Avian & Exotic Pet Clinic of Roanoke

Paul Stewart, DVM

(540) 989-4464

Hedgehogs

Did you know...

  • Superstitions about hedgehogs abound in East Africa. Some people believe that seeds rubbing on a hedgehog before planting will produce abundant harvests.
  • Hedgehogs go through quilling, where they lose their baby quills and grow in adult ones.
  • Hedgehogs are nocturnal.
  • Hedgehogs will annoint (spit foamy saliva on themselves) when faced with something new in their environment.
  • These pets perfer to be in a low stress, quiet, dimly lit environment. They are very stress prone.

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F.A.Q.s

  • Life expectancy is 5-6 years
  • 2-3 tbsp of commercially available insectivore diet (or specific hedgehog chow) and up to 5 crickets, meal worms or worms every other day. If insectivore diet is unavailable, a low-fat good quality cat food can be fed, but is not ideal.
  • 30 gallon aquarium with adequate ventilation and temperature. Allow for safe climbing within the cage and provide bedding deep enough to encourage digging behavior.
  • Provide a hiding area within the cage.
  • Allow hedgehogs to bathe and swim in tepid water.
  • Use Aspen, Yesterday's News or Care Fresh for bedding.
  • Hedgehogs prefer to be housed individually.
  • $125 - $300
  • Do not feed high fat diets, overfeed, use wire-bottomed cages, feed exclusively cat or dog food, use cedar or pine bedding.
  • Health tips: Annual physical check-ups including thorough dental exams until three years of age, then twice annually due to the short lifespan and common senior health issues such as dental disease, heart disease, and tumors.
  • Prevent weight problems by only feeding a reasonable portion of food in the evenings.
  • Remove uneaten food in the morning. Try to keep environmental temperature between 75 and 85 degrees F.
  • Hedgehogs can carry Salmonella (a bacteria) and proper measures should be taken to avoid human infection.
  • Use appropriate exercise wheel for daily exercise.