Would a hedgehog or tenrec be a suitable pet for me? - Hedgehog Central – Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Would a hedgehog or tenrec be a suitable pet for me?


I´m considering a hedgehog (or possibly a lesser tenrec) …but I have some questions regarding whether or not this would be a good choice of pet for me in my current situation.

Some important background information: I live in Sweden and here it is illegal to keep hedgehogs in cages. There´s a rule regarding the minimum amount of space a hedgehog can be kept in and this states that you need at least 20 square meters (which is around 215+ square feet).

This means that people keeping hedgehogs here have them either free roaming in one big room or in the entire apartment/house. I live in a one-bedroom apartment so, in order to give a hedgehog enough space It would probable have to have access to the entire apartment.

When it comes to the tenrec the minimum amount of space is (I think) 2 square meters (which in my case would make my bathroom or a smaller “walk-in- closet” possible to house it in, those are about 3-3,5 square meters (however the “closet” functions as a rat-room right now and I might like to keep it that way).

This is where my questions come in: I have other animals…so would a hedgehog be ok together with my other animals? As of right this second, I have two small dogs (who are used to small animals) and one house rabbit (soon it will be two) which have access to my entire apartment at all times. I also have two small parrots (caiques), naturally they have cages but they are with me a lot (engaged not caged an all that) and they love walking around on the floor.

Obviously, I don’t want to risk any one of my pets (little family members) getting hurt so I would not get a hedgehog if it´s not suitable for my situation.

I would love to get ferrets but due to the fact that they are extreme hunters…they would not be a good fit for me as of right now (as ferrets can´t be kept in cages here either…but they only need about 5 square meters for some reason...something to do with hedgehogs/tenrecs ending up under rules for zoos and ferrets are regarded as pets).

I feel as though a hedgehog (or tenrec) would make a good pet for me…but possible not because of the other animals. My other animals are by far the biggest reason for my hesitation. I have one more reason for hesitating and that is my long hair…I have heard that they have a tendency to get hair stuck around their toes…obviously I would not want my “hedgie” to get hurt.

I have reptiles/amphibians that requires live insects so I already have mealworms, dubias etc. at home. I am definitely a “night-person”, most nights I´m not in bed before like 3-4 in the morning (sometimes I am up even longer).

I have always loved when wild hedgehogs come for a visit… and I would love to have a hedgehog (or tenrec, equally as adorable) walking around my apartment. I feel like there is few things as cute as a hedgehog eating (they look adorable and sounds equally cute) <3.

Would a hedgehog (or tenrec) be a good or lousy fit for me (with my other little family members)?


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Old 02-15-2020, 03:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I live with a free roam hedgehog, and I can tell you that it's honestly not difficult. She has her 'den' (which is a 3 x 2 c&c cage, that has all her essentials in one area inc. her bed) which is left open at all times, and she comes and goes as she pleases. She is very clean, and uses her dedicated bathroom spots. I have long hair, and I just make sure I check tiny toes every day during our health check up; thus far, it's been no problem - but it's important to check their feet for tangled hairs anyway, regardless of if your hog free ranges or not (the same way a newborn baby isnt crawling around your floor, but can still get hair tangled from simply being around you).

However, free ranging a hedgehog with other animals - especially dogs - is dangerous. Unless you have a large bedroom, or can even block off access to part of the apartment by your other pets, I would not consider having a free range hedgehog with predatory animals advisable.

I cant comment on tenrecs, as I have no experience with them.

Last edited by Emc; 02-15-2020 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 02-19-2020, 10:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just so you know, a tenrec is not even similar to a hedgehog. We have tenrecs in our zoo, where I work, so I do know a little about them. First off, they are more aboreal (tree dwelling) than terrestrial. Second, it takes a DNA test to know the sex, there are no external clues. So you would not know whether you have a male or female, nor know to keep them apart. Third, they have a cloaca, like birds, though they do give live birth. Vets will have a harder time, unless familiar with them, because they cannot be treated like hedgehogs.
They tend to be less social with people than hedgehogs are, but can be with other tenrecs easier.

I strongly encourage you to enjoy your current pets and forgo getting a hedgehog or tenrec at this time.
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