Hedgehog Central banner

What do you do with your hedgie(s) when you go on vacation?

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know I will be leaving over Christmas, and I will be gone for 4-5 days. I do not know anyone with a hedgehog, or anyone who has knowledge of hedgehogs. I have a little dog that I will be taking with me, so I need a hedgehog sitter. We are taking a 10 hour road trip each way, and there is hardly enough room for the people plus the dogs, so bringing Mila is definately not a possibility. Also I won't have the space for her set up once we arrive.

I have some coworkers that are interested in taking care of Mila.. but I am very nervous about it because they don't know anything about hedgehogs. I obviously will give the caregiver a thorough explanation, but I am very anxious about it.

One person in particular I would trust to take care of Mila, but I know that she always comments on how cold her house is during the winter.. so I am concerned about heating (I do have a CHE set up with 10 inch lamp, 100 w CHE, and themostat, but I can't help but worry since her home is usually in the mid to low 60s) and the risk of hibernation. Maybe I will buy another lamp and CHE (because the thermostat has room for 3 heating elements). I might just leave Mila at my condo and give my coworker a key.. but I am hesitant to have her be left with minimal supervision.

What do you do? What do you recommend?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
I travelled a lot last year for work and personal engagements. I quickly learnt the amount of work involved in travelling with a hedgehog was not worth the stress on myself or her for the short durations. Instead I had a friend come over each day & hedgie sit for a bit. I've had three friends do this on different occasions, and all were more than willing to help out.

To prep for my leaving, I invited the hedgie sitter over a number of times before so they and my hedgehog could get used to eachother. I would also show the sitter how to pick up both a calm & a puffy hedgehog. Then for the time I was gone, I'd provided a care sheet list with daily cleaning tasks, general hedgehog health & safety/personality quirks, and emergency numbers. I prepared a ziplock baggy of food for each day I was gone to make feeding easier. The hedgie sitter was asked to come over for a short while each night, clean the cage, switch food & water, & then let my hedgehog out for a little bit of playtime (and observation to check for injuries).

The first time I had someone hedgie sit was my cousin & I think I called everyday I was gone. She didn't mind though.

If you're not going until December, you have tons of time to prep both your hedgie & your sitter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
Great points already made so I'll try not to say the same thing! :)

I have a friend who has a hedgehog so I'll be shipping her over when I go away. My concern is the harsh winter weather that will undoubtedly be tough on the hedgie but that's another story. I think the most important thing is finding somebody you can trust... whether that means somebody who already has pets and knows how to take care of animals, or somebody who is just loving to animals and responsible. Both groups should be able to diligently follow the instructions for your hedgie's routine.

When I babysat my friend's hedgie, she included a 1 page instruction routine. Things to do in the morning, in the evening, etc and we also had a chat about other things. In today's age, we also kept in touch via cell phone/sms too.

If you have concerns over the temperature - talk to your friend and see where that goes. You should be comfortable leaving your baby with them! :)

Oh yeah, I can't answer your survey question because they all refer to male hedgies... I have a female! :D lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Tomato said:
I can't answer your survey question because they all refer to male hedgies... I have a female! :D lol
Haha T, I know... It was easier than putting 'him/her' and Mila is a girl too..

Thanks for the advice so far. I am still undecided.. I want my coworker to look after her, but if Mila did go into hibernation in her care.. it would be a sad and stressful thing for everyone! I might have to splurge and go for an extra lamp.. then i have to worry about how to mount it (being with a bin set up).. ugh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
i am planning a trip too and bringing my three boys and Llama the puppy along. :D i could leave Harvey for a few days (he's most social) if i had anyone trustworthy, but i don't and it'll be a longer trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
Your poll says "a friend", I'd like to suggest you add "family" to that poll answer. I trust my family much more than a friend. My family all pet-sits for each other on a regular basis. I wouldn't leave mine with just a friend stopping in, but maybe some people have closer friends that are more like family.

You could also check in with your vet to see if they would do boarding at a lower cost, say the Cat Fee instead of a dog fee. Then if anything did happen she would already be at the vet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,352 Posts
The only time I have ever left Kashi since I have had him is when I sleep over at my boyfriend's, so that's only one night that I leave him alone :)

I almost canceled on my anniversary sleepover at my boyfriend's back in October because I didn't want to leave Kashi alone :lol:

I was going to bring him with me, but I decided against it because I thought it would stress him out more than benefit him. I left him with a bowl of mealies, fresh water and some kibble. I also made sure that my CHE was working properly and that my timer was working properly too (for the light cycles). With the CHE and the timer, it's so convenient because you don't have to worry about them attempting hibernation or not getting enough light/darkness :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Our little hedgehog Hitch gets dropped off at my brother's place about a 4 hours drive round trip from here. We've purchased another setup for him over there that we store in the closet when not needed. I've given guidelines to follow and instructions on what to do and what not to do. My brother has been great in caring for him. We've got south and left him there for a week or so without any issues. Hitch actually tends to gain a little weight when he is away from home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
My boyfriend is sort of like my hedgie's second parent/co-owner/godfather in that he is well trained in the ways of hedgehog care and knows Phin's personality and routine very well. However, when my boyfriend and I are both gone (which has only happened once when we went on vacation for a week in July with my parents) I have at least two friends that I trust to care for Phin. They both have been given detailed instructions and have interacted with Phin numerous times. If one is busy, then I have the other friend.
Like other people have mentioned, giving a detailed instructions list is always a good idea, and it doesn't hurt to refer them to this forum and the stickies for extra knowledge. I also tape vet and emergency vet info to Phin's cage so it is always available an easy to find.

On short trips, like a weekend visit home, I just take Phinneus with me. My parents love him- they call him their "grand hoglet".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,368 Posts
We left Cholla once when we both went on vacation & a dear friend watched him. Basically, fed, watered, cleaned the wheel & looked in the bag every day. I told her if he was upset, he was OK.

Since we've gotten Zoey, only I have left on vacation. Hedgie Daddy took over the care while I was gone. He Basically, fed, watered, cleaned the wheel & looked in the bag every day. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
PJM said:
He Basically, fed, watered, cleaned the wheel & looked in the bag every day. :lol:
yeah, right.. i bet your boys partied away and then put themselves into writing you dull reports...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,716 Posts
I only had my one hedgie last time I went out of town. I brought him with me and he didn't like having to leave. Just based on this the next time I go out of town I will have someone come over to care for them both since I will almost definitely let Loken stay home if its an option. He ate when we were away and had all his things except his normal cage but you could just tell he was not happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
I was out of the country for two months this summer, so Pliny stayed with my best friend. I left a care sheet, link to HHC, emergency contact info/vet. Pliny has stayed with friends before (when I have to fly somewhere) and always seems to take it in stride. He is usually a little plumper when I get him back. He isn't as cuddly with people who are not me, but he goes along with his regular routine of eating, sleeping, wheeling and pooping. He does come with me when I go out to the farm for a few days, he has his set up in town and another at his 'country house', and he has never had any problem with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thank you very much everyone for sharing your experience and advice.

I am in the process of writing up an overview of what to do and expect. I know each hedgie is different, but I am so overwhelmed with everything, I don't know where to even start.

I would appreciate it if you would be willing to share your written instructions here.

(I promise, I'm not lazy and am very thorough, I would just like the help).

Also, if you could list what you typically supply the sitter with, that would be helpful!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,963 Posts
I've left Lily with my aunt several times when I was going to be gone a few days and couldn't take her with me. I plan on leaving her with my aunt any time I go someplace for a night or longer and my mom won't be able to watch her, just because it's easier and less stressful.

For instructions, I just told my aunt to change her food and water each evening, keep an eye on her temperature (to stay between 78-81), check her in the morning and evening to make sure she was awake and had a warm belly, and clean her wheel if she had time (was only going to be gone a couple days).

For things I took for her:
- cage (including wheel, igloo, thermometers, CHE and light setups)
- extra liners
- extra fleece strips for igloo
- paper towels and cleaning sprays for wheel
- food (already counted out into labelled baggies)
- bottle or two of water
- extra blanket in case she wanted to hold her, or just put the blanket around her cage
- Lily's notebook, which has a bit of info about her specifically, her food and weight records, her vet records, and a section in the back with articles on general hedgie care, including toxic foods, acceptable treats, bathing and nail clipping instructions, emergency symptoms, and what to do for a hibernation attempt. Also has her vet's business card taped in the inside with her specific vet's name circled on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
I am so glad someone brought this up. I am currently a student in FL and do not have any close friends down here. I don't even think any of them are staying for the holidays anyways. I am flying back home for Christmas. I was planing to board BubbleWrap at this place called Preppy Pet Suites. http://www.preppypet.com/orlando.html but now that he has pneumonia I would be really worried about doing that. I am going to ask my vet about boarding instead. I really hope he is better by Christmas. It is going to kill me to leave him here for Christmas regardless if he is sick or not. :( No one wants to spend Christmas alone.

I have taken BubbleWrap on two road trips up to Michigan from FL and I think he actually enjoys traveling. He is always extra active and friendly. He is generally a very grumpy hedgie. During the Summer we made the trip with both my cat and BubbleWrap and BubbleWrap was better than my cat. lol My cat is such a baby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
Other things to include on the list:

Emergency contact number for you & for your vet. Also if there's a 24 hr emergency vet in your area

What to do in case of emergency (ie. hibernation attempt, warm them up between your shirt & belly,etc). I also note to everyone about the toxicity of tea tree oil as it may be in cleaning or bath products.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I have family staying at my house the entire time we're gone. For free food/beer, access to our entire dvd collection they are willing to hog sit. Seems like a fair trade.

Lily's mom. I'm in mid-michigan as well and it occurs to me that if you're ever stuck for someone you can try to get a hold of me. I never mind one more cage to clean!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
re my upcoming vacation: i've decided to leave my two boys in the hands of a very experienced caretaker, but Sweetie and Llama are coming along.

we all need to organize some sort of hog-sitting operation and do it for each other! i'd hog-sit a hog if it's not too far.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top