About Hedgehogs

Domesticated species prefer a warm climate and do not naturally hibernate. Attempts to hibernate due to lowered body temperatures can be fatal, but are easily reversed if caught quickly (within a few days). Hedgehogs produce very little dander making them an excellent choice of pet for allergy sufferers. It is possible to be allergic to items surrounding the hedgehog, such as the hedgehog’s food or bedding, but it is rare that a person would be allergic to the hedgehog itself.

Hedgehogs are, by nature, nocturnal animals. That said, they do not abide by this strictly. They can be woken from sleep during the day and will be happy to come out for a cuddle or to play, particularly if there is a mealworm or two on offer.

African pygmy hedgehogs are extraordinary creatures. Inquisitive, curious and covered in quills, these charming animals can make unusual yet delightful pets.

Must be housed in a suitable environment. Although this is open to interpretation, a sensible enclosure will be 40” long by 15” wide as a minimum. An Ideal enclosure and one that I would recommend would be an indoor rabbit cage. These generally come in three sizes: 80cm, 100cm and 120cm. The 80cm cannot be considered as it is too small. Either the 100cm or 120cm would be ideal… The enclosure must include a device to allow the natural behaviour
of running up to 5 miles a night; this is generally in the form of a wheel which must be cleaned of poop every day, scrubbing it with hot water and pet friendly disinfectant. It is not a pleasant job.
 

Cleaning

Spot cleaning should be done every day as well as cleaning of the wheel. As I have already discussed the wheel requires scrubbing of any poop and pee plus the enclosure requires the removal of poop and pee each day. The simplest way is to simply pick this out by hand, with the surrounding substrate, replacing with fresh.

You will enjoy the challenge of keeping this animal and look forward to bonding with it, and making its time on this earth a pleasant one. Our time with our hogs has been extremely rewarding and has put pygmy hedgehogs high on our favourite animal list. I am constantly researching more and more about their natural habitats and trying build on the knowledge that previous keepers have passed to me. There is still so much to learn about these wonderful creatures. In the right hands they make some of the most fascinating exotic mammals you could wish to own.
 

Temperature

Hogs are very happy living at the same temperature as us, and need no extra heating unless you house them in a particularly cold room of the house. If this is the case a simple heat mat set under the enclosure with a thermostat set to approximately 21 – 24°C will do fine. In most centrally heated houses no extra heat is required. The general rule is, if you feel cold, your hog feels cold. If unsure then check the area you intend to house your hog with a thermometer during the coldest part of the night. If the temp drops below 20°C then a heat mat should be used as a fail safe feature.

Testimonials

Hazel came to visit our party with a mother hedgehog and four gorgeous hoglets. She taught us so much about them and we had lots of time to hold them and take pictures. A bonus surprise was meeting Peanut the Tenrec, who enjoyed snoozing in the warmth of our palms. I wanted to take him home with me! Thanks Hazel for a special afternoon.
C Bates
28 March 2019

Hi Hazel and Mark, thank you so much for bringing your gorgeous hedgehogs to our Rainbow unit - the adults loved it just as much as the girls! You're brilliant at interacting with the girls and it's obvious the hedgehogs mean a lot to you both. Hope to see you again, I'll definitely keep recommending you. Best wishes, Cecile, 1st Danbury Rainbows Unit
Cecile
28 March 2019

Hazel is so lovely and helpful fell like I've known her for years got our little hedgehog for daughter for Christmas she has settled in already and loves being held and cuddled thank u hazel for making mine and Libby's Christmas love little Hedi so much already xxx
Kelly Thomas
23rd December 2017