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Old 02-03-2012, 03:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation New to owning a hedgehog, tips and advice?

Hi everyone! I'm new to hedgehog central and new to owning a pet hedgehog. I'm so excited after wanting a pet for so long I came across the idea of a pet hedgehog. After a lot of research I determined a hedgie is the right pet for me I'm so excited for him to finally come home (he arrives sunday morning, the breeder is delivering him to my house and he will be 8 weeks old) I have all of his things set up and even bought a bunch of extra toys for him whenever he decides he wants something to play with (I got ideas from this forum) As excited as I am for him to come home I'm nervous too... I just want the transition to be easy on him and for him to be happy. Do you have any tips or advice for me? I was also wondering how long I should wait to introduce him to other people? Thank you so much for your time and any advice you have for me
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to owning a hedgehog, tips and advice?

My best suggestion is really just to read as much on the forums as you can. The stickies (topics at the top of all of the forum sections) have lots of great information and LizardGirl's book is basically the main information from the forum put into book form - http://www.hedgehogbook.webs.com/

For when he comes home, just try to remember how stressful and new this all is for him. He may be grumpy and stay in a ball. On the other hand, he may not appear to be bothered at all. But either way, make sure you take it slow at first. Try to leave him alone the first night so he can get settled in to his new home. A few minutes won't hurt, but don't do a marathon bonding session or anything. The next day you can have him out a bit longer, the next day longer, and so on. Having a shirt or a piece of fleece that you've slept with for a couple days in his cage will help too - it will help him associate your scent with good things like being warm and sleeping, and he'll get acclimated to it faster.

I'd wait at least a couple days before you start introducing him to other people. Go by his behavior - if he's still grumpy and shy with you, don't overload him by trying to introduce more people. Make sure once you do start to introduce him to others, that it's one or two people at a time. Having lots of people around, especially if anyone's being loud or moving around a lot, can make them nervous and make the experience a bad one for him.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to owning a hedgehog, tips and advice?

Everything was pretty much covered so I just wanted to say congrats!
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to owning a hedgehog, tips and advice?

thanks for your replies! I plan on reading as much as I can from the forum the next few days :P and once he gets comfortable with me I'll try and take a picture of him that I can post on here. I was also wondering if there was a time frame that he should be out of his cage to start with? After I give him his privacy for the first night, the second night I want to start handling him and would love to for at least an hour an or so, but would he get too stressed out if I were to play with him that long on the second night?
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to owning a hedgehog, tips and advice?

My advice, read all the stickies on this site and LizardGirl's book.

Have fun, good luck and remember you don't own the hedgehog, they own YOU!

Donna
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to owning a hedgehog, tips and advice?

Welcome to HHC and congratulations! I bet you are about to wet your pants from excitement

Rather than playing with him on the second night, I would put him in a fleece snuggle bag and let him hang out on your lap. Be patient, and give him some time to get to know your smell and your voice. Time and patience are our best friends as hedgehog owners. And mealworms.

As for a time frame to hang out with him, do what works best with your schedule. If you take him out during daylight hours, make sure it's in a calm setting (no TV, loud talking, music, bright lights, etc) and just let him sleep. At night, you can let him roam a hedgie-safe room under supervision. He might also choose to sleep during night time bonding sessions since hedgies sleep a lot, especially young ones.
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