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Old 01-03-2011, 10:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default potential new owner

i'm looking to buy a hedgie from a local breeder, they had a link to this sight and now i'm here. but i don't know if i'd be a good keeper. i've done what i feel is a fair amount or research and learned what they need but i feel like i've scared myself and now i'm afraid to get one. so after reading all the horror stories and everything that can go wrong i wanted to know how often it goes wrong. i have a place to keep her a nice sized cage, i'll be purchasing a heater (probably ceramic, unless theres something better i havn't heard of) a thermometer, we have fleece blanket already that i can cut and hem. one of the things that worries me is i live part at my moms and part at my dads. but i'm moving into my moms permanently in may after grad from highschool. should i wait until then? i'm at my moms every day otherwise. i've read about food and skin dryness and even a genetic disease that causes paralysis....uh so i'm not sure my information has been helpful, just worrysom.

the last pet i bought i bought without doing much research so i wasn't afraid to buy them. (doves) and they turned out to be healthy and happy. but i get the feeling that hedgies are a bit more sensitive to their surroundings. all the hibernation stories and pool drowning stories and falling and such....yeah so i'm kinda a worrier. i just wanted some other opinions of people out there.

this is someting i'd really like to do and enjoy. i love animals and am willing to put time and money into this. i have a job so i wont be relying totaly on my parents to buy food and such.

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Old 01-03-2011, 10:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: potential new owner

Hi Megan, welcome to the forums!

I had a hamster that loved to climb his wire cage, so I was concerned with falling when I got my hedgehog. The solution was to just go with a plastic tub for him. He tried to climb it one, found he couldn't then gave up. After watching my guy stumble around while attempting to climb me, I plan on leaving his habitat as one level. Their eyesight isn't what you'd call amazing, and some can accidentally walk off the edge of a second level if it's not enclosed. If you don't give them the opportunity to make that mistake, there's nothing to worry about.

There's really not much to worry about. It sounds like you've got most of what you need already. Genetic disease has a chance of happening in any creature. If you get your hedgehog from a reputable breeder rather than a pet store you should be better off. From what I have seen, most of the people here use fleece liners for their homes. Wood shavings sound like they slightly increase the chances of your little one getting mites.

My little guy had dry skin a few days after bringing him home thanks to the very low humidity in my place. A little bath with some Aveeno seemed to take care of that little problem. You can also give them flax seed oil on a regular basis to help keep their skin from drying out.

If you're at your mom's every day right now, you should be able to leave your hedgehog there. They're solitary critters and won't mind being left alone for most of the day. As long as you're there to feed it, water it, and look after it for 30 - 60 minutes a day, you should be okay. If you can give it more attention in the evenings, that's great. It will give you more time to bond with it.

Hope this helps alleviate some of your concerns.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: potential new owner

Welcome Megan!
Don't let everything that COULD go wrong scare you. Otherwise, we would never get in a car or leave our home or get married or eat sushi!
It sounds like you are doing your research - good for you. The main things are temperature, light, food, wheel, cage & patience!
And remember, we are here for you, to help you out, if you do decide to get a hedgie.


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Old 01-04-2011, 12:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: potential new owner

If you're unsure, I recommend you contact a breeder. Set up an appointment. I double dog dare you to hold a hedgehog and not want to take it home right away.

...but seriously, the only one who will know if you're ready is you. So contact a breeder, and set up an appointment. See what kind of setups they have, what they recommend, and whether you'd even be comfortable buying from them. If you are, put your name on their waiting list and then start collecting the things you need for a hog. If you collect them slowly, you'll probably be at the top of a waiting list/in your mom's house by the time you have a hedgie.

Best of luck
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome! It can be overwhelming to learn about caring for a hedgehog - it is not as instinctual as caring for a dog or cat! If you really want to get one, keep doing research and make sure that you (or your mom) will be able to afford taking care of a hedgehog. The cat food recommended is expensive (usually $10 for smalest bag, and it is recommended to mix a few types for variety and nutrition), and my heating bill has gone up quite a bit! It is also smart to start saving money for emergency vet bills because payment is often due immediately and it is not cheap. The time commitment with hedgehogs varies between owners, but hedgehogs like consistency - so it is good if you would have a time each night you could take out your hedgehog and bond/play/snuggle with him.

The only other thing I want to ask is do you plan to live at your moms house for a long time (a few years)? Or is there a chance that you may decide to go away to college or move for an adventure after high school? A lot of younger (high school age) hedgehog owners find themselves having a hard time after high school when they have more independence and some decide to move. Most college dorms don't allow small pets - and if they do it might not be the best environment for them. Some apartments don't allow them either.

As long as you think you will be able to keep your hedgehog with you for his entire life I think you sound like you will be a great owner! I wish more people would research hedgehogs before getting them, I see hedgehogs on craigslist all the time because the owner didn't do their research and understand how to care for them. We are here to answer questions and help you if you decide to get a hedgehog! Also, I recommend looking to see if there are and hedgehogs that need to be rescued in your area. Often times people will buy a hedgehog, change their mind or be unable to care for them, and return them to a breeder or a hedgehog rescue station. My little guy is a rescue and I got him at 10 weeks so there are babies that need rescuing in addition to older hedgehogs
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i am going to live with my mom for awhile. i'm going to community college for two years and transfering my credits. they college i plan to go to does allow caged pets. i may not even start college until fall of 2012. i can't really decide what to do so i'm going to do some exploring at local community colleges to see what kind of options i have in the fields i wish i go into. my sis is 16 and has agreed to do the occasional babysiting. i plan to do some local camping and backpacking but i wont be gone for more than 3 or 4 days at a time and my sis is just as creature loving.

i will have an emergency vet fundy thing. i'll be setting aside money every month specificaly for anything the hedgehog may need urgently. and there are two vets in my area that take hedgies so i have a place to go incase something happens.

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Old 01-05-2011, 02:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I went to university without a good idea of what I wanted to do, and after a year transfered to community college and tried different things before finally finding nursing It has taken me 5 years (ok, almost 6!) but I will graduate in March with my associates. I think going to CC first is great because it lets you get the basic classes out of the way (for way cheaper!) and allows you the time to figure out what you want to do. I wish I had been smart enough to do that when I was 18!

It sounds like you would/will make a great hedgehog owner! You have done your research and know how much responsibility a hedgehog is. If you do decide to get one be sure to post lots of photos
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks you XD i'm really excited!!

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Old 01-05-2011, 01:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You are probably half my age and at least 10 times more responsible. I think any hedgie would be lucky to have you!!

I decided on a Friday to get a hedgie, had one by Sunday and learned on the fly. I did research after each issue presented itself...not exactly proactive....but we've all survived and Snarf is seemingly happy and healthy.

So...the fact that you're here asking questions, thinking things out says to me that you and your hedgie will be very happy!
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