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Old 10-31-2009, 03:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bath Preferences?

Hi everyone

In the FAQ here on the forum, the suggested water level to bathe a hedgie is an inch or two of warm water. I believe that on the actual Hedgehog Central website, it also says to run only a few inches of water, so that the hedgehog can touch the bottom. This is what I do, and from what I can tell, it's what a lot of members of the forum do, but on a lot of private breeder websites, instructions for bathing a hedgehog include "filling the sink or tub with enough water to force the hedgehog to swim."

I don't want to call out any specific breeders, but here's an excerpt from one site: "The water should be deep enough to force the hedgehog to swim and you can use a small cup to dump some of it over the tops of the hedgehog's quills."

Does anyone know why some breeders give instructions like these? Is it just a matter of preference, or do you find it to be a bad thing? Or is this actually a good way to bathe some hedgies? I only run about two inches of warm water, so I'm completely unfamiliar with forcing my hedgehog to swim. What are your thoughts?
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bath Preferences?

I may only have had Lily for a year, but from being on these forums and from seeing how much she hates water, I have to completely disagree with these instructions. They're just cruel to me, to force an animal that doesn't like water to swim during bathtime. It just makes bathtime more stressful for the hedgehog. I only put in a couple of inches of water for Lily's bath, so it's about halfway up her side at the deepest point. I also put a piece of fleece in the bottom so she doesn't slip and slide all over the place.
However, I can understand if the hedgehog /likes/ water that it's okay to put more water in, so the hedgehog can swim. It'd be good exercise, as long as the hedgie is carefully watched and as long as they have something in the water that they can easily climb onto to take a break.
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: Bath Preferences?

I fill the bath tub so on one end he can walk around and the other is just deep enough for him to swim. He will do laps, walking and swimming. If I put him in a sink he would be very unhappy. He loves to play in the water and push his rubber ducky around.
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bath Preferences?

I think it's cruel to force them to swim. Some of mine are so terrified of the water I know if I tried to put them in water where they couldn't touch, they'd probably have a stroke out of fear. Anything more than standing on a soaking wet towel and they get frantic.

There are some that do like the water and do like to swim, like Herisson. Giving them the choice to do so if they wish is fine.
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Old 10-31-2009, 06:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bath Preferences?

What Herisson said is a good way to try the swimming thing. I tried it with Quigley that way and he stayed in the shallow part until he decided to try and find a way out. He walked all the way around the edges somehow staying mostly out of the water until I put my hand in and he crawled up. He never crawls onto us unless he's stressed or in an unfamiliar place so I knew he wanted out.

I think maybe breeders give that suggestion not because it's the best thing for the hedgehog but because it might be easier. If the hedgehog can't grip on the bottom and can't stand then they have less chance of getting away from you and being able to climb out. However as I have never tried I can't say that it would be easier or not.

Another thought. Maybe swimming forces them to keep all their quills down. I know that in Quilgey's bath he can still hide his face with his visor quills and keeps most of his quills up (unless Daddy is helping - for some reason he likes Daddy's bath time better than Mommy's )
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Old 10-31-2009, 06:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do think Herisson enjoys swimming because he was never forced. I put him in the tub the first time where he could stand. He explored and found he could swim a little on one end. He was so excited!

Other times he is content to soak and relax in his Aveeno bath. Not often, but it has happened a couple times. I let him do what he wants, it's his bath time and he is the boss.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bath Preferences?

I think letting the hedgehog chose is the best way to go. My bath also have a slant so on one end it's deeper than the other. You can never see Litchi on the deeper end, she prefers low water. WWhile Tangelo doesn't seems to mind anything at all!

I've seen sevral breeder in my area advocating wrong stuff: this is one thing what would put me off buying from them.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bath Preferences?

There are a lot of videos on Youtube of people putting hedgies in like half full baths which shocked me. I have never put the water higher than half way up Turbos body as i dont want to see him drowning or looking like he is.
On the videos the hedgies are frantically swimming and their heads are actually going under the water which i cant imagine is nice for them at all.
If a hedgie chooses to swim its different than having to.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bath Preferences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wtfrenee
I don't want to call out any specific breeders, but here's an excerpt from one site: "The water should be deep enough to force the hedgehog to swim and you can use a small cup to dump some of it over the tops of the hedgehog's quills."
I haven't seen the sites you're talking about so I couldn't say for certain, but I wonder if it could be a typo. I've seen peopIe leave out entire words. Important ones. Anyway, I would be worried to make it so deep that they couldn't reach the bottom to rest. We always give them a paving stone to use a an island (in addition to being able to reach the bottom on the shallower end of the bath tub).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipkin
There are a lot of videos on Youtube of people putting hedgies in like half full baths which shocked me. I have never put the water higher than half way up Turbos body as i dont want to see him drowning or looking like he is.
On the videos the hedgies are frantically swimming and their heads are actually going under the water which i cant imagine is nice for them at all.
If a hedgie chooses to swim its different than having to.
Hmm... Some hedgehogs actually like going under (and making us nervous). Yoshiko sometimes squats down lower and lower until her eyes are just below the surface, then she quickly puts her nose under and blows some bubbles and comes back up again, looking very proud of herself. She does this in water shallow enough that she absolutely has a choice not to do so.
*Please pardon any typos. I'm doing this one-handed while Riccio is snuggling on my left arm.
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