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taralynnc 05-01-2019 07:25 PM

Going outside?
 
Hello, everyone!

I am a new hedgie owner and while it is still too cold in NY (50 degrees today), I am hoping for warm weather soon and think my Tina would love to go outside! She is very explorative.

Do you all take your hedgies outside? What are your best tips and tricks for doing so? What things do I need to be cautious of/excited about? What do your hedgies like?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!!! :grin:

Aj.t 05-01-2019 08:14 PM

Hey there! Outdoor exploration is a great way to provide sensory enrichment! Keep in mind though that the first couple times they’re out, they get loaded with new senses, so limit your time. Also be aware of anything on the ground they might be able to eat (other than grass which they may nibble a blade or two) and always be right next to them!

Ria 05-02-2019 03:05 AM

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Dont let them eat anything especially dandelions as these are toxic to them. Also try keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible as it can cause problems.
And please be carful because they CAN pick up mites, ticks and other parasites from a short time outside so wash them in a warm bath straight away to try kill anything that may be on skin.

Also she doesnt look like she's enjoying it and just keeps trying to hide, you'll be better off to just take her back inside. Some hogs like it and some dont. Just make sure your watching her like a hawk cause they can dart off if they want to. And its unlikely you'll catch her.

Emc 05-02-2019 04:02 AM

Please do not wash your hedgehog based on the simple fact that they were outdoors. Plain old water, even accompanied with a basic shampoo, will not kill parasites - so this is effectively pointless, and is not a preventative at all. All it does it stress your hog for absolutely no reason.

Regardless; many parasites are transmitted orally - your hedgehog will have to eat the host. Yes, this is a risk with bringing them outdoors... but it's not awfully common, and bringing your dog outdoors for even just a walk carries a much greater risk because they are often walked in high traffic areas. Hedgehogs, being insectivores, are pretty much always at risk of parasites, if they are brought outdoors or not. Even insects bred for feeders have the potential to transmit parasites to your pet. Side note; parasites (and other infections) can be in your home too. Other pets can track them in, and you can to. So there really is no wrapping your hog in bubblewrap and protecting them from zero parasites, ever, haha.

Personally speaking; I bring my hog into the garden during the summer, and so far she's loved it. There are some common-sense things like not to leave them unattended, and stay close to them at all times - if you want to be extra safe, you can set up a playpen in case they dart. Stay in your garden (public spaces will carry a much greater risk of infection, due to the sheer volume of dogs and other animals that can be present and pesticide risk), and parasites are the least of your concerns. Predators and potentially losing your hedgehog is what you need to be worried about.

I've also never heard of dandelions being toxic; daffodils are toxic to many species, but dandelion should be perfectly safe... as far as I'm aware, at least. I havent heard of any species to which it poses a toxicity risk; certainly not any commonly kept one anyway.

Ria 05-02-2019 04:45 AM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Emc (Post 1073380)
Please do not wash your hedgehog based on the simple fact that they were outdoors. Plain old water, even accompanied with a basic shampoo, will not kill parasites - so this is effectively pointless, and is not a preventative at all. All it does it stress your hog for absolutely no reason.

I've also never heard of dandelions being toxic; daffodils are toxic to many species, but dandelion should be perfectly safe... as far as I'm aware, at least. I havent heard of any species to which it poses a toxicity risk; certainly not any commonly kept one anyway.

Its what I was told to do by I cant remember who now.
I was also told to use a small animal insecticide spray after to make sure.

And I was told dandelions are toxic. If they got it wrong then okay, but to be honest its not like I can just google it, because thats how they got it in the first place.

But your waking up a nocturnal animal to go outside in the day, but it has no benefit to them. Most hedgehogs would rather no be out there and just try to keep hiding or getting out the harsh sun.

I cant have Holly out in my garden anyway, as most of it is patio and gets really hot so she cant go on it. And the grass gets sprayed with something I cant remember but she cant go near it (we have no other pets)
Plus Holly is really light sensitive, around my house we dont have majorly bright lights (because I'm very light sensitive myself) so the sun would really hurt her eyes like it does mine, but unlike me where I can protect my eyes from the sun light. Holly Cant. So I'd rather not put her through that either.

Ria 05-02-2019 05:05 AM

Also its far from natural taking them outside in the day/light. Do you see ANY wild hedgehogs outside in the day ?? No. Do you see them going out to explore the garden in the light ?? No. So why take your pet hedgehog outside in the day, when its likely hurt the their eyes, and give them higher risks to illness. Also the sun can put them at a higher risk of skin cancer (especially albinos and pintos)
Hedgehogs are nocturnal for a reason. And hide from light for a reason.

Emc 05-02-2019 05:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ria (Post 1073382)
Its what I was told to do by I cant remember who now.
I was also told to use a small animal insecticide spray after to make sure.

And I was told dandelions are toxic. If they got it wrong then okay, but to be honest its not like I can just google it, because thats how they got it in the first place.

I cant have Holly out in my garden anyway, as most of it is patio and gets really hot so she cant go on it. And the grass gets sprayed with something I cant remember but she cant go near it (we have no other pets)

But your waking up a nocturnal animal to go outside during the day, but it has no benefit. And theres more hogs who dont like it than do. (They tend to try hide because they dont like really like being woken up to be brought out into the harsh sunlight)
Plus Holly is really light sensitive, around my house we dont have majorly bright lights (because I'm very light sensitive myself) so the sun would really hurt her eyes like it does mine, but unlike me where I can protect my eyes from the sun light. Holly Cant. So I'd rather not put her through that either.

Not power levelling, simply making a statement haha; I study parasitology, in addition to epidemiology - warm water alone, even accompanied with a basic shampoo or not, is not sufficient at killing parasites. Even OTC insecticides have very poor success rates. They are also super easy to access, thus are incredibly over-used and often incorrectly used; which can cause resistance issues, further rendering them effectively useless.

I've also never heard of dandelions being toxic (they're actually awesome for their diuretic properties, and are used as a supplementation for many animals). Unless the person who made these original claims got mixed up with daffodils, I personally have never heard of a species to which dandelion poses a toxicity risk.
Not saying one doesn't exist! I just havent heard of one.

Now bringing a nocturnal animals outdoors is a valid argument, but even nocturnal animals can and do venture out occasionally (< keyword here folks!) during daylight. I wouldn't say it has no benefit at all, I know Coco does appear to be genuinely enjoying herself when we let her explore the garden for a while (never by herself, ofc) and it provides a lot of stimulation for them. but she always has the option to go back in her snuggle sack if she wants to - and that's my nod to know that she'd had enough, and wants to go back in which case she is promptly brought back indoors.

Not all hedgehogs are the same of course, and some will absolutely hate being outdoors. But i think this needs to be assessed individually, and only the owner can make that decision as they know their animal best. If your hedgehog seems distressed/overall not having a good time, don't bring them outdoors. Otherwise, i (personally) see no issue with it at all.

Ria 05-02-2019 06:08 AM

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I'm not saying its a bad idea to take them outside. Because yes some hedgehogs do like it. But some hedgehogs don't and this does need to be known to look for too.

I think it also depends when you take them outside, if your taking them outside, If I had the right type of garden for Holly to go out, I wouldn't take her out until late afternoon when the sun isnt directly on my back garden, so that the sun isnt as harsh for her, but even then I dont think Holly would like it.

Also what type of garden you have and what sorta things you'd put in your garden because most things like weed killer ect aren't going to be safe for them (or any animal really)

If your hedgehog genuinely enjoys it then it would be good exploring time, but the risks do need to be known even if they are minor. I wasnt saying it as a "no dont do this because of this" but the risks need to be known so that if symptoms occur of a parasite its not totally shocking to people.

I was more pointing things out to take into consideration before taking a hedgehog outside.

Its not very common to see a nocturnal animal out in the day or light and generally when you do its because they are ill or they cant find enough food at night. Its very rare especially with a hedgehog.

There's not really an issue and in the end its up to you and your hog, but knowing the risks is better than not knowing. In my opinion anyway

taralynnc 05-02-2019 07:39 AM

Hi, everyone!

Thank you so much for all of your help insight. Perhaps if I take her out, I'll try either early in the morning or later in the day (closer to sunrise and sunset), so the sun isn't very strong and it won't disrupt her sleep too much.

I'll keep her away from daffodils AND dandelions- just to be safe! :):mrgreen:

Mecki 05-02-2019 10:07 PM

I was thinking the same thing when I read about dandelions - I've always seen them as safe. I know they are known in the pet rabbit world as being quite safe for rabbits. I looked it up and, yes, dandelions are on the safe list for hedgehogs:
http://www.hedgehogcare101.com/hedgehog-food-list/

On a totally separate note, I just love the way those of you from the UK refer to a yard as a "garden." It always conjures up such pleasant images. :D


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