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Old 09-08-2018, 09:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Biting Painted Nails

I love painting my nails, and I normally paint them about once every other week. I just got a hedgehog, and his name is Reggie. He’s 10 weeks old, and I got him while I was letting my nails grow out, so I hadn’t painted them in a couple weeks. I had a friend come over who had painted nails, and he sniffed her hands then licked, then eventually bit her fingers. Not enough to break the skin, but enough that she freaked out and handed Reggie back to me. He is still a little shy, as I’ve only had him for a couple weeks, but he had never bitten me so i felt bad that he bit her. I just painted my nails tonight, and he bit me the same way he bit her! Licking at first, then a slight nibble. Do hedgehogs just hate nailpolish? Is there anything I can do to still hang out with my favorite little dude while still having my nails look nice? Help!
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe he just likes the smell and taste. Some hedgehogs get fascinated with things like nail polish (so I read) I think you could probably could try didcouraging it, like every time he goes a bonding time without biting he gets a treat and then if he bites he doesnt. (Thats also what I read) this shows that not biting is being good and he can get rewarded and that biting is bad and he wont get treats.
Other than I dont really know. But someone with more experience might be able to help better.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It sounds like he was trying to anoint with the nail polish! ^^

My boy only has started recently doing this, with two things so far ~ recycled toilet paper (I use to pick up his poop) ~ only one type of paper haha and when I used a vitamin c moisturising treatment on my face and must have had some residue still on my fingers (even though I washed them like twice before picking him up).

Nail polish probably isn't the safest thing so just try not let him get close enough for too long to start licking them. I barely wear nail varnish on my hands (I did a couple times and my boy didn't pay much attention) but perhaps try buy brands which don't let off strong fumes? Child friendly ones perhaps? ^^
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't worry, it's a normal reaction! My hedgie LOVES the smell of nail polish and will go so far as to chase my feet across the room to nip at my toenails. It doesn't seem to matter if they're freshly painted or not-- she can still smell it either way. I've noticed that she seems to want to anoint with it, like many other smells that fascinate her, but I don't allow her to get that far since like the other poster said, I doubt it's healthy for them. I don't wear nail polish very often, so in my case it's usually a non-issue.

I always warn friends who want to hold my hedgie that if they are wearing any perfume or have any other smells on them, it's likely that she'll nip to try to "taste" them, but it's not an act of aggression.

I'm not sure what you can do to avoid this behavior if you want to keep your nails done. I've found that they can get very fixated on going after a smell that interests them, so just moving your fingers away probably won't be enough to deter him for long. They can be so stubborn!
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Last edited by angryfugu; 09-16-2018 at 08:33 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just last night my boyfriend held our boy and he started licking his arm so he moved it away. First time he'd ever done it so we were puzzled why, then my partner remembered he had an insect repellent spritz on his arms from earlier that day! Luckily it was a child friendly one and only contained a small amount of repellent, it had a peach and apricot scent to it so maybe thats what he liked! But another odd product to add to the list! >< luckily he only got a couple licks in, (not enough to start annoiting) and seems ok since thankfully.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Reggie was anointing, not biting. He was trying to save the smell for later and wasn't trying to be aggressive. Our Gracie will always bite nail polish too. She also tries to lick at any floor that has been wiped with cleaner, or grass. HeijiSan would always try to bite my feet and King Robert likes my underwear, hair and ears. They all got their favorite flavors of things that they shouldn't be getting into.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I just want to say that nail polish has lots of bad chemicals in them, making them unhealthy to humans and hedgehogs. I would suggest getting some chemical free nail polish, they are more expensive but it is safer for your and your hedgehogs health.

Hope this helps!!!

Nutmeg the Hedgehog
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