Are Hedgehogs Good Pets?

hedgehogs good pets? Hedgehogs have gained popularity in recent years as household pets due to their cute and distinctive appearance. However, before bringing one into your home, it’s important to understand the responsibilities and considerations involved in hedgehog ownership.

In this article, we will discuss hedgehog care, behavior, health concerns, lifespan, legal considerations, interactions with other pets and children, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Hedgehogs can make great pets, but require proper care and attention.
  • Basic care for pet hedgehogs includes proper habitat, diet, exercise, and socialization.
  • Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal and require specific handling techniques to establish trust.
  • Common health issues in hedgehogs can be prevented with regular veterinary care.
  • Owning a hedgehog is a long-term commitment that requires careful consideration.
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The Basics of Hedgehog Care

Hedgehogs may seem like easy pets to care for, but it’s important to understand their basic needs to ensure they are healthy and happy. Here we will discuss some essential hedgehog care requirements:


Hedgehogs are solitary animals that require a spacious enclosure to roam and play. A minimum of four square feet of cage space is recommended, with plenty of hiding spots and sleeping areas. A solid surface like a plastic bottom or ceramic tiles is best for their feet. Also, hedgehogs have a tendency to climb, so make sure the enclosure’s cover is secure to avoid any unwanted escapes.


A balanced diet is crucial for your hedgehog’s well-being. Feed your pet high-quality cat food that has a protein content of at least 30%. Avoid feeding them fruits, vegetables, and dairy, which can upset their digestive system. While insects can be a good source of protein, avoid feeding them mealworms and beetles since they are high in fat and phosphorous.


While hedgehogs are known for being more sedentary, regular exercise is still essential for their health and happiness. A hedgehog-safe exercise wheel and toys such as tunnels, balls, and safe chew toys are great to promote physical activity and stimulation.


Hedgehogs can form bonds with their owners, but it’s essential to socialize them from a young age. They need daily interaction to build trust and develop a strong bond with their owners. Make sure to handle them gently and provide positive reinforcement to build a trusting relationship.


Cleanliness is important for hedgehogs to avoid any infections or illnesses. Spot-clean their cage regularly and do a deep clean every 4-6 weeks. Ensure their feet are kept clean and free from any foreign objects. Also, trim their nails as they grow to prevent them from curling into their feet.

Caring for a hedgehog requires time, patience, and a sense of responsibility, but it can be a rewarding experience for those committed to providing their pet with the best care possible.

Hedgehogs as Nocturnal Pets

Hedgehogs are fascinating creatures with unique behaviors that make them ideal as nocturnal pets. These animals are typically most active during the night, foraging for food, and engaging in activities such as running and exploring their surroundings.

As a hedgehog owner, it’s important to understand and appreciate the natural behaviors of these animals, as their nocturnal habits may impact your daily routine. Hedgehogs prefer to sleep during the day, which means they may be less active and more lethargic when you’re awake, making them the perfect companions for people who work or study late into the night.

Hedgehog Behavior

One of the most endearing characteristics of hedgehogs is their curious and playful nature. These animals love to explore their surroundings, and their inquisitive behavior can be quite entertaining to watch. Hedgehogs are also known for their unique defense mechanism of rolling into a ball when scared or threatened, a behavior that we can appreciate and respect.

As hedgehogs are naturally solitary animals, they may not be as affectionate as other pets. However, with proper socialization, hedgehogs can learn to trust their owners and even bond with them. It’s important to handle your hedgehog regularly to help them feel comfortable with you and encourage their socialization skills.

Hedgehog Nocturnal Habits

As mentioned earlier, hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal animals, which means they have a different sleep pattern than humans. During the day, they prefer to sleep in a dark, quiet place, and they may become grumpy if woken up. To accommodate their nocturnal habits, it’s important to provide them with an appropriate habitat that includes a hiding place where they can sleep during the day.

As they are active at night, hedgehogs will need appropriate sources of light that will not disturb them. They can be kept in well-lit rooms, provided there are shaded areas where they can hide or sleep.

In conclusion, hedgehogs are unique pets that require specific care and understanding of their natural behaviors, especially their nocturnal habits. With proper socialization and a suitable environment, hedgehogs can be wonderful companions that bring joy and entertainment to your life.

Hedgehog Temperament and Handling

Hedgehogs have unique temperaments and often require patience and understanding to build a bond with their owners. Understanding their behaviors and preferences is crucial in addressing their social needs.

As nocturnal creatures, hedgehogs may initially appear timid and defensive when they are awakened during the day. It’s best to avoid waking your hedgehog during its active time, as this can cause unnecessary stress and could lead to biting or balling up.

When handling your hedgehog, be gentle and calm, and allow them to sniff and explore you gradually. Hedgehogs have poor eyesight but an excellent sense of smell and hearing. It’s best to approach from the front, allowing them to detect your scent. Ensure that your hands are clean and free from other scents.

It’s important to establish trust with your hedgehog before handling them frequently. Start with short and gentle handling sessions, gradually increasing the length and frequency as they become more comfortable and confident.

Creating a safe environment is also crucial in building a strong bond with your pet hedgehog. A secure and comfortable habitat, free from hazards, will contribute to a hedgehog’s physical and emotional well-being.

With patience, respect, and care, you can build a meaningful relationship with your hedgehog that will provide enrichment to both of your lives.

Potential Health Issues in Hedgehogs

While hedgehogs are generally hardy animals, they can still be prone to health issues, so it’s important to keep an eye on their well-being. Here are some common hedgehog ailments to watch out for:

Respiratory infectionsSneezing, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathingAntibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian
Mites or fleasItching, scratching, scabs, hair lossMedicated shampoos, flea/tick treatments, veterinarian-prescribed medication
Dental issuesDifficulty eating, drooling, bad breathProfessional cleaning by a veterinarian, dietary changes
ObesityExcessive weight gainDietary changes, increased exercise, veterinary consultation

Regular veterinary care is crucial for preventing and addressing these issues. It’s recommended to take your hedgehog for a check-up at least once a year and to seek veterinary attention if you notice any concerning symptoms. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a veterinarian experienced in hedgehog care if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health.

By keeping an eye on your hedgehog’s health and getting them the care they need, you can ensure that your beloved pet stays healthy and happy for years to come.

Hedgehog Lifespan and Long-Term Commitment

Owning a hedgehog is a significant commitment, and it’s crucial to understand the responsibilities that come with caring for these delightful creatures. One important aspect to consider is their lifespan. Hedgehogs have an average lifespan of three to seven years, although some can live up to 10 years with proper care.

As hedgehogs age, they are prone to developing certain health issues, including dental problems, tumors, and arthritis. To ensure your pet hedgehog remains healthy and happy, regular check-ups with a qualified veterinarian are essential.

Aside from their lifespan, potential hedgehog owners must also consider the long-term responsibilities of pet ownership. Hedgehogs require daily care, including providing a proper diet, fresh water, exercise, and socialization. Additionally, they need regular cleaning of their living space to prevent unpleasant odors and hygiene issues.

Bonding with your hedgehog is also crucial to establish trust and nurture a strong relationship. Hedgehogs may appear prickly and standoffish at first, but with patience and dedication, they can become affectionate companions.

Considerations for Hedgehog OwnershipResponsibilitiesChallengesRewards
Long-term care commitmentDaily feeding and cleaning, regular veterinary check-ups, socializationPotential health issues, hedgehogs are nocturnal and may disrupt your sleepLovable and entertaining companions, rewarding personal relationships
Environmental needsProper temperature, lighting, and humidity in their habitatRequire specialized and costly equipment, may limit space in your homeFascinating to observe in their natural behavior, adorable and unique appearance

Before deciding to bring a hedgehog into your family, it’s essential to evaluate whether you’re prepared for the long-term commitment and responsibilities involved. If you’re up for the challenge and ready to provide a loving home for a hedgehog, the rewards of having these delightful little creatures as pets can be truly wonderful.

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Legal Considerations for Owning a Hedgehog

Before bringing a hedgehog into your home as a pet, it’s important to research and comply with local laws and regulations regarding hedgehog ownership. Although hedgehogs are legal in many states, some areas may prohibit ownership or require a special permit.

For example, California and New York state do not permit hedgehog ownership, while Georgia and Pennsylvania require permits. Check with your local government or animal control agency to ensure you are complying with all the legal requirements in your area.

Even in states where hedgehogs are legal, it’s essential to consider the legal implications of owning one as a pet. Hedgehogs have special needs, and owners must be prepared to meet their requirements fully.

Having the proper licenses and permits can help in case any legal issues arise. Hedgehog ownership laws may change, so it’s recommended to stay updated on current regulations.

Make sure to understand all aspects of hedgehog ownership, from local regulations to proper care, before bringing one of these unique pets home to ensure a happy and healthy life for your new friend.

Note: Before making any decision regarding a pet hedgehog, always consult with a qualified expert and veterinarian.

Interactions with Other Pets and Children

If you’re considering a hedgehog as a pet, it’s important to think about how they will interact with other pets and children in your household. Hedgehogs can make great family-friendly pets, but it’s crucial to introduce them properly to avoid any potential conflicts or accidents.

Introducing Hedgehogs to Other Pets

When introducing your hedgehog to other pets, it’s important to supervise their interactions closely. Whether you have a dog, cat, or other small animal, your pets may be curious about the new addition to your household. Allow them to investigate each other while keeping a close eye on their behavior.

It’s important to note that some pets may view your hedgehog as prey due to their size and unique appearance. If your pets show any aggressive or predatory behavior towards your hedgehog, it may be best to keep them separated.

Interactions with Children

Hedgehogs can also interact well with children, but it’s important to teach children how to handle them gently. Children should be supervised when holding a hedgehog, and they should avoid handling them roughly or squeezing them tightly.

It’s important to also teach children about the proper care requirements of hedgehogs, including their diet, exercise, and socialization needs. Hedgehogs can be great educational pets, helping children learn about the unique characteristics and behaviors of these fascinating animals.

Creating a Safe and Harmonious Environment

To ensure a safe and harmonious environment for everyone in your household, it’s important to establish a space where your hedgehog can feel safe and secure. Provide your hedgehog with a comfortable and spacious enclosure, and keep it in a separate room away from other pets or children when you’re not supervising interactions.

Hedgehogs can also benefit from socialization with other hedgehogs, so consider providing them with a playmate if possible. Ensure that any other hedgehogs are of the same gender, and introduce them slowly over time to prevent any potential conflicts.

With proper introduction and care, hedgehogs can make great additions to any household with pets or children. Always supervise interactions closely and prioritize the safety and well-being of all animals and humans involved.

Finding the Perfect Hedgehog

If you’ve decided that a hedgehog is the perfect pet for you, the next step is to find one. While it may be tempting to buy a hedgehog from a pet store, we recommend finding a reputable breeder or adopting one from a rescue. This way, you can ensure you are getting a healthy and well-cared-for animal.

Adopting a Hedgehog

Adopting a hedgehog is a great way to give a home to an animal in need. Check with local animal rescues or hedgehog-specific rescues to see if they have any available for adoption. You may also want to consider the location of the rescue and the hedgehog’s environment to make sure it is a good fit for your family.

Buying a Hedgehog from a Breeder

If you opt to buy a hedgehog from a breeder, it’s important to do your research to find a reputable one. Look for a breeder who is knowledgeable about hedgehogs and their care, and who provides a healthy and clean environment for their animals. Ask for references and visit the breeding facility to make sure it meets your standards.

Things to Look For

Whether you are adopting or buying a hedgehog, there are several things to look for to ensure you are getting a healthy animal. A healthy hedgehog should have bright, clear eyes, clean ears and nose, and healthy skin. They should also be active and alert, with no signs of lethargy or labored breathing.

What to consider when finding a hedgehogWhat to look for
Appearance and healthBright, clear eyes, clean ears and nose, healthy skin
Housing and living conditionsClean and roomy habitat, with appropriate temperature and lighting
Behavior and temperamentActive and alert, with no signs of lethargy or aggression

Additionally, consider the hedgehog’s living conditions and temperament. A hedgehog’s habitat should be clean and roomy, with the appropriate temperature and lighting. You should also observe the hedgehog’s behavior and temperament to make sure they are a good fit for your family.

Once you’ve found the perfect hedgehog, it’s important to ensure a smooth transition to their new home. Be patient and let the hedgehog adjust to their new environment, and provide plenty of love and care to help them feel comfortable and happy in their new home.

Considerations for Prospective Hedgehog Owners

As with any pet, there are pros and cons to owning a hedgehog. Before making the decision to bring one into your life, it’s essential to weigh the benefits and drawbacks.

Pros of Owning a Hedgehog:

  • Hedgehogs are adorable and unique pets that can provide companionship and entertainment.
  • They are low-maintenance pets that don’t require daily walks or grooming.
  • Hedgehogs are generally quiet animals that won’t disturb your neighbors or roommates.
  • They have a long lifespan of 4-6 years, which can provide a long-term relationship between owner and pet.
  • They are solitary animals and don’t require a lot of socialization.

Cons of Owning a Hedgehog:

  • Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, which means they are most active at night, which may disrupt your sleep patterns.
  • They have specific dietary and environmental requirements that must be met for their health and well-being.
  • Hedgehogs can be prickly and require careful handling and socialization to build trust.
  • They are susceptible to certain health issues and may require specialized veterinary care.
  • Hedgehogs may not be suitable for households with young children or other pets, as they require a certain level of care and attention.

Overall, hedgehogs make great pets for the right owners. If you’re willing to meet their unique needs and commit to their long-term care, hedgehogs can provide years of companionship and delight. However, if you’re unsure about the suitability of a hedgehog for your lifestyle or living situation, it’s crucial to do your research and talk to experienced hedgehog owners before making a decision.


Welcome to our pet blog, where we celebrate the joy and companionship that pets bring to our lives. Our team is passionate about all things related to pets, from care tips to heartwarming stories, and we are dedicated to sharing our knowledge and experiences with fellow pet lovers.

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