Hedgehog Care: Daily Hedgehog Routine

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How to Care for African Pygmy Hedgehogs

Two Parts:

African Pygmy Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular as pets. They can make good pets, but require care and attention as well as plenty of space to run around and a generally stimulating environment. They are nocturnal, and best observed in the evening when they become active.


Providing a Good Environment

  1. Get a large cage.Although African Pygmy Hedgehogs are small creatures, they are very active at night and need plenty of space to roam around in. The minimum recommended size for a cage is 4 feet long and 2 feet wide, but the more space you can provide the better. One way to provide extra floor space is by having a multi-level cage.
    • Getting a wire cage with a solid floor isn't your best bet. get something like a very large Tupperware or bin, with holes drilled in the top. even if there's wire on the sides, they could still hurt themselves. Don't use a cage with a wire floor, as it could damage and hurt his feet.
    • There are lots of small animal cages available to buy which will be a good choice for your hedgehog.
  2. Equip the cage.Supply your cage with all the basic requirements to make it a healthy and stimulating environment for your hedgehog. You will need to get two food bowls, which are heavy enough that they cannot be easily knocked over and the contents spilt. One bowl will be for dry food, the other for wet food or treats.
    • You will also need to supply fresh water either with a stoppered drinking water bottle, or a water dish. A water bottle is usually preferred.
    • Add a small litterbox to the his cage, so he has one place to use the bathroom.
    • Place around 2 inches of substrate evenly all across the floor of the cage. Animal safe substrate made from recycled paper is a good choice.
    • Aspen,or white shavings are also good choices. Don't use cedar shavings, which can be harmful if ingested. Another trick is to use a cut fleece blanket its cheaper and a lot easier to clean and manage the cage with that.
  3. Provide stimulation.Hedgehogs are active creatures who need plenty of stimulation in their environment to keep them healthy and happy. They are used to roaming across large distances, so you need to give your hedgehog plenty of exercise in his cage. Place a large exercise wheel in the cage. A guinea pig wheel can be a good choice, but there are also specialised hedgehog wheels now available.
    • Look for a wheel that has a solid floor. If the wheel is wire, he could get his feet caught between the wires and suffer an injury. Also, don't leave the wheel in for more than 40 minutes because the hedgehog won't know when to get off, and unfortunately die from too much exercise.
    • Things such as tubes, ramps, and ledges can also help create a stimulating and varied environment for your hedgehog.
    • Use a tube, or wooden box to create a hiding area in the cage where he can be out of sight.
  4. Know where to put the cage.Once you have the cage fully kitted out, you need to think about where the most appropriate place to put it is. You should make sure you place the cage away from any drafts, windows, heaters or air conditioners. Avoid any area where the temperature would fluctuate too much. You should aim for a constant temperature of around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • The cage should also be somewhere where the hedgehog will experience both night and day.
    • Hedgehogs need periods of both light and darkness to stay healthy, so don't put the cage somewhere that is always dark or somewhere that is always light.

Feeding and Caring for Your Hedgehog

  1. Feeding your hedgehog.In the wild, hedgehogs will generally get most of their food from insects, but they eat a variety of other things including eggs, worms, fruits and vegetables. The core of your hedgehogs nutritional needs can be met with dry hedgehog food. This is not always available at pet stores, and a good quality, high-protein dry cat food is a good alternative.
    • Chicken and meat cat food is fine, but do not feed your hedgehog fish cat food.
    • Dry food can generally be fed free choice to your hedgehog, but if you notice he is becoming overweight, enact more control over how much food you provide.
    • Ensure you refresh his water bottle every day, so he has a constant supply of fresh, clean water.
  2. Adding variety and treats.Provide a varied diet for your hedgehog by supplementing the dry food with a variety of treats and extras three or four times a week. Mix up your supply of vegetables and fruits with mealworms, crickets, and cooked lean chicken. Add these supplements for fifteen minutes and then remove any that he has not eaten.
    • Suitable fruit and vegetables include peas, apples, carrots and beans.
    • You can also use wet cat food as a treat, again avoiding the fish kind.
    • Providing live crickets will mimic the way he would eat in the wild.
  3. Keep the cage clean.Hedgehogs are fairly cleanly animals, but you will need to help out to keep his environment hygienic and healthy. Spot clean the cage daily, removing any waste or soiled bedding. Take out and clean the food bowls and refresh the water bottle. Remove all the bedding and replace it with some fresh substrate once a week.
    • Clean the bottom of cage, along with toys and other items in the cage, such as the wheel, with warm soapy water.
    • Make sure everything has been thoroughly rinsed and dried before returning it to the cage.
  4. Provide a playpen outside the cage.You can help keep your hedgehog healthy and stimulated by allowing out of his cage every now and again. You could do this when you are cleaning out the cage. To do it safely, it's best to construct a good-sized playpen for him to run around him. You need to keep a close eye on him, and ensure there are no other pets with access to the room.
    • You can buy small animal playpens from you local pet store, or construct one yourself.
    • Don't underestimate the mobility of your hedgehog, and don't forget he will like to climb and explore his surroundings.
    • Put some toys in the playpen with him to provide some extra stimulation.
  5. Handle with care.Pygmy hedgehogs are generally much easier to handle than larger hedgehogs, but they are quite shy and you should respect them if they do not want to be handled. The more time spent together the more he will come to trust you. A hedgehog that is used to being handled from a young age will be much more comfortable.
    • If he rolls up into a ball, leave him alone and try again another time.
    • You can get a prick from his quills, and hedgehogs do bite when they are afraid or uncomfortable.
    • Handle your hedgehog in the evening when he is active, don't wake him up during the day.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How long do African pygmy hedgehogs live in captivity?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    An average lifespan is 4-6 years. However, with excellent care, this can be extended to 8 years.
  • Question
    What if I accidentally make my hedgehog fall? Will it NEVER like me ever again?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    First you want to make sure it is not seriously injured. Keep the hedgehog under observation and take it to the vet if you're concerned. Otherwise, try not to worry too much, most animals have pretty short memories, and as long as you continue to act loving to your hedgehog in the future, he/she will probably forget all about it.
  • Question
    Are hedgehogs an ideal pet for children under the age of 12?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    As long as there is adult supervision, they are a fine pet. However, children should not be left unsupervised with hedgehogs.
  • Question
    Can I use a C & C cage for my African Pygmy hedgehog?
    Hannah Hamilton
    Community Answer
    Yes! These work very well, but if your hedgehog is a climber, then make sure to cover the bottom half of the cage's walls with something so your hedgehog doesn't get hurt trying to climb the walls.
  • Question
    Can my hedgehog live in an aquarium?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes! This is a very good, safe, and inexpensive way to house your hedgehog. I would recommend using a 9 to 12 gallon tank (Petco has dollar-a-gallon prices most of the time) and making sure to cover the bottom with a fleece blanket or recycled paper shavings.
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Date: 12.12.2018, 07:51 / Views: 35191