Hedgehog FAQ

HEDGEHOG FAQ


WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE TANGLEFOOT HEDGEHOGS?

Tanglefoot is one of the only legitimate hedgehog breeders in the Central Texas region. With our smaller-scale operation, we are able to give our animals more than enough attention and care. Our hedgehogs have a great reputation for being lovable and tame, despite their natural tendency to be grumpy.

SHOULD I BUY FROM A PET STORE?

You should be careful when buying from a pet store or unlicensed breeder. Pet stores are often unable to give enough attention to truly tame a hedgehog, although there are exceptions to every rule and you should use your best judgement.

DO HEDGEHOGS MAKE GOOD PETS?

The answer is a resounding yes! But not for everyone. Small children or people looking for a pet to snuggle with probably won't be happy with a hedgehog. However for most owners, they find that a hedgehog is more than satisfying and a low-maintenance pet for their household. Below is a list of pros and cons to help you make your decision of whether or not to choose a hedgehog.

PROS

  • Hedgehogs don't get lonesome. They are solitary animals. So if you have to leave on vacation for the weekend make sure they are stocked with food and water, and they'll be fine without you.
  • They don't emit an odor like many other small animals (aside from their bathroom activities).
  • They are not rodents, so they do not chew on and destroy things in their cage!
  • Hedgehogs are relatively easy to care for, requiring a bath occasionally, a nail trim here and there, and keeping their food and water in good supply. 

CONS

  • Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal and do make some noise during the night. However most hedgehogs will play a little if woken up during the day.
  • They are naturally very timid and easily frightened, which appears to us as a grumpy disposition. With enough handling, most hedgehogs come around and don't mind interactions with humans.
  • Hedgehogs require a larger cage than most animals their size. A medium-sized guinea pig cage should be the minimum (2'x4' per hedgehog). Ferret and C&C cages also make a good alternative.

WHAT DOES MY HEDGEHOG NEED?

Hedgehogs need a larger cage (2'x4' minimum) with a house or place to hide and sleep. A running wheel or plenty of exercise is also required as they can be very active. Of course food and water are a must, and some items for them to play with, explore, and dig through are a big plus. One of their favorite toys is a toilet paper roll (cut lengthwise to avoid getting their head stuck). Ferret toys and dig boxes also make great additions.

WHAT WILL MY HEDGEHOG EAT? IS CAT FOOD OKAY?

Many sites and breeders suggest that cat food also makes great hedgehog food. Just remember that cats are carnivores and hedgehogs are insectivores - which means they don't eat most of the same foods. A quality food formulated for hedgehogs and containing insects is recommended by Tanglefoot. There are many options online in case your local pet store doesn't carry any.

As a treat, hedgehogs of course love insects, but if that makes you nervous or makes you squirm, a small amount of diced steamed vegetables or a cooled scrambled egg should do the trick. Just make sure treats are in moderation and introduced one at a time so that you can identify the problem if your hedgehog gets sick.

DOES MY HEDGEHOG NEED TO SEE THE VET?

Yes. It is recommended that you take your pet to a hedgehog-experienced veterinarian twice a year for a check-up just like your dog or cat. Make sure you know your vet before an emergency happens, and always get your new pet checked out the first week he/she is brought home.

8210669_s.jpg

DO THOSE SPINES HURT?

Hedgehog spines are sharp since they are used for defense in the wild. They can hurt when a hedgehog is alert or balled-up but they should not puncture the skin or cause injuries or even scratches in most cases. When a hedgehog is relaxed and comfortable, which should be most of the time, the spines lay flat against their body and feel something like a toothbrush as you are petting them.

HOW MUCH DOES A HEDGEHOG COST?

Our hedgehogs are generally adopted for $200, including the deposit. However that price may vary when rare colorations arise. In addition to the initial cost, you should be prepared to purchase an enclosure, a hideaway, and enrichment items. Food and bedding will generally run around $20 per month plus vet bills for two annual check-ups.


MORE QUESTIONS?

Contact us with any questions you have about owning a hedgehog, getting ready to bring one into your home, or caring for your existing pet. We'll be happy to help!