how to prepare a hedgehog cage
It's very important to prepare a proper hedgehog habitat before their arrival. Not all small pet habitats are ideal for hedgehogs, so please see our blog post on How to Prepare a Hedgehog Cage for detailed items, where to purchase them, and things to avoid.
What is the perfect hedgehog environment
Putting together your perfect hedgehog cage is only part of the hedgehog environment.
what do hedgehogs eat?
It may surprise you to learn that the best diet for hedgehogs is high quality cat food. Thankfully it's nutritionally better (and cheaper! and easier to find!) than "hedgehog food." We feed our hedgehogs Purina ONE chicken flavor cat food. You can also mix a few types of cat food together to make a blend of proteins.
Be wary of too many additional treats (mealworms, etc) as hedgehogs can become obese. It is also helpful if you regularly weigh your hedgehog to track any sudden increases or decreases in weight, which can clue you in if there is a hidden health issue going on.
Also, hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, so do not feed your hedgehog milk or dairy.
What basic care do hedgehogs require?
In the grand scheme of things, hedgehogs are fairly low maintenance pets. With a dedicated and attentive owner, hedgehogs are easy to rewarding pets.
How to find an exotic vet
Hedgehogs do not require routine veterinary care. However, you always want to know your nearest exotic vet BEFORE a need should arise. You also want to make sure that your vet has experience specific to hedgehogs.
Here are some great ways to find your exotic vet. Be sure to call the ones you're interested in and confirm they are experienced with hedgehogs and ask procedures for regular or acute care as well as in case of emergency. Some vets have a different emergency or after-hours phone number.
Our recommended exotic vet in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area:
NC State Veterinary Hospital
why is my hedgehog foaming at the mouth?!
You're hanging out with your hedgehog and everything is great. All of a sudden your hedgehog starts "foaming" at the mouth and spitting it onto their quills. Yikes!
No, your hedgehog does not have rabies. No, your hedgehog is not having a seizure. This process is called anointing. When hedgehogs come into contact with new smells and tastes, hedgehogs anoint themselves. Why exactly, we're not sure. It's believed they may be saving that scent for later.
Either way. Don't fret. This is a completely normal part of hedgehog ownership.
Note: If there are other concerning things happening with your hedgehog, you should call and consult with your exotic veterinarian.
What else do you want to know about hedgehog care? Let us know in the comments!
Rachel, the owner of Penny's Prickly Pigs has been breeding hedgehogs since 2008, and owned hedgehogs off and on since she was 12 years old. We maintain a small herd to focus on quality and personality. We track pedigrees on all of our hedgehogs.