With over fifteen years of experience caring for sweet, healthy hedgehogs, Hedgehog Paradise has come to deeply understand these wonderful animals. Whether it be their breeding, health concerns, diet, bonding information, shipping, or anything else, we have a wealth of knowledge at our disposal, and we love to share! We realize that hedgehogs are a unique pet in the pet world, so there are quite a few questions about them. For the starting hedgehog lover and the seasoned hedgehog veteran alike, we aim to provide the information and support you need for the animals you love.

Below, you’ll find a list of commonly asked questions and their answers, broken up into categories for your convenience. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know. Also please feel free to copy and distribute or display to educate others about hedgehogs and how we can help them. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have, and it will help us keep our list up to date! Glide on!

The best things to offer are good quality meaty hedgehog food or cat biscuits. The only drink that should be offered is water (especially in dry weather and when offering dry food).

Hedgehogs are cute little critters famous for their prickly spines, which they have everywhere except on their face, legs and bellies. When a hedgehog feels threatened they curl into a tight ball tuck in their heads, tail and legs, to protect vulnerable parts of their body.

There are 15 different species of hedgehog, found across Europe, Asia and Africa. They can live in a variety of habitats, including deserts, forests and grasslands. The African pygmy hedgehog is the most common species of hedgehog kept as a pet.

Hedgehogs are well known for their prickly spines. The back of a hedgehog is covered in a thick layer of spikes known as quills, and they have between 3,000 to 5,000 quills covering their backs.

The intelligence of a hedgehog is to that of a hamster, they may learn certain behaviors through positive reinforcement or conditioning but only at a very basic level.

Hedgehogs are known to be very communicative when it comes to their needs, and often make a low purring sound when they are happy or content.

In the wild, hedgehogs are solitary animals and they spend most of their time alone except during mating season. They tend to be shy and wary of people. It takes patience and a gentle hand to form a trusting bond with a pet hedgehog. Once a bond is established hedgehogs can be quite playful and occasionally cuddly.

It is essential to do your research before buying a hedgehog as a pet in order to be certain that their personality and needs fit with your lifestyle. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, meaning that they are awake all night and sleep all day. If you do your research and they fit your lifestyle then they will be perfect pet fo

There are a number of safety concerns to consider when it comes to owning a hedgehog as a pet. Because hedgehogs can carry salmonella they are not recommended for families with children under 5 years of age, seniors, or people with compromised immune systems.

If you handle a pet hedgehog be sure to protect yourself from salmonella poisoning by taking the following steps:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for a hedgehog or cleaning its enclosure.
  • Don’t kiss or snuggle hedgehogs, because this can spread Salmonella germs to your face and mouth.
  • Don’t allow hedgehogs to roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens or dining tables.
  • Clean and wash enclosures, toys, and supplies outside of your house when possible.
  • If you get a puncture from a hedgehog quill be sure to clean your hands and the puncture area thoroughly.

Owning a pet hedgehog may not be easy or straightforward, but by doing your research, and speaking to an exotic mammal vet, you will be able to decide whether a hedgehog is the right pet for you.

Before your hedgehog arrives, you’ll want to make sure that they have a large, escape-proof cage. The cage floor should be solid, not wire, so your hedgehog doesn’t get stuck. They’ll need newspaper or paper-based bedding in their enclosure. You should also hedgehog-proof your home. They love to run around and will need extra space to roam outside of their enclosure.

Make sure there are not small items around for your hedgehog to swallow, or places that your hedgehog can get trapped. You’ll want to keep an eye on your hedgehog while they’re out of the cage. They like to dig and burrow in places. This makes them difficult to find once lost.

Hedgehogs can easily become overweight. Plenty of exercise and a healthy diet is important. Adding a smooth-sided wheel will help them run as much as they want at night. Let them settle in on their own when introducing your hedgehog to their new space. Give them a few days to get comfortable.

A pet hedgehog’s diet consists of pellet formulas specific for hedgehogs. This is often supplemented with insects and small amounts of fruits and vegetables. These include beans, peas, carrots, and apples. In the wild, hedgehogs may eat bird’s eggs, lizards, mushrooms, and berries. They also enjoy catching live prey. Giving your pet a limited number of live insects will let them use their instincts.

Safety Concerns

Hedgehogs are not recommended for households with children under 5 years of age or adults over 65. They can carry Salmonella bacteria in their droppings. Even if they seem healthy, the bacteria can infect their bodies, habitat, toys, and anything they come in contact with. This makes them a risk for those vulnerable populations.

People with weakened immune systems are also at risk from the germs and bacteria that hedgehogs can carry.

This is important to keep in mind before bringing a hedgehog into your home. If you do have one as a pet, take care to clean their enclosure and toys away from your kitchen so you don’t infect your eating space.