There are many things that people do not know about hedgehogs as they are exotic animals. One aspect of hedgehogs that comes as a surprise is their athletic ability. Hedgehogs not only love to run and explore, but they enjoy other activities too. But do hedgehogs swim?
Apart from eating and sleeping, hedgehogs are good at swimming. Most hedgehogs enjoy being in the water and will jump and swim in the wild and as pets.
Wild hedgehogs will swim in rivers and lakes in search of food. Getting out of the water is tricky, but rivers and lakes have ridges that help hedgehogs out of the water. Pet hedgehogs require a slope if they swim in pools, bathtubs, or a garden pond.
Can Hedgehogs Drown?
Unfortunately, as much as hedgehogs make great swimmers, they are also prone to drowning. Hedgehogs are athletic and love jumping into lakes and rivers without second thoughts.
However, more often, there is no way to get out of the river, and hedgehogs keep swimming until they are too tired and drown. Usually, rivers and lakes have natural escape routes, but sometimes that would not be the case, and the hedgehog would put itself in danger by swimming.
Pet hedgehogs also swim, and if your hedgehog is someone who enjoys swimming, you should devise an escape plan for it. For example, if you have a swimming pool, you should create a slope so your hedgehog can easily get out when it is done swimming. Moreover, garden ponds should also be revamped to accommodate hedgehogs.
It should be noted that you should never let your hedgehog be alone in pools or ponds. Since hedgehogs drown easily, you should keep an eye on them if they ever have difficulty getting out.
Moreover, you should never force your hedgehog to swim if they are not comfortable with it. Your hedgehog can become distressed and panic if it is forced to swim.
Do All Hedgehogs Swim?
Hedgehogs are usually found on the ground in gardens and woodlands, and hence, swimming may come across as being out of character. But all hedgehogs are known to swim, whether in the wild or captivity.
Your hedgehog does not need to swim to live. Some hedgehogs may not even like water and are happy running, foraging, and sleeping on the ground.
Do Hedgehogs Like Baths?
The intensity with which a hedgehog likes baths depends on its personality. Most hedgehogs love baths, while some can become stressed or anxious in water and soil themselves.
As hedgehogs tend to soil themselves, it is best to use a separate tub for their bath time. Moreover, it is important to use warm water when giving a bath to your hedgehog to avoid chills and fall sick.
The frequency of your hedgehog’s baths depends on how dirty it looks. If your hedgehog looks dirty and has its feet covered in poop (also known as poop boots), you know that it is time for a bath. Giving a bath to your hedgehog will help prevent it from smelling and getting dry skin.
However, too many baths can also cause your hedgehog’s skin to dry out.
Before introducing your hedgehog to a bath, you should leave it in some warm water so it gets comfortable. If the hedgehog soils the water, you can change the tub, and in no time, your hedgehog will be used to baths.
How to Bathe a Hedgehog
Before you bathe a hedgehog, you should ensure that you have the right supplies.
You can either bathe your hedgehog in the sink or a bathtub. Some people prefer to have a separate tub as hedgehogs often soil themselves. On the other hand, people also like sinks because it is easier to control the temperature of the water.
You can begin by filling your sink or tub in a few inches of warm water, so it reaches your hedgehog’s toes. Next, you can begin by placing your hedgehog in the warm water and wait for it to relax. Your hedgehog will probably be stressed and anxious because of the water and will need some time to adjust.
After your hedgehog is relaxed, you can take some baby shampoo and lather your hedgehog. Baby shampoo is mild and will not cause any allergies. You should focus the shampoo on the hedgehog’s fur and softer parts of its body. You must ensure that you do not get the shampoo in the hedgehog’s eyes.
When you are done with the softer parts, it is time to focus on the spines. For the spines, you need a toothbrush for thorough cleaning. You can begin by lathering shampoo and brushing the spines.
You must ensure that you are gentle and do not make any sudden or rough movements that could stress your hedgehog. After brushing the spines, you can rinse your hedgehog thoroughly, ensuring no soap left.
When you are done rinsing your hedgehog, you should dry it with a towel. This step is important because you should never leave your hedgehog wet, or it will easily get chills and fall sick.
Hedgehogs are not known to swim, but they are some of the most athletic animals. These small mammals, apart from running and foraging, enjoy swimming too. Hedgehogs are adventurous and can go for a swim in lakes or rivers. Mostly, hedgehogs will swim in the wild in search of food. Your pet hedgehogs do not need to swim for survival.
As much as hedgehogs make greats swimmers, they are also prone to drowning. Hedgehogs should not be left alone in water as they sometimes have difficulty getting out of the water and swim until they get tired and drown.
If you have a pool or a garden pond, you need to create escape routes for your hedgehogs. Some hedgehogs like baths while some do not. You should ensure warm baths to your hedgehog but not too much as it can dry its skin.
It is always best to dry your hedgehog to avoid it getting chills.