How to Care for Hedgehogs

While they do not seem to crave human affection like a dog an are higher maintenance, hedgehogs have endured as pets due to their tiny size, ranging between 5″-8″ long, and inherent cuteness. While hedgehogs are none too keen on giving cuddles, they will tolerate light handling. The average age of a hedgehog is six years. 

Legality  

While most municipalities within the United States allow hedgehogs as pets, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine and Pennsylvania either ban them as pets or demand a permit for someone to have one. A handful of Canadian municipalities have also banned hedgehogs as pets, as has Scandinavia. 

 Activity Cycle 

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, which means they are only awake at night. 

 Diet 

While outdated nature texts claim that hedgehogs only ate bugs, the truth is that they are omnivorous. While this means that wild hedgehogs will feast on insects, they will also seek to devour amphibians, berries, carrion, eggs, the roots of grasses, mushrooms and fruit. 

Housing 

Hedgehogs need to work out regularly, this means that enclosed hedgehogs should have access to an open wheel to run around in. It is also a great idea, if you can manage it, to let them run around in your home. Allowing your hedgehog free range of the house allows it to approach some level of the far-ranging travel habits of its wild ancestors. Any cage that holds a hedgehog will need to be cleaned on a daily basis due to how messy these little creatures can be. 

Acceptable Temperature Range 

Between (75-86°F) with plenty of room to dig and forage for food, making it difficult for urban hedgehog owners to fully satisfy their pet’s needs. If things are too hot, the hedgehog may suffer heat stroke; if things are too cold, the hedgehog will enter torpor. 

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