When deciding to bring a small pet into their homes, many people usually resort to a cat or dog. Hedgehogs do not make the first choice, as for some people, it is unusual to have hedgehogs as pets. With their unique features, such as quills, pointed noses, and tiny ears, hedgehogs are considered rather exotic.
But are hedgehogs exotic pets?
Hedgehogs are exotic pets and are even considered to be dangerous or illegal in some states.
Before we come to any conclusions, hedgehogs are exotic, but there is a big difference between the wild ones and those that have been domesticated. People often mistake them both for the same thing. Unlike other exotic wildlife animals such as lions or tigers, Hedgehogs can be domesticated and are not dangerous.
Are Hedgehogs Dangerous as Pets?
Every pet can be dangerous to some degree. You can never rely on your pet to always exhibit the same behaviour because they also feel emotions like humans at the end of the day. Hedgehogs are no different and can resort to harmful behaviour to those around them.
However, whenever hedgehogs bite or their quills stand upright, they usually feel threatened or detect danger. They may also be stressed or scared. It is important to keep track of your hedgehog’s behaviour.
Why You Shouldn’t Get a Pet Hedgehog
Keeping a pet hedgehog is a lifetime commitment that you should be ready for. Many factors go into keeping a pet, and of course, making sure that it is healthy. A pet hedgehog may appear adorable and endearing, but it does come with some added negatives as well.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, to begin with; this means they usually sleep during the day and become active during the night. Therefore, hedgehogs will scurry through the night, play around, and make noises. This is not the ideal situation if you or any of your family members are light sleepers.
If you have children and are looking for a pet to play and cuddle with, hedgehogs are not a great choice. Hedgehogs have spiky quills that stand upright when they are scared; they do not like loud noises, so keeping them around children is not a great decision.
The quills can hurt the children or anyone that is not aware and tries to touch the hedgehog.
Hedgehogs also come with a self-anointing habit. They spread their saliva all over their body, and this habit often comes across as disgusting to most people.
Hedgehogs are also banned in some places because they carry the risk of spreading foot and mouth disease. They can also spread salmonella and other bacterial and viral infections. Moreover, if one of their quills punctures the skin, it can cause infections too.
Is It Cruel to Keep Hedgehog as a Pet?
Recently, more and more people are becoming inclined towards keeping hedgehogs as pets. This has led to an increase in the breeding of hedgehogs. These tiny animals are not natives of North America. Therefore, some breeders breed hedgehogs solely to sell them.
The breeding business can be cruel to the hedgehogs. They are often victims of in-house breeding, which leads to babies being born with deficiencies such as blindness.
People assume that since hedgehogs are small, they are easy to take care of. However, that is not the case. Hedgehogs are vulnerable little mammals that can easily get hurt. They have specific temperature and light conditions that need to be met.
Moreover, they also require a diet that provides them with sufficient nutrients.
Hedgehogs Might be Small But They’re Not Easy to Look After
The high demand for hedgehogs as pets leads to more breeding, leading to suffering for these mammals. Quite often, hedgehogs are suffering from malnutrition and can easily become stressed due to changing environments.
The breeding facilities that hedgehogs are kept in are not up to the mark. They are dirty and only make the hedgehogs more stressed.
Hedgehogs are animals of the wild, and their needs are not met in a small cage. These mammals are known to scurry and explore many miles during the night, which they cannot do while living in a small cage.
Many people that take hedgehogs in their homes are not prepared to give them the care they require. They do not have access to the right food, a vet, or even ample space.
Hedgehogs are not for everyone to keep as pets. If you are willing to put in time and effort, you must certainly decide to keep one. You must make sure that you are ready to tend to the hedgehog’s needs, keep it happy and work towards developing a bond with your hedgehog.
Keeping Hedgehogs With Other Pets
It is a known fact that hedgehogs are solitary animals. They do not enjoy interaction with humans, other animals, and even other hedgehogs.
If you have other pets, such as a cat or dog, keep them away from your hedgehog as they can harm or hurt it. Hedgehogs are vulnerable as it is, and their soft bellies can easily get hurt. You should also keep your hedgehog in a separate cage away from other hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs are considered exotic animals. However, unlike other exotic animals such as lions, they are not entirely harmful. These tiny creatures, if domesticated, cannot survive in the wild. Therefore, there is a big difference between wild exotic animals and domesticated ones.
Unfortunately, the pocket pet industry is harmful because it breeds hedgehogs in terrible conditions. Purchasing hedgehogs is a way of keeping this industry alive and running. Hedgehogs enjoy being free and exploring during the night, which they cannot do inside their cage.
You should not get a pet hedgehog if you are a light sleeper and cannot adjust to noise at night. Moreover, if you have children, the quills can harm them.
If you have other pets, such as a cat or dog, you should keep your hedgehog away from them as they can hurt them. You should be dedicated to providing the hedgehog with necessary conditions, so it lives a better and healthier life.