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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Hedgehog Central!

I just got my new little fella a couple of days ago. I've never owned one before and honestly, the giver might not have been totally aware of the impact these little pricklers have on one's life :)

I'm learning so much and always afraid that i'm not learning fast enough but I do have one major hurdle coming up and i was hoping to get some advice.

That hurdle, namely is christmas travel. We go to my mother's place every year on boxing day and THIS year, we've got a brand new baby hedgehog to worry over. I don't want to leave him alone... he tips his food and water, babysitters (who sit my other pets) are all a little scared of him, and on top of that i have three spoiled cats who think he's just the most interesting thing they've ever seen!

I'm thinking of taking him but seeing as he's new, scared, prickly and generally irritated at this stage in our relationship, will it traumatize him horribly to travel this early in the game? I've got everything i need to travel with him including hand warmers and a small, hard sided cat carrier but i'm just afraid of traumatizing him for life by moving him around so much in his first week with us.

I love this little animal despite his prickles and want him to be safe, happy and healthy.

Any suggestions?

Thanks and merry christmas forum!
 

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Hey there,

Congrats on the hedgie! We'd love to see pictures.

Were are you located? Maybe someone here lives nearby and would take him in while you're away?
 

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I haven't travelled for more than a day yet, so most of what my input is from what I have read here - hopefully it will help :)

Travelling with a hedgehog is tough, the temperature can be hard to regulate during travel and at destination. Some hedgehogs get carsick, and most don't do well with environment changes. Although your babysitters/housesitters might be afraid of touching your hedgie they really don't need to in order to take good care of him while you are away. Mostly they just need to make sure he is alive in the morning/night, maintain the temperature/light schedule, clean cage/wheel, replace food and water, and make sure your cats don't try to play with him (although your hedgie would likely win that situation :) but best to avoid it!). Hedgehogs are solitary animals, the time we spend playing/cuddling with them is more for us than anything. He would be ok without having bonding time for a few nights, and it would almost be better to have babysitters leave him alone since they are nervous and so is he.

It is a rough time of year to get a new hedgehog and then have to travel, but with the adjustment he is making to your home I think it would really stress him out to have to be moved again. I think he would be ok if you showed your housesitters how to take care of him without having to touch him, explained what to do if he attempts hibernation/seems sick, and leave vet info. You could even leave your log-in info or at least the website to these forums for them to look up info if they needed too.

I am happy to see you are a good owner and have done some research :) They are so different from other pets, but totally worth it :) Good luck!

Edited to add: If you do decide to keep him home you can help him bond with you while you are gone by sleeping in a shirt now and leaving it in his cage so he can smell you :)
 

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Depending on how many days you will be a way one option you could do is see if the people pet sitting would be willing to pick him up with the help of one of his fleece blankets if they are afraid. I used to put my hedgie on a fleece blanket in the tub but now what I do that seems to work well is I have plastic totes so I just set them in their own tote while I clean and makes things go faster cause I can keep an eye one them the whole time and not running back and forth to peak. They could pick them up with the blanket and set into the tote, throw wet liner into an open air basket for when you get home and replace with a new one. Doing it like this takes 5 minutes tops and might be something they would feel comfortable doing and it would be accomplishing a few things at the same time cause they would be able to see that the hedgie is okay and 5 min later the cage would be clean and he could snuggle back to sleep.

If this doesn't work though the traveling thing can be done. You'll just want to make sure to have a heatting plan set up for the carrier (mitten warmers, snugglesafe ect). Stuff some extra blankets in the carrier and it will help keep him from sliding around Helps to bring bedding that has their scent on it. I brought fresh liners but didn't wash his igloo blankets when I had to travel with mine. Another thing is to make sure to bring the wheel cause a bored hedgie can get into trouble :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much everyone for the quick replies! I've been going out of my mind for two days trying to get this all sorted out before we travel and it's comforting to see so many people here who know what they're talking about. The more i learn, the more i realize i don't know! It's overwhelming but i'm determined to figure it all out.

So the status update on our little fella (who is now named Hodge.. he seems to like that better that isosceles kramer) is that he WILL probably have to travel with us as our sitter is ALSO traveling during that period and no one else is free at this time of year on short notice....

If i find a good willing Samaritan to sit for him, great! He'll stay. But if we just can't get anyone I've come up with a master list of things i'll need to take and a plan for getting him to and from the car. Can someone tell me if this sounds good?

STUFF I'M BRINGING:
-food
-several liners
-bag of shavings
-wheel
-hedgie bag
-hand warmers

GETTING HIM TO AND FROM THE CAR:
- He'll be in his hedgie blanket that i made him. The blanket also has a pocket (it was made out of an old fleece hoodie) where i'll stick a few hand warmers.
- The whole setup will be inside my coat against my chest. He doesn't mind too much being cuddled against my chest.. he'll hiss a little if he's surprised but otherwise, he's so good.
- we have a chihuahua carrier that has been modified into a "travel cage" he can rest in while in the car

AT THE DESTINATION
- he'll either live in this carrier for the duration of the trip or there will be a small hamster cage waiting for him on arrival.

One question.. how long does it take for a little hedgehog to go into hibernation? My father always keeps the car ridiculously warm so the only cold air he should be dealing with will be to and from the car. We want to avoid this at all costs.

Obviously the best option here is to leave him home and i'm aggressively trying to track down a sitter. I would far prefer this. The above lists were just checklists in case the worst happens and he has to come.

Thank you so much!
And yes, to answer one question, I'll be posting pictures of him very soon!
 

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I would also bring a thermometer. The one I found as a probe you can put down in the carrier & has a wire leading to the digital face. That way you don't have to try & guess if it's warm enough for him.
Also, a container with some of your water from home. Sounds funny, but sometimes the water is a bit different in area & can be enough to upset their tummy.
I also bring some wet washcloths in a baggie, in case there is an accident. Some hedgies can get a little car sick.
Last thing I could think of - a small heating unit. Likely where you are staying won't be warm enough all the time.
Hope it goes well!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello everyone!

Well Hodge had to come with us but it's ok! He's a great little traveler.. slept the whole way down. And far from being stressed at the destination, he's had a grand time! We've bonded even more since the trip (in fact, last night was the first night he and i played without me having to protect my hands in any way :)) and he's perfectly content living in the dog carrier for the few days we're here.

I think i was more panicked than necessary.. it's like that with any new pet i guess. But this was a major hurdle/milestone he's passed.. (and with flying colours i might add)

Thanks to everyone who gave all the great advice and suggestions. I took all of them and was able to keep him warm, comfy and happy the whole time. We return tomorrow and honestly, as spoiled as he's been here, i doubt he'll want to leave.

Happy new year all!

Ella and Hodge
 
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