veterinarian holding hedgehog at beevet animal hospital in austin texas.

If you are interested in adopting a hedgehog, it is essential to learn all about their needs long before bringing one home. Initial interest in these curious creatures typically stems from their pint-sized cuteness, but to truly give them the best life possible, you should plan carefully and prepare. If you’re wondering about what it takes to provide for a pet hedgehog, you’ve come to the right place.

Check All the Boxes

Despite being highly active at night, hedgehogs are famous for being relatively quiet pets. While you may not necessarily want their enclosure in the same room where you sleep, you may be pleasantly surprised at the minimal space required by a pet hedgehog (ideal measurements are about two feet by three feet). You want to ensure your hedgehog cannot escape their enclosure or hurt themselves while inside their new home. 

Be sure to monitor the ambient temperature around your hedgehog’s enclosure. They like to stay relatively warm, and if the air drops below 75-degree or tops 85-degrees, they may suffer unfortunate health consequences. 

Start at the Vet

Pet hedgehogs should be examined annually by our experienced exotic veterinary team. Beginning shortly after adoption, their first exams will focus on preventing or eliminating internal and external parasites, reproductive health, and nutrition. 

Just like other pets, the early detection of various health conditions can save valuable time and resources. With preventive health care, pet hedgehogs can live up to 8 years. 

Diet and Habitat

While wild hedgehogs enjoy a diet of roots, plants, and insects, pet hedgehogs enjoy a diet full of mealworms, fruits, veggies, and crickets. 

Also, pet hedgehogs enjoy vigorous exercise every day (in the wild they can cover over 2 miles a night). Some prefer their exercise wheel, while others like to swim. Whatever your hedgie likes, be sure to facilitate safe options to fulfill their daily activities. 

Hedgehog Care (and Love)

Pet hedgehogs aren’t known for being cuddly, but that doesn’t mean they resist careful, calming  handling techniques.They have between 5,000-7,000 spikes on their back that help defend against threats, so you definitely want to hold them the right way. If they are consistently exposed to safe, secure physical contact, they will show trust and openness with their pet owners. 

Due to the possibility of Salmonella poisoning, hedgehogs can be risky for kids under age 5, seniors, and individuals with compromised immunity. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling and maintain great hygiene in your hedgie’s enclosure. 
If you need any assistance with hedgehog health and happiness, our veterinarians are happy to help you at BEEVET Animal Hospital. Feel free to call us anytime at (512) 263-9292.