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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to convince my parents to let me get a hedgehog. (I'm 15) I've done lots of research, but I want to make a list of all the reasons hedgehogs make good pets/why to get one. If you have any good reasons, i'll add them to the list! Please help! :)

Reasons to own a hedgehog:
-Hedgehogs are small (don't take up too much space)
-Hedgehogs are quiet (Except for moving around)
-They eat very little
-Mostly Low Matinince
-Cute! :)
-No bad smell

**I read about them not triggering allergies on another site... Thanks for clearing that up! Nobody in my family has major allergies that I know of... My brother has a few and my uncle is allergic to cats and dogs.**
**I know they can make noises at night, but other than that, they are pretty quiet**
**I've looked at a few cages, but just to make sure, what kind would be the best size/type? Thanks!!**
 

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It is not true that they don't trigger allergies. Many people are allergic to hedgehogs and many hedgehogs are rehomed because their owners became allergic.
 

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Actually hedgehogs are not hypoallergenic. If someone in your family suffers from allergies please do not assume they wont also be allergic to your hedgehogs and/or the shavings you may use for its bedding.

They are quiet except when they are squeaking, chirping, knocking things over and around in their cage, crunching their dry kibble *chomp crunch chomp crunch* or running their wheels *pitter-patter-pitter-patter* in the middle of the night. (they are nocturnal, remember) With any luck the wheel you use will not make its own noise as well. I spent a week with mine in my room and didn't sleep until at least the second or third night, ugh. I've since moved them to their own room.

They do take up space if you are going to acquire an adequate cage, which I sincerely hope you do. What size cage are you looking at? I also prefer to have a space mapped out for them to have some free running around exploring time. (can use play pen type setups for this which can fold down when not in use)

What do I find as their desirable traits? They don't cry or appear to suffer from separation anxiety if I cannot give them their holding/bonding time every night. How much I put into them is how much I want out of them. Unlike dogs and cats that seem to need us emotionally. (this may vary hedgie to hedgie but my experience has been that its me that wants them socialized, not them that desire the socialization from me.)

They eat very little.

One of mine is very friendly, I love it. I can snuggle him and hold him, he sleeps on my lap.
They don't need let out to go potty.
 

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They're cute, obviously! :lol:
 

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They poop less than dogs and cats. They help you eat more fruits and vegetables, because you can share those snacks with them! (Okay, that's a stretch).
 

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Although hedgehogs are small the amount of space needed for a sufficient sized cage isn't. It's true that hedgehogs don't eat a lot but the cost of 2 to 3 high quality cat foods for their mix is, for one bag in my mix I paid close to 15 dollars. That would be roughly about 45 on the low end for 3 bags in your mix and even though it will be alot of food you can only freeze the extra for so long before you have to get rid of it and buy fresh. Alot of people can suffer allergic reactions to hedgies.

I love hedgehogs but just wanted to state these things so you and your parents will know all that is involved. It might impress them if instead of just putting the good points you make a complete care sheet up and list the cons as well. For each thing you write you can tell them how you plan to accomplish it or overcome that obstacle :)

Some of the important factors I think are key before owning a hedgehog that you could share with your parents are:
Can you keep them warm enough (75 degrees, some like it slightly warmer and others slightly cooler).
Can you afford the food for their mix and vet bills
Can you ensure they get 12 to 14 hours of light a day on a consistant schedule
Can you provide a hedgie safe cage with adequate room and a hedgie safe wheel
Are you prepared to clean up after them everyday because hedgies poop a lot
Can you provide a forever home even if your hedgie decides it wants nothing to do with ppl

If the answer is yes to all of those then a Hedgehog might make a great pet for you :)
 

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PROS
1.) Cute
2.) Amusing to watch them get stuck in toilet paper rolls
3.) Kinda Low Maintance -
I say Kinda because you should change its food and water every day or so. Also you will
need to clean the wheel almost every other day because they poop A LOT while they run.
You will have to change the bedding once a week (I like bed liners, it looks a lot cleaner
then bedding and you don't have to worry about mites being in the wood).
4.) They don't smell bad ( they have a distinctive smell but its not that bad) and you only have
to give them a shower about 1 to 2 times a month.
5.) They like to be alone. If your out all day you don't have to worry about taking the hedgehog
out to go to the bathroom, or even to have contact with you. I'm not saying that you can
go a week without playing with him, but if you busy that day you don't have to take him
out. Chances are he wont mind. Also you only need to get one unlike a lot of other pets
where they advise you to get more than one so its not alone.

CONS

1.) You have to trim there nails every couple weeks. A lot of times it isn't hard, but that
depends on your hedgehog. Thankfully my hedgie was nice about it.
2.) They get poop stuck on their feet each night after running on the wheel.
3.) They take some time to get used to. You have to dedicate alot of time in the beginning in
order to get your hedgehog used to you. Some tips for this are:
- Always wash your hands before touching him
- Put a worn tshirt in the cage for him to snuggle with a smell. It helps them get
used to your scent.
- use mealworms to get the hedgehog to come to you. Wave it infront of his face
and when they smell it they will come out and get out of their hiding spot to get
it. Then you can slowly pet them while they eat it. This will make it easier for you
to touch the hedgehog without him getting mad and puffing up at you.
4.) Harder to find a vet for them
5.) Illegal in certain states
6.) Need to have a stable/peaceful environment for them. For example, can you keep the
temperature where it needs to be, and are there any other animals in the house that may
try and disturb or injure the hedgehog.
7.) Food takes some time. Finding the perfect blend for your hedgie
8.) Are you going to be able to take care of the hedgehog throughout its lifespan, not just a
year or two?
9.) Spikes hurt when he gets made (but they face they make when they are angry is absolutely
adorable.... I call mine his stanky face)

Just make sure you are going to be able to take care of the hedgehog completely for the rest of its life. Give it a loving home. Also consider college because you said you are only 15. Are you going to be able to take the hedgehog with you when you leave, or are you probably going to stay in a dorm on campus. I know that sounds like a stupid question since your only 15 but the hedgehog will probably stay with you till your almost out of college, or later hopefully, and you want to make sure you can bring the hedgie with you, especially since your parents aren't to thrilled to get one. Just make sure that whatever you decide to do is best for you and the hedgie. If you do decide to get one then give it a loving home... forever

GOODLUCK :)
 

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I completely agree with most of the others on here!

PROS:
1. Definitely low maintanence -- especially when compared to things like chinchillas, bearded dragons (who require all sorts of heat crap its confusing), and even dogs. My hedgehog doesn't pounce me when i walk in the door, nor does it jump around to be let outside.
2. They are small, and an ample amount of space usually isn't that much space. People house their hedgehogs inside storage bins, which makes cleaning and life so much easier. I should have done this system a while ago!
3. Incredibly exotic, which I think, is a good thing. People are fascinated about hedgehogs IRL, and it's a great conversational starter at school, or has been for me in college at least!
4. They remind me of cats -- they don't give a darn if you're home, they don't care if you coming or going, they don't care if you find the time to come over and bother them while they're sitting on the back of the couch chillin', but when you want them -- they are there. (Though this shouldn't shy you away from handling every day, changing the water, and being a responsible pet owner.)
5. Low maintenance, simple upkeep.
6. Don't smell like rodents, and aren't rodents! It irks me when my family and friends are all..."you should take out one of your rodents." they're NOT RODENTS! They don't have incissors(sp?), they don't smell like rodents, and the different sexes don't have a stench to them. I've lived with ferrets, and they were something horrendous.

CONS:
1. Most are not uber affectionate. If you're the type that functions on licks and kisses, and purrs, and "omg I love you!" -- yeah, probably best to stick to a dog. Hedgies can be huffy when awoken.
2. Housing! Will this hedgehog be in your room? I have three hedgehogs; 2 girls and a boy all in my room, and let me tell you .. it's ****. Especially when all three of them get on their wheels, and perform this loud, annoying, ear-shattering "race to nowhere!" I've been awoken twice tonight, which usually has never happened before. Also -- their temperature requirements propose an issue. I'd love to be able to open a window when I'm hot in my room -- but I can't. Instead, I have to sleep in 75 degree temperatures. Sure, it was fine in the dead of winter, but now I'm just sweaty in the morning, and stuffy; it's not fun.
3. Clean animals which at the same time are so unsanitary. Those poop-covered feet literally will make you wish you could bathe them daily.
4. Again! Location, location, location! It's incredibly painful to step on quills in your room that fell on the floor, when I had my first litter, I found quills in the bed and in one of my shirts -- so incredibly annoying.

I think thats about it. I'm 20, and I'm dying for more space with my animals. You're fifteen.. so I'm assuming it would be kept in your room? Pets are great ideas for those who have enough love to give something, as well as the required amount of time. Just prepare for the bumps in the road.

I hope this helps! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone! This is helping alot already :) During spring break we might go visit my uncle in Denton, Texas (Near McKinney) so my mom said we possible could talk to the hedgehog breeder or take a look at the hedgehogs! I've been wanting to be able to interact with a hedgehog... I think it will help me see if I really want one and am ready to commit to it. Thanks again!
 
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