 01-21-2012, 09:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Considering a hedgehog for an office pet

I've been researching some different pets for my office at work and was considering a hedgehog. I spend at least 12 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week at work.

Just wondering what your feedback on that idea is.

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering a hedgehog for an office pet

Will you be there during the night time hours for bonding?
Will you be able to give them the proper heat source?
Will you be able to give them the proper light set up?
Do you have cleaners that come into the office that could use industrial cleaners that can hurt their lungs?
Are they legal in your state?
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering a hedgehog for an office pet

In addition to Christemo's questions, is there another person at the office that would be willing and able to care for the hedgehog on the days you're not there? Or would you be able to bring it home with you? It's really not a good idea to leave them without being checked and having food/water changed even for one night, since it's easy for them to knock food/water over, get a hair or thread wrapped around their leg, or have other problems. Heating especially is important, since they can die if they attempt hibernation, and I would think your office would lower the temperature at night to save money. A big enough cage is also important, since they need around 4 square feet of cage space. The igloo and wheel take up a lot of that room, and it's good to have a bit of extra room after those are put in for running around room.
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering a hedgehog for an office pet

Wow! Great feedback! I will be as honest as I can be with my answers:

Will you be there during the night time hours for bonding? I work approximately 6:00 am to 6:00 pm

Will you be able to give them the proper heat source? I am the office manager and possess the keyes to the thermostats. I do not reduce the heat in the weekends or in the evenings. I also have seen a small critter heating pad that I could purchase. I'm not sure, exactly, how that would work with the housing I would use, but that's a different thread.....

Will you be able to give them the proper light set up? In the two months that I have been researching hedgehogs, I don't recall seeing anything special about lights? I'll have to research this more.

Do you have cleaners that come into the office that could use industrial cleaners that can hurt their lungs? Yes, I have a cleaning crew that comes into the office to clean at night. I have no idea what type of cleaners they use, but I can't begin to fathom why they would be using them anywhere near where I would put the cage. I have open communication with them and could either lock my office or speak with them about the way they clean my office.

Are they legal in your state? Yes, I live in North Carolina.

Is there another person at the office that would be willing and able to care for the hedgehog on the days you're not there? I haven't researched this yet, but I'm sure one of the several people who work there would check for him/her in the event that I am off. Very good question.

Or would you be able to bring it home with you? It's really not a good idea to leave them without being checked and having food/water changed even for one night, since it's easy for them to knock food/water over, get a hair or thread wrapped around their leg, or have other problems. I'm sure my kids would be THRILLED if I brought a hedgehog home! I live only ten minutes from where I work, so checking on it would not be an issue.

Heating especially is important, since they can die if they attempt hibernation, and I would think your office would lower the temperature at night to save money. If a hedgehog is something I would choose to adopt as an office pet, I would use something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Heated-Resting-Sm ... B000NVC7DO
or this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002A ... F61TKF9451

A big enough cage is also important, since they need around 4 square feet of cage space. The igloo and wheel take up a lot of that room, and it's good to have a bit of extra room after those are put in for running around room. I have two spaces in my office in which I could put a pet cage. One is a filing cabinet with a top surface area of 36" x 19". The other is a corner floor area that is 29" x 25". The following cage would work on top of the filing cabinet: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.j ... Id=2753350 A ferret, multi level, type cage would fit in the smaller floor space. Although, the research I have done indicates these types of multi level containers are not suitable for hedgehog habitats due to safety reasons. Since the 36" x 19" space is rather small for a hedgehog, I figured a smaller species hedgehog would be best.

Thanks for the great feedback!! Please keep it coming!
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering a hedgehog for an office pet

i don't think hedgehogs make a good office pet. i would think something like fish or a reptile would be more appropriate. hedgies need daily work...

if i were to set up an office pet, it would be a crested gecko or geckos. smaller enclosure. don't need to feed them insects like other lizards. cleaner, quiet, less maintenance
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering a hedgehog for an office pet

Hedgehogs are nocturnal so they are awake at night. It's important to be able to spend an hour or two a day with them. A lot of hedgies wake up between 8 and 11pm, so the fact that you leave the office at 6pm throws up a red flag.

You can't use heat pads as a main source of heat, as they don't actually heat the air. Hedgie would be toasty warm sitting on the heat pad during the day while it's asleep, or while resting at night, but once they're up and wheeling and eating and exploring their cage, the heating pad wouldn't be doing them any good anymore. They need an ambient air temperature of at least 73 degrees, and most of us shoot more for 75 or 76 degrees.

Hedgehogs need 12-14 hours of light a day to keep them on a good daytime cycle. You'll need to set up a light on a light timer to turn on at, say, 6am, and off at 6-8pm. You can't use light from a window because it's inconsistent. Hedgehogs need consistency with their light schedules.

Keep in mind that if you haven't handled a hedgehog, their quills and demeanor can come as quite a surprise. If someone in your office was willing and able to help with the care of the hedgehog, I would recommend you going with this particular person to spend time with a hedgehog before you decide on getting one. Lots of people are very intimidated by a hedgehog's quills and give up on spending time with them and trying to form a bond because they are too nervous. Sadly, this ends up with a lot of hedgehogs being rehomed because "they're mean" or "I'm not interested in spending time with it anymore".

I'm not sure what you mean by a smaller hedgehog species? The hedgehogs we talk about here at HHC are african pygmy hedgehogs, and they are the smallest species of hedgehog.

It doesn't sound like you have a whole lot of room for a decent sized cage, either. It's recommended to get a cage with at least 4 square feet, and even then, most of that space is taken up by the wheel and the hideaways.

Owning a hedgehog requires a lot of time and sometimes, a lot of money. I spent around $600 on the basic supplies that I felt my hedgehog needed just for the set up. That doesn't include vet visits and extra things you may want to buy.

I personally don't think a hedgehog is good for an office pet. I can't see you having enough time to dedicate to one, and I don't think it would be fair to put an animal in that situation willingly. I would say that if you're interested in getting a hedgehog, you should get one for your home. They are neat little animals, but they are considered high maintenance.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering a hedgehog for an office pet

With the information you've given us, I'm also a bit reluctant to recommend a hedgie as an office pet...Mainly given the space restrictions, and the time constraints. Most people take their hedgehog out for bonding time in the evening, between 7-10 pm, depending on the person and their schedule. Most hedgehogs would be pretty cranky at being taken out much earlier, sometimes even if all you're doing is letting them sleep on you. It just depends on the hedgehog. As far as heating, if you didn't want to heat your office to 75 degrees or so (pretty warm for most people) a CHE set up is the best way to provide a good temperature for them, but those are pretty expensive.

All in all...If you are really interested in hedgehogs, I'd recommend trying to see if one would fit in your home life rather than your office life. Depending on his or her personality after you have them for awhile, there's a possibility of bringing them to the office with you (if they travel well in the car, don't get stressed out by new places) and letting them sleep either in a little travel cage or on you. But this is highly dependent on the hedgehog and their personality. Some get carsick easily, some are explorers and if they're awake refuse to settle down and sleep on you. Some just don't do well with going to new places and would get stressed out by it.

If you're really only looking for an office pet to keep you company, I'd look at some other animals. If you're not freaked out by rats, they might be one option. They could utilize a multi-level cage like a Ferret Nation, they're awake more during the day so you could have them out to play with and cuddle, and they don't have the heating/lighting needs that hedgehogs do (as least, not to my knowledge). The main thing I'd watch out with rats is that when they're out exploring, they're not chewing on any wires that could hurt them, or getting into spaces in the wall, behind furniture, etc. Some other options to look into might be certain reptiles (though they generally come with specific heating/lighting needs as well, but may require less handling and attention), gerbils, or some kind of aquatic animal, such as fish, frogs, maybe turtles. I don't much about most of those animals, so you'd have to do some research to see if there'd be any issues with having them in an office, but they might be something to consider.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering a hedgehog for an office pet

Considering your answers, a hedgehog is not appropriate for you.
Fish are usually a good way.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering a hedgehog for an office pet

crested gecko are a million times easier than fish! just put a bowl of their food and mist. temperature in the 70s,not much cleaning. fun, easy to handle and docile animal!
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering a hedgehog for an office pet

Oooh my husband is actually getting dart frogs for his office! He's getting a custom made tank though. That would be fun and exciting to look at!
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