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Old 07-11-2013, 11:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My daughter wants a hedgehog....

My daughter wants a hedgehog for her 13th birthday. We can not have tradtional pets due to allergies. I don't have a clue about hedgies!!!

Are these good pets for allergy sufferers? Is it a good idea for a 13 yo to have a hedgie? I don't want her getting one then not taking good care of it. Is it better to adopt a baby or an older one?

I think they are the cutest things! I have been researching, and I get such conflicting info. Can you guys help? Any info will be useful. I will have to travel quite a ways to buy one from a USDA breeder, so want to be as informed as possible before we make this decision.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have tons of allergies to cats bogs tress birds, everything! I thought I was allergic to my hedgie when I got her because my hands and arms are itchy after but I wash my hands with just cold water and I'm perfectly fine. (You have yo wash your hands after anyway.)
I'm 16 and got my first hedgehog two weeks ago. If you want him or her to be sweet and lovey, it requires a lotttt of time, and effort. Holding them makes them more use to you. I hold my hedgie 3 - 4 hours everyday. You need to make time for them. You can't love them for a week and forget about them of a week. They are an easy clean like a hamsters. But they need baths to clean poopy feet!

What I didn't know is they have large poops and they pooop a looot as babys.
They eat cat food and baby food so that's easy :P
But you should feed them meal worms too.

If she tends to want things and then forgets them in a month or so like my little sister, then I wouldn't say yes, because they need constant handling every day to keep the bond. If she's not like my sister then I think a hedgie is a great idea!
Obviously if you get a baby then the baby will love you guys and bond to you and warm up to you.
If you get an adult who is a sweety then it will take a little more effort to get him or her to get use to you


Hope I helped at all!
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes that helps. She hasn't had a pet at home for some time, she had hamster that she bought, and did really well with it. We thought we had a male, and one day a week or so after we got i, it started biting and stuff...turns out our male had babies!! then after the babies were weaned and we gave them away, she got sick and died.

She has a cat at her dad's house, and I believe she takes good care of it when she's there and plays with it and everything. She's begging for this hedgie. She's a fairly responsible kid, and I think knowing it will be HER responsibility to feed and bathe and clean, she will do a good job at it. She did good with her hamster.

I guess my main concerns are whether or not a hedgehog is nasty and stinky. And would other people in the home affected by allergies have a reaction to it? I don't want to go into her room and be "knocked down" by a smell. We do not know anyone around our area with a hedgie to go and find out about these issues.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have anosmia (I can't smell anything) so I'm not sure I can help with that but my boyfriend and my mom tell me when it starts to stink even a little (because I ask them to tell me things like that) & from what they say it only stinks when she just poops for a few minutes but other than that never. You have to clean the cage one every week depending on size and whatnot. I think if she did good with a hamsters she will be good with hedgie! I told my parents when I wanted Peaches "its just like a hamster for big kids!!" Hahaha and it is.
But they are prickly!!!!!!!!
You get use to it fast maybe a day or two
When he or she is calm it actually feels nice (:
The under belly is soooooo soft
I don't think they are hypoallergenic but I also don't think they are commonly allergic to ya know?
Um they get kinda nasty when they step in poop because it gets stuck in there nails and they have poopy feet but one quick bath and she's squeaky clean.

If she travels back and forth a lot like I do (to work and home) I take peaches with me.
At home I have her cage with the wheel and igloo and food and water
But I have a mobile home for her:P
And it just has food water and a tang top so sleep in

I'm sure you know they sleep all day and are awake at night. But its okay to wake them up whenever but sometimes are grumpier than other!
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would say the biggest thing to consider is if it will be taken care of properly. I really would not consider them to be too high maintenance but they are a few "musts". They need to be handled daily (even if just a half hour), food water should be checked/filled daily, wheel cleaned daily, and then usually weekly baths/nail trimmings/cage cleaning. I would think you as mom will need to help out with this so it's something to consider. Babies definitely poop a LOT more so are the stinkier ones. Otherwise I don't think they smell much...as long as she/you are diligent about cleaning the cage. I know some people have expressed concern over smell when hedgie is kept in a bedroom so I am not sure that works for everyone. We have our hedgie in the living room. They are up and running in their wheel all night so if she's a light sleeper I definitely wouldn't recommend that. As far as advantages of what age of hedgie to get just be sure that if you take in an older one that it doesn't have behavior problems. That could be a lot to handle for your first hedgie. Be prepared that any hedgie is going to take some time to adjust and be comfortable around you. This could be weeks or even months...takes a lot of patience.

Oh...and as far as the allergy question I would recommend you see how she does around one before bringing one home just to find out she might be allergic. Starting to bond with hedgie and then having to give it up would be sad...and I've seen it happen. On the bright side, my boyfriend has some serious cat/dog allergy and lucky for us it meant hedgie would an awesome alternative. That being said everyone is different and if I was 13 and begging for a hedgie the last thing I would want would be to end up needing to give it away! If you plan on getting hedgie from a breeder maybe you can make a visit to them and see how she does with one just to be sure. Obviously they don't have much fur so for many people it's a great alternative.

Last thing! You mentioned reading a lot of conflicting info...so if you haven't already check out this care book...it's awesome! It was written by one of the mods on here and you can even download it free online easy. Maybe even have your daughters glance at it to be sure a hedgie is right for her. Here's the link:

http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/

Good luck!
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Last edited by sklock65; 07-11-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info! I will be getting that book!

Also the only problem with going to see the hedgies first, is that the closest breeder to me, that I can find, is over 4 hours away. (we live in a rural TN town) Not feasible to just go for a look and see, ya know..... and we know of no one in our area who has one to check out.

She doesn't have allergies to dog and cats, but does have other allergies. There are others in the house with dog and cat allergies, who have no desire to be around it if she does get one. I don't mind helping her out with anything that would have to be done...just want her to take the major role of pet owner if this is "her" pet, but I don't want it to be anything that is an overwhelming task for her. She has told me all about having to bond with it...and how to give it a bath....she's doing her research!!

Again thanks for all the info! I just want to make the best decision possible.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Chances are if someone has allergies to other pets, they will be allergic to a hedgehog as well. Although there are a few instances where an allergic person is fine with a hedgehog, those are fairly rare instances.

Unfortunately, going to visit a hedgehog a few times is not going to show if the person will become allergic. Allergies take time and exposure to show up. I've found that for most people, it takes around 6 months to a year for the allergy to reach the point where hedgie needs to be rehomed, but of course each person is different.

Allergies to hedgehogs are very common but there are breeders who will say hedgehogs don't cause allergies. It's untrue. The majority of the hedgehogs I've taken in as a rescue have been due to allergies.

Some hedgehogs trigger allergies more than others. Many people with multiple hedgehogs will be allergic to just one. Unfortunately, there is know way of knowing until you've owned it for a while.

While your daughter may be fine and not be allergic to a hedgehog, be aware it's more likely that she will be.
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I keep both my girls in my room and don't really have a problem with smell. As mentioned before, they really only smell JUST after they've pooped but then it dissipates. It does get a little smelly at night when they are running/pooping on their wheel but I just put some baking soda by their cage which has helped more than I thought it would. And so long as you clean the cage daily, you're good.

In regards to the "poopy boots"... not all hedgies get nasty feet. I rarely have this issue with either of my girls. I don't know if they clean their feet off for me or what but they don't typically need foot baths except to cut their nails .

I really hope y'all are able to get one and appreciate the concern you're showing about its quality of life .
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As of now, we have decided to get one! I think I am as excited as my daughter..lol

We now have to have an available baby within a reasonable distance! Thanks for all the help!
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Exciting! Fingers crossed all goes well. Be sure to come back, share picture and keep us posted on everything!


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