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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-27-2012 11:46 PM
Lilysmommy
Re: What should I know before I adopt a hedgehog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HedgeHogKid
Man... not sure if I can do all this. To all you guys, is it worth it to pay all these expenses? Do you feel like you have money well-spent?
To put it simply...yes.

In the three and a half years I had Lily, I spent a LOT of time and money on her. She was my baby, and I had a great time spoiling her rotten. I didn't start out in the best way with her (I didn't do enough research and had some mistakes to correct), but luckily I hadn't made any serious mistakes and everything worked out. She taught me so much - about how to be a good pet owner, and the commitment it takes when something or someone depends solely on you.

For hedgehogs specifically, they take a special person to love them. But to that special person, they're definitely worth all of the fuss and expense. They require patience, understanding, love, and time. If you can give them these (and the proper care), you get rewarded with tiny things that are made SO much bigger by the meaning behind them. For a huffy hedgehog, the first peek of a nose as they start to unball, or the first time they're willing to sit on your lap without huffing or hissing constantly. Even with a friendly hedgehog, they show in little ways how much they trust you - sleeping on you uncovered, choosing to snuggle on you rather than a stranger, letting you pet a vulnerable area like their face or belly. All of these things mean more when you have to work hard to earn them.
04-27-2012 10:59 PM
MLHollywood
Quote:
Originally Posted by HedgeHogKid
Man... not sure if I can do all this. To all you guys, is it worth it to pay all these expenses? Do you feel like you have money well-spent?
There's ways to keep the money down. Fleece liners will save you one bedding, and converted rubbermaid containers for a hedgie home shouldn't cost you all that much. Heat lamps don't take any more electricity than an average lamp (of comparable wattage), and the wheels/accessories are usually a one time buy!

The initial cost does seem a little overwhelming, but shop around, write prices down, and add things up. Amazon is a great place to shop when you can bundle things together for free shipping (like I did with my heat lamp, bulb, thermostat, and scale). I'm glad you're thinking about all this before getting one though. It seems like a lot of folks get in over their heads.

EDIT: I just realized I pretty much said what everyone else did and didn't answer the question! Sorry about that >.<
04-27-2012 10:46 PM
HedgeHogKid
Re: What should I know before I adopt a hedgehog?

Man... not sure if I can do all this. To all you guys, is it worth it to pay all these expenses? Do you feel like you have money well-spent?
04-24-2012 12:23 AM
HedgieQuills
Re: What should I know before I adopt a hedgehog?

Like everyone said, read the stickies Haha, yeaaah. Before I got Juniper, I researched for like EVER, like 4 months . It's always important to do your research, and make sure you have all your supplies before you get a hedgehog. There's a lot of responsibility to it, and if you can't financially provide for your hedgehog, it probably won't be the best pet for you. They aren't like puppies or kitties or anything, and they don't come out to play in the day. They're more like sleepy pets who play in the night, which is perfect for those who are like busy in the day.
You need to like be able to give it at least 30 minutes of socialization everyday, either putting him/her on your lap, or just keeping him/her in a hedgie sack on your lap. As long as it gets used to your scent

Hedgehogs have to be at a 72-78 F consistant temperature. Otherwise, it may attempt hibernation, succeed and die. The vet bills are pretty high as it goes.. since it is exotic.

So many more things, but of course, reading the important posts are super helpful, so yeah!

Hope you have fun with your new hedgehog when you get it!
04-23-2012 10:27 PM
moxieberry
Re: What should I know before I adopt a hedgehog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by abzx10r
Hey two questions now for sure!

My hedgehog will not eat insects, I have tried two sizes of mealworms and 2 sizes of crickets...She still doesn't like them. I even let a couple crickets go in her cage thinking maybe she would chase them=they just died!

So my question is, since she won't eat insects; will a diet of a few types of high end cat food mixed in with fruits & veggies be enough or should I keep trying on insects??

Second question is, I don't have a heater on my cage, didn't know I should. Yet I keep my house at 72-76 degrees ALWAYS...We have a few breeds of animals that are on strick heating cycles aka 72-76 ALWAYS!
Insects aren't necessary. Fruits and vegetables aren't even necessary. It's great to include those things for variety, but a hedgehog will lead a long and health life just eating high quality dry cat food - meaning good ingredients and the correct protein/fat percentages. My boy won't touch insects, and he only eats one thing besides kibble (watermelon). He turns six months old in two days - I'm pretty sure he's set in his ways.
04-23-2012 09:32 PM
abzx10r
Re: What should I know before I adopt a hedgehog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coribelle
You should at least have a digital thermometer in the cage at all times to monitor the temperature to make sure it is staying constant and at a good level (:
Buying one tonight!
04-23-2012 09:30 PM
coribelle
Re: What should I know before I adopt a hedgehog?

You should at least have a digital thermometer in the cage at all times to monitor the temperature to make sure it is staying constant and at a good level (:
04-23-2012 09:26 PM
abzx10r
Re: What should I know before I adopt a hedgehog?

Hey two questions now for sure!

My hedgehog will not eat insects, I have tried two sizes of mealworms and 2 sizes of crickets...She still doesn't like them. I even let a couple crickets go in her cage thinking maybe she would chase them=they just died!

So my question is, since she won't eat insects; will a diet of a few types of high end cat food mixed in with fruits & veggies be enough or should I keep trying on insects??

Second question is, I don't have a heater on my cage, didn't know I should. Yet I keep my house at 72-76 degrees ALWAYS...We have a few breeds of animals that are on strick heating cycles aka 72-76 ALWAYS!
04-23-2012 07:55 PM
LarryT
Re: What should I know before I adopt a hedgehog?

Also the smell of fresh poop can be more than lots of people can handle while trying to sleep. Air purifiers can help, a good one is like $100 or so.
04-23-2012 07:50 PM
HedgieGirl519
Re: What should I know before I adopt a hedgehog?

There is A LOT that you need to know before getting a hedgehog. They aren't an easy pet to care for, they take a lot of work, care and money.

Here's things that I can think of off the top of my head.

1. You need to know that they can live for over 5 years. Can you make that commitment?
2. What will you do if you are allergic to the hedgehog?
3. Do you still live at home (it seems like you do)? Will you're parents 100% for sure let you have a hedgehog?
4. What will you do when you go to university? If you live in a dorm, you can't take the hedgie. Not all apartments allow pets.
5. Do you live in a city where hedgehogs are legal to own?
6. Can you afford to keep a hedgehog? You NEED to have AT LEAST $300 set aside for vet bills. This is a MUST.
7. Do you have an exotic vet who is experienced and KNOWLEDGEABLE about hedgehogs?

Cage:
Hedgehogs need a cage that is at least 4 square feet (2 feet x 2 feet). That is the minimum. Do you have space for this size of cage? Can you afford to buy a cage? If the hedgehog comes with a cage it will most likely be too small or dangerous. The cage must have a solid bottom (no wire bottom) and the bars should run " I " not " __ " (Vertical not horizontal)

Heating:
Hedgehogs NEED their cage to be at 73-78 F (23-25 C) all the time. You will need to have a heat source to keep the cage this temperature. You're option are a space heater or ceramic heat emitter. Will your parents allow you to run these 24/7? They can be a fire hazard, especially a space heater. I personally would never use a space heater, because they aren't supposed to be used while no one is home or while you sleep. A space heater will be around $40-$60, can you afford this? For a ceramic heat emitter you need the following items:

-Clamp Lamp 10 inches: $20
-Ceramic Heat Emitter: $30-40
-Thermostat: $30-$40
Can you afford this?

You will also need at least one thermometer in the cage. The bigger the cage, the more you'll need. You need a digital thermometer, this will be around $10-$20. Can you afford this?

Lighting:
Hedgehogs need to be on a 12-14 hour light cycle. For this you will need a lamp or light on a timer. If you buy a lamp make sure it is bright enough to light up the whole cage, it must be plugged into a timer so it automatically turns on and off. The light has to be turned on during the day and turned off at night. So you would have the timer set to turn on at 8AM and off at 9PM. Can you afford a light and timer?

Diet:
Hedgehogs need a special diet. Commercial hedgehog food isn't healthy and some brands are actually life threatening! You want to feed you hedgehog a mixture of 2-3 (or more) HIGH QUALITY DRY CAT FOODS. Each bag will cost $15-$30. Can you afford to pay $45-$90 for food? Once opened, cat food lasts for 6 months, if frozen it lasts for 12 months.

Hedgehogs are insectivores which means they eat insects. You will want to feet insects to you hedgehog. Never use freeze-dried insects. Buy live insects and either keep them live or put them in the freezer after buying. But never freeze-dried from the store.
Will you parents let you keep live bugs in the house?
Will you parents let you keep frozen bugs in the freezer?
Will you parents let you keep bugs in the fridge?
Can you afford to buy bugs


The most common are mealworms and crickets. Before freezing them, you'll want to gutload them with vegetables.

Wheel:
Hedgehogs MUST have a wheel. The ONLY safe wheel from petstores is the 12" Giant Comfort Wheel. Never use a Silent Spinner, Mesh or Wire wheels. These are dangerous. The most recommended wheels are the Carolina Storm Wheel and Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel made by LarryT on this website.
Comfort Wheel: $20-$30
Carolina Storm Wheel: $30 + Shipping
Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel: $25 + Shipping
Can you afford this?

Hedgehogs run on their wheels all night. If you get a Comfort Wheel they are loud. While they are running they poop and pee. The wheel will me caked in poop every morning, and will have to be cleaned everyday. Are you will to scrub hard poop of the wheel every single day?

Bedding:
The best and safest bedding for hedgehogs is fleece fabric. You can also use flannel, cotton, or other materials, but they must be sewn. If you use fleece you just cut it to fit the cage and put it in. You will want to have at least 2 liners so you can change them. When you wash the liners, you MUST you NON-SCENTED laundry detergent.
Will you be allowed to wash the liners? (Some moms don't like this)
Can you afford to buy non-scented laundry detergent? (Most people use scented)
Can you afford to buy fleece from a fabric store? $20-$50 or more

Any bedding that you buy from a pet store (carefresh, shavings) can carrying mites. If your hedgehog gets mites, you will need to take it to the vet and get Revolution (mite treatment). If you use shavings, never use cedar. Only use Aspen or KILN DRIED pine. Again, fleece is the MOST recommended bedding.

Other points:

1. Hedgehogs are nocturnal which means they sleep all day and are awake all night. During the day when you want to "play" with them, they will be sleeping.

2. Hedgehogs don't play with you like a dog, cat, ferret, rat, guinea pig, etc. They are basically like rocks that eat and poop.

3. Hedgehogs are solitary animals, they won't want or need your attention, like the above animals. (There are a FEW that do want attention, but not many).

4. Hedgehogs move around their cage a lot all night. If their cage is in your room you WILL hear them and you might not be able to sleep if you're a light sleeper.

5. At night, when the cage light is turned off, you need to be quiet. If you are making noise, the hedgehog won't come out and eat, drink, wheel, poo, pee, etc.

6. After the cage light is turned off, it has to stay completely dark. This means if the cage is in your room, you can't have your bedroom light on past 9PM (or when you shut the light off). If you are in your room, you will have to sit in the dark. Some hedgehogs won't even come out from a laptop screen light.

7. If you have friends over you will have to be quiet at night.

8. This hedgehog was probably not well looked after or well socialized. Socialization is important. It may NEVER warm up to you.

9. Hedgehogs require daily handling for at least an hour.

10. Vet bills are EXPENSIVE. And yes, hedgehogs do need to go to the vet, just like a dog or cat.
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