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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was considering getting one because I've wanted one for about 3 years but now I could actually get one if I wanted to. So, I've been reading care sheets and it seemed like everything was not too complicated and yesterday I posted on another forum asking what other people (who had hedgehogs) thought about them.

One person replied and said all of this stuff about how they are extremely difficult to take care of, that they have to have a certain humidity (and I never read anything about that...I know they have to be at a certain temperature, but I saw nothing about humidity in all of the care sheets I read) They then proceeded to tell me that they spent 20 hrs a week "on their hedgehogs." And yes, I understand that any animal will require you to take time out of your day specifically for them, but I just don't understand how it could be that much! That's enough to be a part time job!!

So, I came here to get advice from more people...are hedgehogs really that difficult?? Was I uninformed or am I reading the wrong care sheets?
 

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They aren't difficult but because of their temperature requirements and the texture of their poop that gets smushed all over the wheel, there is more care needed than other small pets.

The temperature is a biggy and many people find it to be overwhelming but once you get a good heating system in place, there is nothing more to it. Cleaning a poopy wheel daily is usually a necessity and cleaning poopy feet is often necessary. They also need nail trims which for some can be a challenge.

They don't need a certain humidity other than very dry air will dry out their skin, just like us.

Sure, I spend 20+ hours a week cleaning and feeding my hedgehogs but then at any given time I have anywhere from 16 - 38 adults plus babies. :lol:
 

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Well, once you set everything up right and buy the right items, no they are not difficult in my opinion. Dogs need more attention, I think. Here is a little to do list so it might help you decide if it's too much work.

Morning:
Check temperature of cage
Take hedgie out and check him over for injuries, etc

Evening (before he gets up):
Clean out litter pan and wheel
Fresh food and water
Vacuum debris from liners
Check temperature of cage
PLAY! Or snuggle :)

Every couple days:
Change out the liners and wipe the pan and bars of the cage
Clean out his tube that connects his loft to the main part of cage
Poopy feet bath at this time, or a full bath if he needs it (I only do the full bath every couple of weeks, but I do it when I do a cage wipe down and liner change)
Nail trim if needed

Weekly:
Weigh him
Wash the liners that have accumulated through the week

Am I forgetting anything here? Hehe. I don't think so, but I'll add to this if I remember something later. So once you have done the research and get the proper items for the set up, no they are not really high maintenance. But they aren't maintenance free, either. And as far as I know they do not need a specific humidity. Hope this helps!
 

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Do you know i thought exactly the same as you. Me and my boyfriend decided we wanted a pet hedgie about 2 months ago so i spent nearly 2 months researching and some sites just plain put you off. They scare you don't they. Just because they all hit you with these ideas and they all tell you whats wrong but dont tell you whats right. I was a little nervous and put off as well. We got our hedgie a week ago and he's been extremely good and easy to take care of. As Nancy said above you just have to make sure the temp is right thats the main thing. Everything else just falls into place when looking after them like any other pet.

I have 3 littles dogs (who are a handful) a rabbit and a hedgie, the hedgie is no problem at all. They do need to be handled every day so they are used to you, but id say 20 hours a week is quite alot to spend on 1 pet, when most people have kids/other pets aswel.

IMO i'd definately recommend getting one, i havent looked back once since getting him, and because you've wanted one for so long you clearly will look after it and have put alot of thought into the lil hedgies arrival.
 

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Are they difficult, not really. I spend at least two hours daily with mine for attention/play time (often more) and maybe another 20 minutes each day for wheel cleaning, cage cleaning, weighing & food prep for 3 hedgehogs. I spend probably a little more time with attention/play than some do.

The hardest part about hedgehogs is their temperature requirement, especially this time of year. It can be very frustrating as the day temperatures are up around 74, and at night we are dropping to 34. Be prepared for higher heating bills and to have to turn the furnace on much earlier than you ever had to before.
 

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I'd like to add though that (it seems) everyone here is posting about healthy hedgies. A healthy hedgie, once set up is very easy to take care of & I think most people hit that on the head.

However as with all pets, hedgies can get sick and you need to be ready for that responsability. I can't speak directly to that though I'm sure other people can. As with any pet, sick pets can cost a lot of money and you need to be ready to take on that responsability if the need arises.

A friend of mine has a kitten who gets into everything - opening the jewlery box & eating earings, ripping the window screen out and falling out the window/out of trees, getting into fights with neighbours pets. Most recently he managed to open her tool box and she found him licking his lips surrounded by a bunch of nails. There is a good chance he may have eaten one of them. She's spent over $1000 in the past month already on vet bills and if he ate a nail, she's going to be spending even more. Her comment, "I never knew cats could be like this!"

I'm not trying to scare you off getting a hedgie. They are great animals, suprisingly full of personality once you get to know yours, and when set up are easy to care for. I strongly however feel that every pet owner needs to be ready, willing & able to care for an animal in the case of emergency & medical bills before taking on the responsability. It's only fair to the pet. If a medical situation becomes too much then you need to find someone else who can care for the pet (sorry, this is a bit of a rant against my friend & the cat possibly eatting nails as well).
 

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Yes Silvercat is correct, vet bills are definately one to watch, especially with the smaller animals, our rabbit has cost us more than any of our dogs have ever cost us, although we did not have the rabbit from a baby therefore we had the vet bills from the first owners mis-treatment of her. But people don't tend to think about how much little animals do cost at the vets.

Do you have pet insurance in America? I'm getting my hedgie insured, so if he does develop a long term illness the insurance will pay for it all. Likewise with my doggies insurance. Thats definately something to look into if you don't think you can afford the vet bills, or you have alot of pets.
 

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The example of the cat is a bit extreme silvercat but I understand why you would be frustrated with your friend/ the whole situation.

I agree with the thought though. Hedgehogs can get sick and if they do they may require syringe feeding, and/or syringing meds multiple times a day. They may require an even higher temperature than they do normally and their cage may need to be cleaned more often. I've been luck and have never had to deal with a sick hedgehog but I've read the stories on here about people dealing with everything from surprise litters, injuries from falling, burns, and digestive upsets.

Another thing to consider is who will look after the hedgehog if you go on vaccation. I thought that I had friends and family that would be willing to pet sit for me when I got Quigley. When it came time to find someone to look after him for a week there were surprisingly limited options.

Finally there is no guarantee what your hedgehog's temperament will be. You will have to be prepared to love and care for, a snuggler, an explorer, a sea urchin, or a biter.
 

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The vacation thing is a good point, they can't go a day without care. If you buy from a breeder they will sometimes be able to offer vacation sitting. Most reputable breeders are very concious of hedgehog needs and would rather help out than have an unhappy hedgie! My breeder will vacation watch for free, but I also have close friends who would love to help (but I would be a bit more worried than the "professional" option).

It seems like everyone is bringing up the worst case scenarios here, so please keep that in mind! Chances are if you research and set-up properly before you bring your little guy or girl home you will find having a hedgehog interesting, fun, and not that much work :D
 

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I am a new hedgie owner, my little Latte is only 6 weeks old and like 2 days and iv had her since she was 6 weeks.
She is actually very easy to care for so far, cleaning, feeding,watering, and playing!!
its really not that bad, and when you are cleaning, think of it as fun not a chore :)
 

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I got my hedgie about 6 months ago and agree with everyone that the general day to day care is easy, but i've had a few problems since.

These included housing (I've had to buy 3 different houses due to him not liking vivarium), different wheels (lack of my research!), an on going dry skin problem and recently an undiagnosed tummy upset, sleepless nights of worry and he's also a grumpy little man.

Despite all this he is 100% worth not only every penny, but every minute i have with him. I still get to do my own thing, but enjoy spending the evenings with him and the feeling of looking after something so precious.He;s my baby :p

Like any pet nothing is guaranteed, some dogs are harder than others etc, but i promise that any extra time or money you end up spending will be worth it. :D
 

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Tasha said:
I got my hedgie about 6 months ago and agree with everyone that the general day to day care is easy, but i've had a few problems since.

These included housing (I've had to buy 3 different houses due to him not liking vivarium), different wheels (lack of my research!), an on going dry skin problem and recently an undiagnosed tummy upset, sleepless nights of worry and he's also a grumpy little man.

Despite all this he is 100% worth not only every penny, but every minute i have with him. I still get to do my own thing, but enjoy spending the evenings with him and the feeling of looking after something so precious.He;s my baby :p

Like any pet nothing is guaranteed, some dogs are harder than others etc, but i promise that any extra time or money you end up spending will be worth it. :D
I agree with this 100%
My hedgehog isnt just my pet but she's my baby.
I have only had her for a few days but i always went to see her when she was with the person i got her from and i loved seeing her, i always wanted to bring her home early, but i knew couldnt :p
I go to work which i get off late, around 11pm every night so im a night person and then i come home and i always have my little girl to look froward to.
I stay up and play with her and i think she really likes playing with me.
It doesnt bother me to clean her cage or wheel or feed her or anything, because i know me doing that makes her happy, and i want to make sure she is always happy.
you wont regret getting one :D
 

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No I don't really find hedgehogs are that hard to look after, I have had Sonic well over a month now, and the only things I do in the morning when I get up is clean his wheel (15mins max) check food bowl refill if I have to, check water bottle during hot days he has a bath tub (water bowl, that I see him in sometimes). All of those things take about 30mins tops before I go to work and I don't have to even wake up my party animal... Well except the times he falls asleep at the wheel... That's different, then I let him roam around on my bed as I surf the net, or play video games. Or I take him to climb Mount Pillowtus (hand under him the whole way so he doesn't fall), and some times I would find him next to my ds wondering how to play, or he has pressed a few buttons since I know I had more lives... He is really funny...
 

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Now keep in mind that I have only had my hedgie for about 2 months, but I really don't think they are any harder to take care of than any other caged pet. The difficult thing about hedgehogs in my opinion is preparing to get one, but once you have a good setup ( an easy accessable cage for cleaning, proper heating, right diet etc...) the day to day care is not that bad. Any animal can get health problems so that is always something to consider and try to prevent. The biggest things I have found are that you can't leave them alone for even a day if you are going out of town, and you NEED to play with them daily to keep them used to you and friendly. Not to mention that whole hedgie attitude ( that huffing, popping, leave me alone you annoying human I was having the most wonderful dream till you came along and disturbed me, attitude) can take some getting used to :)

But seriously I combed through every bit of information on this site before getting my hedgie and so far I haven't run into any surprises since bringing him home. This site is VERY informative, so if your reading all the stuff on here you should already have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

I spend about an hour a day caring for Milo, unless play time is extended :)
 

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I've had Ender 5 months and I wouldn't say he's been that much extra work. Hopefully those folks don't consider bonding/play time as work. I'd recommend getting one of the Cake Walk Supreme wheels from the start, though. It definitely cut down on my daily wheel cleaning time.

Like my hamster, it's a guessing game on what foods he'll eat (other than the cat food). Currently he's turning his nose up at bananas, a former favorite. That's part of the fun.

The nights are sort of getting cooler so I've set up the heat lamp and will be worried about that for awhile.

To me a dog sounds like sooo much more work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you so much everyone for the responses...I knew that person who told me that had to be way off or was doing something wrong. I appreciate everyone's input!! I'm going to be researching more on this site before I get one for sure but I really want one!

I've already considered the vacation thing too, I have a bearded dragon that also cannot be left alone for more than a day. But I'm also in college so vacation isn't really a likely thing that will be happening anytime soon haha :lol:

Same with vet bills/getting sick. I've grown up with 7+ cats and a dog at my parents house so I'm well aware of how much vet bills can cost >_< We've had our share of sick animals throughout the years :/

Though I do need to find a vet here that knows hedgehogs in case of an emergency.

Does anyone have any good websites for breeders though? I live in Houston, TX and I can't seem to find any breeders here. They have them here at some pet stores but I don't really trust that...


Once again, thank you everyone who responded!! I didn't even expect to get so many replies to this so I'm really glad :] I will definitely be back here if and when I get a hedgehog
 

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picklified said:
Thank you so much everyone for the responses...I knew that person who told me that had to be way off or was doing something wrong. I appreciate everyone's input!! I'm going to be researching more on this site before I get one for sure but I really want one!

I've already considered the vacation thing too, I have a bearded dragon that also cannot be left alone for more than a day. But I'm also in college so vacation isn't really a likely thing that will be happening anytime soon haha :lol:

Same with vet bills/getting sick. I've grown up with 7+ cats and a dog at my parents house so I'm well aware of how much vet bills can cost >_< We've had our share of sick animals throughout the years :/

Though I do need to find a vet here that knows hedgehogs in case of an emergency.

Does anyone have any good websites for breeders though? I live in Houston, TX and I can't seem to find any breeders here. They have them here at some pet stores but I don't really trust that...

Once again, thank you everyone who responded!! I didn't even expect to get so many replies to this so I'm really glad :] I will definitely be back here if and when I get a hedgehog
i think if you just google "Hedgehogs for sale in Houston, Texas" you will find Ton's of hedgehogs for sale in your area, also you could google "Hedgehog breeders in Texas" and there should be lots of links to lists of breeders in your area :)

Good luck :D

p.s. make sure you post pics and ideas for your cage ASAP!!! along with ones of your soon to be hedgehog baby if you will get any pics!
 

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I just picked up my hedgelet Sunday from Mrs. Tiggy Winkle's in Carrollton. I live in Austin, so I'd hoped to find a closer breeder than a Dallas suburb, but there aren't any in this part of the state.

My experience with MTW's has been very positive. They are USDA licensed, are very knowledgeable, and very obviously care a lot about their hedgies. Our new baby is already very social with us, considering the transition.

Have fun. :)
 

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Finally there is no guarantee what your hedgehog's temperament will be. You will have to be prepared to love and care for, a snuggler, an explorer, a sea urchin, or a biter.
Oh my goodness I want this in my signature! Or in yours! That is a great piece of advice.

Pet-sitting became an issue recently for me, thankfully a family member stepped in but they only did basic upkeep care, did not handle them/give them attention.

My life and schedule has changed thanks to the hedgehogs, and I wont be going back to a life without them. I'd say startup takes the most time, getting them settled in and having everything you need, getting yourself on a schedule of caring for them. After that its like any other pet, has its rewards that outweigh any drawbacks.
 

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krbshappy71 said:
Finally there is no guarantee what your hedgehog's temperament will be. You will have to be prepared to love and care for, a snuggler, an explorer, a sea urchin, or a biter.
Oh my goodness I want this in my signature! Or in yours! That is a great piece of advice
Thank you. I don't have a problem if you want to quote it in your signature. I think I got it from else where on the forum (or it's a combination of things that have been mentioned). I think it was Nancy that called them sea urchins the first time.
 
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