Taking Care of a Hedgehog

Are you looking for a pet that’s adorable, amusing, and unique? A hedgehog just might be the answer for you and your family! Here, learn about some basic care techniques for hedgehogs from your veterinarian in Santa Rosa. Just be aware that these wonderful pets are not legal to own in California or several other states including Georgia, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. There are also local laws in some cities and counties nationwide that prohibit hedgehogs. While the hedgehog is an adorable pet, they are definitely not for everybody, even in states where they are legal to own.

Diet

The bulk of a hedgehog’s diet will be comprised of a high-quality commercial feed, available in pet supply stores, retail outlets, and some veterinarian’s offices. Most hedgehogs will be okay with having food left out at all times, allowing them to eat as they please.

Your hedgehog’s regular dry diet should be supplemented regularly with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Hedgehogs will also love the occasional bit of cooked meat, and some even like crickets and mealworms. Before feeding your hedgehog anything other than the regular dry diet, though, consult your vet to make sure it’s safe.

Housing

Your hedgehog’s cage will need to be large enough to allow space for food and water dishes, a sleeping area, a roaming zone, hiding huts, and toys. Ensure the cage has proper ventilation and will be well-lit, but don’t place it somewhere that direct sunlight will contact your hedgehog’s cage for extended periods. Ideally, a hedgehog will like the temperature to stay somewhere between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take note: hedgehogs are excellent climbers. For this reason, you should never house your hedgie in an open-topped cage. They’ll climb right out and escape! Make sure the cage has a sturdy top section that your hedgehog can’t push open.

Bedding Material

Line the bottom of your hedgehog’s cage with white wood, pine, or aspen shavings as bedding. You’ll need about two inches’ worth of shavings along all parts of the floor. Outfit your hedgehog’s cage with the proper essentials: food and water dishes or a water dispenser, hiding spots, and fun toys to keep your pet entertained.

These aren’t the only basics for great hedgehog care. Contact the Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital today for more information on the care requirements, behavior patterns, and handling techniques for hedgehogs. We may not have all the answers for you, and we rarely see these pets here in California, but we can definitely point you in the right direction, or help you find a Veterinarian in your state that will help you care for them.