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Old 07-15-2014, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Explaining owning a hedgie w/out giving wrong impression

Hey all,

So today I had a friend come up to me and say that she had a friend who was considering getting a hedgehog. My friend asked if it would be okay for her to give her friend my contact info so I could tell her about owning a hedgehog. I said that I would be totally willing to talk to her friend, and I'm planning on giving her friend a link to this website, since you all have helped me so much through my time owning Lily. (And even beforehand )

I know the key points that I'm going to bring up (can be/will be expensive, require heat and a light schedule, must dedicate a lot of time to hedgie, vet bills, need to research before getting one, ect.), but I'm worried about "Scaring" this person out of getting one. Of course I'm going to talk about how Lily had changed my life for the better, and what a blessing she has been to me. I don't, however want to give her the wrong idea that owning a hedgehog is easy and that getting one shouldn't be taken lightly.

So I guess my question is there anything else that I need to talk about? I did research for almost 3 years before I got Lily, so I felt very prepared. Have any of you explained owning a hedgehog to someone who was considering getting one before? How did you not turn them off from wanting a hedgehog? All thoughts, comments, adivce, ect. are appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My biggest thing would be making sure that they know hedgehogs personalities vary so much. Some are sociable and some simply won't be. Not all hedgehogs like cuddles and being pet. Each one takes a lot of time to get to know and bonding can be a process. I know a lot of my friends assume that Nina Rose likes to cuddle up on the couch and watch tv lol in reality she's either sleeping or running everywhere.
Oh! And that they poop a lot haha like a lot... especially when their babies. Expect to be pooped on at least once
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If they get scared off by the explanation of a hedgehog's natural behavior, their housing and feeding requirements, and the necessary vet care, personally I don't feel bad at all. If they're scared off by learning the facts about owning a hedgehog, they probably don't have any business owning one in the first place.

I did explain to a lot of people how much I did for Lily, how much time I spent with her, etc. Many of them were pretty surprised and did wonder why I bothered to do it all. I just shrugged and smiled. I would explain that it was well worth the time, money, and effort to share my life with that little ball of quills, and to earn her trust. Usually that was my only justification, and I still got a lot of "you're weird" looks. That was fine by me. She meant the world to me, and only other hedgehog people (sometimes other animal people as well) would understand that.

I would say that if your friend decides against a hedgehog after learning the dirty facts from you, don't feel bad. Don't feel like you scared them away from owning a hedgehog. Think of it as you've prevented a situation from occurring where someone might have gotten in over their head and potentially neglected or had to rehome a hedgehog. You saved both owner and hedgehog from a lot of trouble. It's not a bad thing!
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CourtneyLA View Post
Expect to be pooped on at least once
*at least once a week

Honestly though, I think if you make sure to say how rewarding it is and how fulfilling and great it feels to provide a good and happy life for your hedgie ultimately makes all the work worth it. I've only had Benny a month and I've realized since getting him he's pretty high maintenance, but I love the lil huff-ball like a child. He might not be reciprocating the love now or be able to show he appreciates all I do for him, and he might not ever do it, but there's definitely moments where I get a bit of a reward with him being cute or sweet and those make my day.

So long story short, I guess make sure to tell all the dirty hard and time consuming or expensive details, but don't forget to mention how rewarding it is to care for a hedgie and to really try and do your best to give them a good life!
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think that if your friend is "scared off" from,owning a hedgie it's for the best! Not everyone has the patience to put up with poop, pricks, occasional bites (!) and all the other things we all do for our wee ones. You are doing the right thing by laying it all out and discussing everything honestly, for both the owner and the little hedgie. Just my 2 cents!
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You might want to talk about cages (and how much room they take up), the everyday care of the hedgehog, nail clipping, quilling.
It would be great if you shared some funny stories as well as some frustrating situations you've been in.
And get her to join here so she can ask, learn more, etc.
I'm sure you will be fine talking to her and explaining everything. I agree with the others, if realizing what it is actually like to have a hedgehog is enough to scare her than a hedgehog probably isn't for her. Most of my family and friends don't understand my love for hedgies (common question is how do you snuggle with a hedgehog?!) but there is something so amazing about those little critters.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you all so much! I agree that if she's scared by learning facts about owning one, she shouldn't get one. I've gotten many strange looks just from saying that I own a hedgehog when buying rabbit litter for her litterbox I'm hoping that she will really be committed to owning a hedgehog, but if what I tell her convinces her otherwise, then I feel that I've probably kept another hedgie out of a rehoming situation. I'll be sure to bring up how all hedgies have different personalities, and that they are messy and do require a lot of patience and care (bonding and otherwise). Cages, along with heating and light schedules are something I'm going to be sure to talk about, since I know some people aren't comfortable with having heat elements on all the time. (I'm not sure if her parents would be). I think that if I share some of my amazing experiences that I've had with Lily, she'll know that everything is worth it. I'm going to cover as much as I can so she will really know if a hedgehog is right for her. And, I'll be sure to tell her that there is a forum full of people who love hedgehogs just as much as I do! Thank you all so much again!
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