Hello! I am a soon-to-be hedgie mom (I guess I'm expecting?), and I am trying my best to be totally prepared before the hedgie arrives. That being said, what do you wish you knew before you got your hedgehog? Any tips, tricks, or overlooked information?
Congrats! Well, I knew not to put fingers near their face as it can startle them but my dad insisted he should put his fingers in front of her so she can smell him like you would with a dog... needless to say I was right, Poppy bit my dad on only the second day we had her! It is very important for you and your whole family to be informed about hedgie's so that there is no mishaps like this if they try to interact with him, too.
Well, I did a ton of research before deciding to bring home a hedgie, so I felt like I was pretty well prepared. Some friends of mine now want a hedgie (but have no idea about the amount of care they need) so there are a couple things I made sure to tell them.
One, you need to have the appropriate set up. A cage that is at least 4 square feet, preferably more. A CHE bulb, 10" ceramic heat dome, and a thermostat are a MUST for keeping the cage between 75-80 degrees at all times.
Two, there is a lot of daily care. Spot cleaning the cage, changing soiled litter, and washing the wheel to get rid of poop! (My friend's 7 and 10 year old daughters were horrified to hear about having to clean poop daily, lol!) Gotta do the dirty work though!
Third, most hedgehogs are not snuggly, social animals. They are not like dogs, so they won't come looking for you companionship or "play" with you (also, my friend's daughters were surprised to hear this). They may hiss, huff, or pop at you when you try to pick them up. That being said, they are delightful and fascinating creatures. My Hazel is always grumpy when we first wake her up in the evening, then she is inquisitive and friendly. Most nights she content to just snuggle on my lap while I watch TV or read. If you want something like a dog...get a dog! Otherwise, enjoy your little hedgie and recognize they are unique and special critters.