While the thought of adopting a pet hedgehog may have never even crossed our minds before, it looks as though these little ones are becoming more and more popular each year. However, before you head out to collect your new pet, here’s everything you need to know about the spiked one.
They Can Be Nervous
Many of us have seen hedgehogs curled up into balls, and there is a good reason - they are naturally shy creatures. However, this can have some significant effects on how we bond with our pets. It’s essential to be as gentle as possible with hedgehogs who aren’t used to being handled, as they can easily curl up into balls for extended periods of times. Gloves are usually recommended to start to avoid any unwanted pricks from those quills.
They Love New Scents
Believe it or not, but hedgehogs are also pretty curious animals with a desire to learn all about the world. One of the many things hedgehogs can be seen doing in the wild is rubbing themselves all over anything that smells unusual. It’s thought this is to camouflage their scent. However, carrots are often a favorite of the spikey critters, with the vegetables often coloring their quills a bright orange. It’s important to understand how different scents might affect your new pet - and let them explore!
They Need Special Vets
As much as many of us like to believe nothing will ever happen to our pets, no one can ever predict an emergency. The last thing anyone needs to do in this case is to be calling around to find a vet willing to treat hedgehogs. As they are still a new pet trend, many practices don’t have vets experienced with their care. It’s best to check out your local vets before welcoming a hedgehog into the home just in case something goes wrong.
They Carry Salmonella
Many animals can carry a variety of bacteria without feeling the effects. Hedgehogs are no exception. In fact, these little critters are known to carry salmonella bacteria, meaning it’s vital to follow a strict hygiene routine whenever around your new pet. Washing your hands every time after handling your pet, touching their cage, or altering their bedding are just some of the many ways to stay safe. On top of this, supervising children is essential.
They Love The Night
Like many animals, hedgehogs are most active at night. It’s important not to disturb your new pet in the day for many reasons. As well as upsetting their natural routine, hedgehogs have incredibly sensitive eyes that can be damaged by bright lights. It seems as though some hedgehog owners might only get a few hours of overlap with their critters before they head back off to bed, but those few hours will be so worth it.
There are plenty of benefits to many pets, and it looks as though hedgehogs come with a host of their own. Thankfully, understanding their specialist needs means that many of us could soon welcome one into our homes.