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Potential New Owner Doing Research

1647 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Lilysmommy
I'm thinking about getting a hedgehog so I'm trying to find out as much as I can before making the commitment.
I'm a college student living in a building that allows small animals in a state where hedgehogs are legal.
I have had small animals as pets before and I understand the time, responsibility, and heart that goes into owning a pet. This is not a fad purchase. I have thought about this for years but I lived in a state where hedgehogs were not legal. (I live in a legal state full time now)

My main concern is expenses. I need to know how much it will cost to properly care for the hedgehog. Let's say... per month. How much will I be spending?
I don't want to purchase the animal and then be broadsided by a large financial burden. I can afford the actual purchase of the pet, I know. But I'm talking long term care.
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Initial expenses will be the hedgehog, cage, wheel, and other things for the cage. Cages, if you build a C&C one, will cost about $50-60, I think. Wheels are about $15-25, depending on what kind you get and the store. You'll also have to think about how you're going to heat the hedgehog's cage. You can use either a ceramic heat emitter (I'm not sure how much it cost for the set-up, but it's a bit expensive), or a space heater (I got mine for $35, but I've been told that's on the cheaper side). Space heaters heat the whole room, so they take more power, especially if the room is big. Ceramic heat emitters heat only the cage, and don't take as much power.
Monthly costs will include heating (mostly during the winter months), supplies for cleaning, bedding (unless you're using fleece liners, those only have initial costs, and then washing costs), and food. Heating during the winter will likely be most expensive, but I don't know how much it would be, exactly. Food, to buy two-three good quality cat foods, would probably cost about $20-40 for the bags, but they last for a few months, since one hedgehog doesn't eat that much. Cleaning supplies would likely just include vinegar for disinfecting, paper towels for clean up and things like that. Not too expensive.
The biggest expense after the hedgehog and cage set up is obviously vet bills. You'll want to make sure you have about $200-300 set away in case of an emergency surgery or something like that. Exotic vets also charge more than regular small animal vets sometimes.
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Yeah, I felt the same way when I first got Lily. I've been putting money away since I got her last August in a vet fund for her, in case she needs surgery or something. I took her for a vet check up last month, and spent nearly $60. It was $45 for just the check up (or close to that, maybe $43), and then I bought some Revolution because we thought she might have mites (she had a couple of bald spots), so the Revolution cost somewhere between $10 and $15 for a little tiny tube. It was worth it though, the mites must be gone because she's regrowing quills in her two bald spots, and she doesn't itch anymore! :D
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