Potential hedgie owner questions - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
Hedgehog Central GalleryForum Archives Facebook Link

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-07-2012, 04:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Folly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 41
Default Potential hedgie owner questions

Hi! I'm considering getting a hedgehog in the near future. I'm in the process of finding a breeder (I live in the middle of nowhere... it's hard to find anyone close! I don't suppose somebody within a few hours of Ashland, WI is reading this? :P), but I'm still not 1000% sure at the moment of whether or not I'm actually going to get one. There are a few questions I'd like to ask before I jump into the craziness of owning a $150 animal that's the size of my hand.

First off, I'd like to ask people who actually own hedgehogs if my general expectations are close enough... I understand that they all have their own personalities, but in general, I'm looking for a pet that's low-maintenance for the most part and doesn't require a lot of undivided attention, but likes to (or at least won't mind) hanging out while I sew or do schoolwork. I'm home all the time since I do an online school program, but I'm almost always busy sewing or studying. Basically, I can hang out with and cuddle with an animal, but I can't take care of something that needs regular grooming or walks.

In that vein, what kind of personality do you think would suit me best? I get a little bummed when my pets don't want anything to do with me, which makes me think I should look for a more outgoing baby, but then I also don't think I can keep my eye on it constantly, so maybe I should be looking for somebody who's more content to stay in one place?

Also, how often does the average hedgie need to go to the vet? I'm pretty sure that I can afford vet visits (I still need to look into how much the vets in my area that do exotics cost), but I don't want something that's going to cost me a fortune in vet bills. Are they very prone to sickness, or is it more likely that a hedgehog will never have to go to the vet?

And last... the thing I'm really worried about is whether the relationship with my hedgehog will actually last. I know it sounds terrible, but I'm worried I'll grow tired of it after the novelty of having a hedgehog wears off. I'd LOVE to say "I'll love it forever!", and that's how I feel right now, but realistically I have no way to know that. I had gerbils when I was 8 and tired of them after a few months, but I guess I shouldn't be using my pet care at age 8 as a reference v_v I just don't want it to be the same thing. And if it turns out that hedgehog ownership isn't for me, what could I do to give it a new home that will give it the love it needs? I don't have friends who could afford it, and I think most people want baby hedgies.

Anyway, sorry about the wall of text! If I could get any help/opinions I would love that. ALSO, I could totally use tips for finding a breeder xD I've gone through the breeder list here, but it seems like it's a little out of date, and I only found one person within 3 hours of me (who I've emailed with a few questions, but they haven't responded yet...)
Thanks!
__________________
Folly is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-07-2012, 05:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
Lilysmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 11,963
Default Re: Potential hedgie owner questions

Welcome to the forum and I'm glad you're thinking carefully before you jump into hedgehog ownership. It's definitely not for everyone and too often people realize that too late and end up trying to rehome them after only a few weeks.

You're correct, cuddling time for most hedgehogs is as simple as having them in a snuggle bag or blanket in your lap while you sew, read, etc. Sometimes though, you get explorers that want nothing to do with cuddling and would rather be down on the floor to explore. The best way to bond with them is to sit in a playpen or hedgie-safe room with them and watch them. As far as maintenance, they do take a bit of daily care time like any animal - they often cover their wheel in poop, so it usually needs to be cleaned every day. Food/water should be changed every day, and it's best to weigh them on a regular basis with a digital kitchen scale. Bathing and nail clipping both need to be done regularly, that varies between hedgehogs. Usually nail clipping is every other week or so, and bathing anywhere from once a week to once every couple of months (if you have a clean hog). With pooping on their wheels, they often get "poop boots" which may need a quick foot bath either a few times a week or daily, depending on how messy they are. So look at maybe 30 minutes a night for general cleaning & maintenance, and another 30 minutes or more for cuddles. On busy nights you can leave some things out and get away with maybe 15 minutes for maintenance and same for handling, but you do want to make sure to check them over every night for any injuries, changes, etc. And for most hedgies, the amount of time put in to them translates to how comfortable they are with you and how friendly they might be.

Sounds like you're looking mainly for a cuddler, who'll be willing to snuggle while you're doing quiet activities. Cuddlers can be pretty interactive too, so it just depends. To be honest, I would suggest that you check into rehoming an older hog - either a retired breeding hedgie or taking in a hedgie from someone who can no longer care for them. Not a rescue, which would be in worse shape, with health issues and behavior issues. But many rehomes have received plenty of love and care, but situations change so the old owner can no longer care for them. With an older hedgie, you can be more assured of the personality (some babies will have a major personality change after going through quilling, and quilling itself is a pretty stressful time for both hedgie and owner).

Vet bills depend on the hedgehog. Most people recommend having $500 or so saved up for vet bills, but to be perfectly honest, I never did. That said, I did have money on hand, usually, and for the times that I was low, I had a mother who was willing to loan me money to get Lily the care she needed, with me paying her back later. Exotic vets do usually cost more, and hedgehogs are prone to tumors and cancers, especially later on. Lily died of a liver tumor, and I know a rescuer who has only had three hedgehogs who died from something other than cancer. Other than that, most common problems include URIs due to water up the nose in a bath, or not warm enough temps, mites and skin issues, and other little injuries that are usually prevented by using safe equipment and being cautious. Of course, there's a LOT more things they can get, but it just depends on the hog. They should get a yearly check up exam though, no matter what other health issues they have.

That is a common reason hedgehogs get rehomed, really. People discover it's not what they expected, they get tired of cleaning a poopy wheel, they want something that will show them more affection than most hedgehogs will. If you do find a breeder closer to you, my suggestion would be to visit them and try handling some of their hedgehogs. See if you like that part. Spend as much time as you need thinking about the reality of cleaning a poopy wheel every single day for 3+ years, depending on the age of the hedgehog you get. See how much money you're willing to spend to resolve health issues. Think about how you would feel if the hedgie is content to sleep on you and have no other interaction, or if it's a ball of quills for several weeks and you hardly get to see their face. If you're adopting an older hedgie, that's less likely than with a baby, but with a new home/owner, it usually takes many hedgies a couple weeks to settle in and become comfortable with you. If you do adopt a hedgie, baby or adult, and discover that you can't or aren't willing to give it the care and time it needs and you're starting to resent doing those things, you can post on here to see if someone can take in the hedgie, or check with the Hedgehog Welfare Society for rescues in your area. Breeders will often take back babies or retired breeders as well, to ensure they get a safe home.
__________________
~*~*~ Kelsey ~*~*~

RIP my sweet Lily ~ 6/12/08 - 1/20/12
Lilysmommy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-07-2012, 07:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
Folly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 41
Default Re: Potential hedgie owner questions

Hmmm, you know, I never really considered getting an older hedgehog- I always assumed they just wouldn't bond with you if you got them as adults. But it does seem like a good idea now that you mention it, so I'll definitely look into that!
(And of course, hasty me goes and looks up ads right away >_> even though I'm nowhere near ready to actually get one!)
Thanks for the help! I did know that they require some minimal daily hygiene stuff, although I didn't know about poop boots (poop boots! That's the most adorable term for poopy feet ever omg). I figure if I work the daily things into my own hygiene schedule it'll just be habit after a while P:
__________________
Folly is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-07-2012, 07:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
Lilysmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 11,963
Default Re: Potential hedgie owner questions

Just make sure, if you look for an older hedgehog, that you get a chance to meet him or her before you give an absolute yes. See how they act with the owner, see how they're kept, see how they act with you. It's likely they'll be a little huffier when they come home with you, with all of the changes, but if you can see their cage and them before you say yes, you'll be more likely to end up with a friendly, healthy hedgie than someone passing off a sick hedgie or one that needs a lot of work to be sociable. All of the little daily things really do become habit/routine after a few weeks, but until then, they can seem like a lot of work, especially all of the poop.

Also, something I forgot to mention in the first post. If you're interested in doing some more reading on hedgehog care, behavior, etc. I highly recommend this book - http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/files ... index.html It's written by one of our own mods, LizardGirl, and it's free to download. It has a ton of great info in it, nicely organized, and with lots of pictures.
__________________
~*~*~ Kelsey ~*~*~

RIP my sweet Lily ~ 6/12/08 - 1/20/12
Lilysmommy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Potential first time hedgehog owner with cage questions. DragonPup Cages 4 05-07-2013 11:26 PM
Potential new hedge hog owner couple questions Ionstorm General Questions 2 12-10-2012 08:30 PM
Questions from a potential owner! Clamdor General Questions 5 09-10-2012 07:49 PM
Potential new hedgie owner w/ a few questions. leesredgt General Questions 2 12-26-2010 07:56 PM
Some general questions from a potential owner! LunarFlame General Questions 9 12-01-2008 05:53 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:15 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
PetGuide.com
Basset Hound Forum Doberman Forum Golden Retriever Forum Beagle Forum
Boxer Forum Dog Forum Pit Bull Forum Poodle Forum
Bulldog Forum Fish Forum Havanese Forum Maltese Forum
Cat Forum German Shepherd Forum Labradoodle Forum Yorkie Forum Hedgehog Forum
Chihuahua Forum Cichlid Forum Dart Frog Forum Mice Breeder Forum