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I just got a hedgie a few days ago and have read up on them a bit. She is 4 1/2 months old and is in a plastic storage bin set up with bedding, a wheel, and her food and water bowl (I'll get toys as soon as possible and am making a dig box). I am in a dorm and my roommate hates is uncomfortable in the heat. I wanted to put a heating pad under the cage, but I am not sure this will work for a plastic cage. What are my options here and where do I get the supplies to properly heat the cage? I mostly need to know what kind and if the heating pad is safe with plastic?
Thanks so much,
Sandi
 

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Heating Pads are no good for keeping your hedgehog warm as they do not actually warm the cage/container or the air inside. It'll keep your hedgehog warm while she is asleep, but when she gets up to eat or wheel, she's going to move into cooler air, and if its too cool for her, she'll attempt hibernation. Heating pads are only recommended for additional heat, typically for sick or elderly hogs, what you need a Ceramic Heat Emitter which is what most people use here (the others have hedgehog rooms which they keep the entire room up to temperature).

First, if you don't have a digital thermometer for inside the cage/container, you need to get one so you can tell exactly what the temperature is inside the cage/container. Best one is an indoor / outdoor with a probe on a wire, you put the display at the top, the 'outdoor' wire probe inside about floor level in the rear middle of the container.

A Ceramic Heat Emitter setup is three things.

1. A 10 inch Heat Lamp with ceramic socket (part the bulb screws into).

2. A 100 Watt Ceramic Heat Emitter bulb (if its a very large container, might need a 150 watt). This is a strange bulb device which gives off no light, just heat, kind of looks like the burner of an electric stove wrapped in plastic.

3. A Thermostat (not a rheostat). This is a device that you plug the heat lamp into, it has a temperature probe that goes inside the container and will turn the CHE Lamp on and off to regulate the temperature. The two I recommend is the Repti-Temp 500R or CA RF-1000, both are usually around the same price, the RF-1000 features a knob with actual temperature numbers on it, the 500R just has a color bar and requires some playing with to get the right temperature.

If you got a major chain pet store around, you should be able to find everything, its going to cost a fair amount but its probably one of the most important pieces of equipment your hedgehog will need, in general say $100 give or take 10, usually bulbs are 20 to 30, the lamp is usually 20 to 30, and the thermostat is usually 30 to 50. But in the end, it'll keep your hedgehog nice and warm (recommended temperature range is 73'F to 78'F, most people aim for 75'F), while keeping the dorm room no so hot.
 
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