Some people are concerned with housing a hedgehog because of its quills. Some have more questions that are often left unanswered, such as do hedgehogs bite or not? Hedgehogs are unique animals different from others, but certain characteristics can be found in all animals.
Although it is very rare, hedgehogs do bite. At some point, you are likely to be bitten by a hedgehog but it is unlikely to be in an aggressive manner.
However, a hedgehog biting should not steer you away from keeping it as a pet. Biting is something you unanimously agree upon when you decide to get a pet. Also, it is on the rarest of occasions that a hedgehog will decide to bite you.
Do Hedgehog Bites Hurt?
Hedgehog teeth are very human-like. Unlike rodents who have sharp teeth for gnawing at things, hedgehogs have flat teeth. Hence, if a hedgehog bites you, it will not hurt you.
The biting comes with pressure and feels more like a pinch than a puncture. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that a hedgehog bite will pierce through your skin (although that depends on where your hedgehog has bitten you).
If your hedgehog bites you, do not pull your hand away, as this will encourage it to bite more. Instead, push forward until your hedgehog opens its mouth and releases your finger.
The more time you spend with your hedgehog, the less it will be inclined to bite.
Are Hedgehogs Aggressive?
Hedgehogs are anti-social and solitary animals. Their behaviour can often be misunderstood as aggressive. Hedgehogs prefer to be alone and become stressed if someone gets too close to them. Hence, the ball up with their quills standing out and are thought to be aggressive.
Since hedgehogs like being alone, it is best to keep them separate from other hedgehogs. If kept together, hedgehogs can be aggressive towards other hedgehogs. They may fight over food if there is not enough in the cage.
If you are breeding hedgehogs, you should remove the male hedgehog from the cage before the mother gives birth.
Although unintentional, the mother can also harm the baby hedgehogs by running over them or dragging them onto the wheel. When a mother hedgehog is stressed, it displays cannibalistic behaviour by gulping down its babies.
This is a survival instinct because the mother does not know what else to do if her babies are in danger.
Are Hedgehogs Dangerous?
Before being domesticated, hedgehogs were solely considered wild animals and more so dangerous ones with the likes of lions and tigers. In the last few years, there has been an increase in pet hedgehogs, which still many people disagree with.
Are hedgehogs truly dangerous?
A given that comes with all pets is that they can be dangerous. Even the friendliest of dogs and cats can harm you. The same logic applies to hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs have quills that stand upright if someone gets too close or if they feel threatened. If you have any children, the quills can pierce through the skin and hurt them and even you.
Hedgehogs carry many germs and can transfer them to you and your family. While some of the germs can be harmless, one germ that hedgehogs carry is salmonella.
However, you can always prevent getting an infection from your hedgehog. After you are done handling your hedgehog, you should always wash your hands. A salmonella outbreak can be treated with antibiotics.
Can Hedgehogs Hurt You?
Most of the time, hedgehogs will not hurt you. A hedgehog can only hurt you if it curls into a ball and has its spines standing upright. It would help if you waited until the hedgehog is calm before holding it.
It is very rare for a hedgehog to bite you, and if it does, there are usually underlying issues that are bothering them. If you notice excessive biting, make sure to talk to your vet about it.
How to Handle Hedgehogs Without Getting Hurt
A question that all pet parents have is how to handle a hedgehog without hurting themselves. The first step to this is to ensure that your hedgehog is comfortable and relaxed. If your hedgehog is relaxed, you will find that the quills are flat and not standing up.
This way, you can hold your hedgehog, and its quills will not hurt you.
Another way to figure out if your hedgehog is relaxed if they are not making any sounds. Any huffing or puffing usually means that your hedgehog is angry.
When it comes to petting your hedgehog, you can do so without getting hurt. Pet, your hedgehog in the direction of its quills. If you pet your hedgehog the opposite way, there are more chances of you getting hurt.
When you bring your hedgehog home for the first time, it will be stressed. The new environment is likely to make it anxious.
Hence, you will come across many situations when your hedgehog is curled in a spiked ball, and you will need to handle it. You can hold your hedgehog in this situation with the help of a towel. You can also wear protective gloves.
It is on very rare occasions that hedgehogs bite. Hedgehogs are curious animals and may bite if they smell a new scent.
Hedgehog bites do not hurt as their teeth are like humans. Unlike rodents who have sharp teeth for gnawing, hedgehogs’ teeth are smooth. The bite of a hedgehog will hurt as much as a hamster’s.
Hedgehogs are not aggressive animals but rather solitary. They love being alone, and hence, it is not a good idea to place two hedgehogs together as they can fight. It is good to remove the father hedgehog from the cage before the mother gives birth not to harm the babies.
Hedgehogs can be dangerous to house as they carry and transmit diseases like salmonella. This can be prevented by taking antibiotics and washing your hands after handling the hedgehog.
You can hold your hedgehog when it is calm so as not to get hurt. If your hedgehog refuses to uncurl and you have to move it, you can do so with the help of a towel or gloves.