Hedgehog Central banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! Hopefully future owner here! I'm trying to work out just how much will getting a hedgehog cost at first (not counting the hedgehog itself), and a general idea of monthly costs. I'm not worried about how expensive it might be, I just want to know how much I need to save up! :)

A friend of mine is willing to give me her old cage that she used for rabbits. It's about 1.5ftx3.5ft, and it's plastic bottomed.

^This kind of thing. This should work fine, right? It's more than 5 square feet, that seems like plenty of space. She also has some water bottles and food bowls, and I think a litter box, so I wouldn't need to buy those either. (I'm pretty lucky here.)

So what else have we got... Food, litter, liner, a wheel, emergency Vet money...

Food. I've heard a lot about people mixing foods, but I'm a bit confused on that. Why does it need to be mixed (or rather, DOES it need to be mixed)? I know I need dog or cat food with a low fat, high protein content.

Litter, it seems any non-clumping litter will do. The more odor-masking the better. :p

Liner, I've heard a lot about linen liners. I think I would much prefer to have linen liners instead of wood or paper or whatever. It seems a lot safer, and I would think they're reusable since you could wash them? If someone could explain to process of getting linen liners for me, it'd be much appreciated!

A wheel, I know I need a solid surface wheel. I'm not sure how much they cost. Ideally it wouldn't be too loud, I think I'm going to be keeping it in my room, but it isn't a big deal.

I live in Florida, and we usually keep our house in the 70s, so heating shouldn't be a big deal. I am going to get a thermometer for my room to make sure, and if it ends up getting too cold in the winter, I'll get a heater. We have a little heating fan that might do the job, but if not I'll find a new thing.

Vet money, how much should I always have on hand? I'm thinking $50-$100.

Is there anything I'm forgetting? So if I'm looking at costs sans hedgehog, cage, water bottle and bowls, how much am I looking at here? And then monthly costs, every once in a while I'll have to get new food and new litter, and maybe the rare vet visit.

Thanks so much for your time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
For vet costs.. I would keep about $500 for emergencies. I know that might not be realistic for a teenager/child, but vet care for these small animals is high.

For example, I have 3 hedgehogs. In the last 7 months...

Leroux: Staph Infection / Possible Mites / Fecal test / Antibiotics - $340

PoPo: Revolution for Mite treatment - $58

Pequop: Medication/ Oxygen for 5 hours administered / Sub-Q'd - $425

A vet visit for my ones alone is $60-$70. That is just to get them in. I know some others on this site have less expensive vets, but I would definitely make it a point to call around in your area.. see which vets have knowledge of hedgehogs (that alone is hard to come by) and how much they charge for a visit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ouch! I think in case of an emergency, my parents would cover it and I would pay them back as soon as I could. There are two or three vets not too far from here that see hedgehogs, I haven't checked pricing though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
SilverChaos said:
Ouch! I think in case of an emergency, my parents would cover it and I would pay them back as soon as I could. There are two or three vets not too far from here that see hedgehogs, I haven't checked pricing though.
Make sure they know hedgehogs, not just see them. I've had bad luck with exotic vets only knowing things found on basic care guides that owners usually read before going to the vets. It's not very helpful if they know the same if not less than you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
[quoteMake sure they know hedgehogs, not just see them. I've had bad luck with exotic vets only knowing things found on basic care guides that owners usually read before going to the vets. It's not very helpful if they know the same if not less than you do.][/quote]

Exactly. I couldn't of said it better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
That's the kind of cage I have for Annabelle. I really like it, it's easy to take apart and clean and there's lots of room for her to run around. :)

As far as vet costs go, DEFINITELY set aside some money. A lot of people think that small animals don't need vets, but this couldn't be farther from the truth. Make sure you set up a vet ahead of time; visit them for a wellness check-up and get your name on file. That way, if there's ever an emergency, they'll know who you are and be more likely to pencil you in on short notice. :)

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
You also want to make sure there is a 24-hour emergency clinic in your area that has experience with hedgehogs. If you find a good vet, they are usually able to recommend a good emergency clinic.

Unfortunately you can't exactly "scope" out emergency clinics, the way you can regular vet clinics, since they are usually open to emergencies. But if you find a vet you trust, and they recommend a 24hr emerg they trust, then you can feel a little better in case anything ever happens outside of regular clinic hours.

Also keeping extra money aside for emergency visits is a good idea as well. If you think a regular vet costs a lot, just wait till you hear what emergency clinics charge. It's usually $100-$200 just to get in to see a vet (nevermind the cost of treatment).

Good luck :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,136 Posts
In my signature, there's a link to the PDF version of my hedgehog care book. There is a subchapter about the initial costs of a hedgie, you might be interested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bumping this. The day is rapidly approaching, and I still need a bit of info.

I still don't know too much about the kind of food I should get. Like I said, I hear a bunch about mixing foods but I have no idea what they're talking about. From what I understand, some Cat food with a high protein/low fat content is what I need.

And liners. When people say linen liners, is it like actual sheets spread over the cage? Or is it shredded sheets?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,268 Posts
Did you take a look at LG's pdf link? She has supplied a vast amount of info there which answers all your questions.

1) Food

The hedgie should remain in the food they were previously eating for at minimum 2 weeks. 4 weeks is better.
Then and only then can you think about adding a different food.
As to mixes, for example, my food mix consists of Blue Spa Select weight control(I think that's it, the 9% fat one), Natural balance green pea and duck, as well as Solid Gold. Those are 3 different brands of cat food. Most people here feed about 3 different brands. I chose the mix I have currently because all 3 contain 3 different meats as well.
Also, the protein should be around 30%, and fat should be under 15%. Looking at the actual ingredients is important as well(actual meat within first 5 ingredients, NO by-products, NO corn fillers, etc etc).
If you check out the food list in the diet section, you will find a list of pre-approved foods. All the info you need is in that section, if you would actually go and look around.

2) Liners
Large sheets of fleece to cover the entire floor of the cage. Cut to size as necessary to fit the cage.

People do use fleece STRIPS inside their hedgie's igloos, to satisfy their need to dig and burrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
You can also look around this site, there's a number of threads with cage set ups which can give you a different idea of things you need. Important ones are (outside of emergency vet money) food, wheel, water & heat. (IMO)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Looks like you're getting a lot of good answers but I did want to add that the reason for mixing food is that a lot of hedgehogs have been known to be picky eaters or to become picky eaters and also because of the availability of foods that hedgehog owners like to offer. If you only offer one type of food, there is a dual risk of 1) the hedgie stopping liking the one type of food you give him and then you not being able to find a food he will accept (hedgehogs have been known to go on hunger strikes) and/or 2) if your local pet store stops carrying your brand of pet food, the company changes the formulation of your pet food and hedgie stops eating it, or sometimes (this has happened to me) the small bag that I usually buy has an expiry date that is too close for me, and I would rather not buy it until the store restocks. If you have a mix of foods, you run less risk of there being a time when your hedgehog won't eat ANYTHING in your mix and you also have backup foods in case one of your brands is no longer available. I think that's one of the major reasons that Royal Canin is generally on everyone's mix list, because it's very commonly available at any petsmart or petco, whereas some of the "designer" holistic, organic, etc brands that we prefer to feed may not always be available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
Jager said:
Looks like you're getting a lot of good answers but I did want to add that the reason for mixing food is that a lot of hedgehogs have been known to be picky eaters or to become picky eaters and also because of the availability of foods that hedgehog owners like to offer. If you only offer one type of food, there is a dual risk of 1) the hedgie stopping liking the one type of food you give him and then you not being able to find a food he will accept (hedgehogs have been known to go on hunger strikes) and/or 2) if your local pet store stops carrying your brand of pet food, the company changes the formulation of your pet food and hedgie stops eating it, or sometimes (this has happened to me) the small bag that I usually buy has an expiry date that is too close for me, and I would rather not buy it until the store restocks. If you have a mix of foods, you run less risk of there being a time when your hedgehog won't eat ANYTHING in your mix and you also have backup foods in case one of your brands is no longer available. I think that's one of the major reasons that Royal Canin is generally on everyone's mix list, because it's very commonly available at any petsmart or petco, whereas some of the "designer" holistic, organic, etc brands that we prefer to feed may not always be available.
Another important reason for feeding a mix is to give the hedgehog a variety of nutrition sources because we don't know exactly what their dietary requirements are. Most feed a variety of cat foods supplemented with meal worms, crickets, fruits, veggies etc as treats. There is no perfect commercial hedgehog food on the market so we have to mix and match different diets to find one that suits our hedgehogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the replies!

The breeder told me that they've been on Purina so far, and should stay on it for about a month, at which point I'll probably look into switching it for something else as I think I've heard that Purina isn't the greatest. I'm probably going to make a trip to the pet store tomorrow or so to get a bag of that and see if I can't find a decent wheel.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top