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So, I have been doing research for months about hedgehogs and I believe that it may actually be time for me to get one. I've been to pet stores and played with them and the petstores near me seem to be very noligable (were/are hedgehog owners) and really take good care of their hedgehogs. Anywho I believe I may have found the hedgehog for me yesturday when I visited. He was so cute. :D And he was friendly and didn't hiss or act scared in anyway while I was handling him. As a veterinary student I realize that spur of the moment pet purchases are not a good idea, so I have decided to wait and make sure I know everything about these cute little creatures. Anywho right now I am looking for some advice from the real owners out there about how to properly take care of a hedgie. Like what you think the best food is, what size cage is the best, what types of toys? More importanly I would like to know the real pros and cons of owning a hedgehog. From my research I really cannot see any cons except the cage cleaning, which really is not anything. On that note what is the best bedding? What time does your hedgie normally wake up/go to bed? How much play time does a hedgie need? I just want my little hedgie to have the best life and I like to do a lot of research before I start anything. Thank you guys for any help and I hope this is not too annoying. :mrgreen:

Jessica
 

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Welcome to HHC! :)

You can find the answers to nearly all your questions if you look at the stickies and do a search. We also have our old forum archives to look through. Good luck!
 

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I think the biggest con for most people is the temperature requirement. Hedgehogs must be kept at 72-80F. Too cold and they attempt hibernation, which leaves their immune systems compromised, and if not taken out of it soon enough it will kill them. Why is it a con, a lot of people don't want to pay the extra money it takes to keep them warm. Ensure you can give them adequate warmth all year long before committing.

Another is they aren't always the most social animals. You will learn that you must be patient with a hedgehog. You really can't force a hedgehog to do anything they really don't want to do. That friendly hedgehog in the petstore, if it hasn't gone through quilling, could very well turn into a less social animal. Will you still love it if it becomes less social?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so if you want a pet that will be active during the day don't get a hedgehog. I wake mine up at 8pm. They typically nap for a while and then start to get active. They also run all night long. Poptart gets up as soon as the lights are turned off at 10pm and I hear her running until my alarm goes off (if the alarm isn't set she runs until about 6:30am.

I give mine 2 hrs each day of interaction. You'll find 30 minutes recommend by some, but honestly I think if you really want to bond with a hedgehog you need to spend more time with them. The more time spent the better the relationship seems to get.

I honestly don't think cage cleaning is a con. For small animals cage cleaning is nothing. I use cage liners. I take the liners out each night, shake off the poops and either put them back in if they don't smell of urine or toss in a new liner. A full wash down happens about once a week, more often if I think they need it.

My question for those considering getting a hedgehog is this:

What do you expect to get out of having a hedgehog as a pet? Sometimes if we know what you are looking for we can tell you if a hedgehog will fit right in or not.
 
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