An important part of keeping hedgehogs as pets is to ensure that they remain nice and warm. Many people do not know that, but keeping them at the correct temperature is essential. Since domesticated hedgehogs do not hibernate, they must always remain warm. So how do you heat a plastic hedgehog cage properly?
You can heat a plastic hedgehog cage by placing heating lamps above the cage and/or heating pads above the cage.
You can also place a heater above the hedgehog’s plastic cage apart from using a heating pad. If the cage is made from metal and has legs, it is easier to heat it as you can slip the heating pad below the cage. However, with a plastic cage, you cannot do so. Therefore, you can use the lid area.
How Warm Should a Hedgehog’s Cage Be?
As aforementioned, warmth is important to hedgehogs. Therefore, you must ensure that a hedgehog’s enclosure is always the correct temperature.
The temperature of your hedgehog’s enclosure should be between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius. The temperature should be below 18 degrees or above 28 degrees. If the temperature falls below 18 degrees, the hedgehog will attempt to hibernate.
Hibernation is a survival instinct that wild hedgehogs can do because they have enough fat content to last them through the winter. However, a domesticated hedgehog does have enough fat reserves and will die if it hibernates.
Do Hedgehogs Need Heat Lamps?
Hedgehogs cannot afford fluctuations in temperature and require constant warmth in their enclosure. Hence, adjusting the room temperature is not enough, and hedgehogs require additional heating.
There is more than one way of providing heat to hedgehogs, and one of them is heat lamps. However, heat lamps may not be the best choice, and there are better alternatives available.
Using a heat lamp is not the best choice if you have a plastic cage for your hedgehog. With a plastic cage, there is a risk of fire. However, people who have metal enclosures for their hedgehog do use heat lamps.
Heat lamps come with their set of pros and cons:
If you are on a budget, you may prefer using a heat lamp as it is a cheap option. However, you cannot rely on heat lamps for safety and efficiency. In addition, if you do get a heat lamp, ensure that you do not get the white light one. Instead, go for a heat lamp with black or red light.
You will need to switch heat lamps on during the day and night. The white light from the heat lamp will indicate that it is the day, and your hedgehog may feel confused during the nighttime.
Moreover, if you have a plastic cage for your hedgehog, avoid using a heat lamp at all costs, as it will melt the cage due to excessive heat. While people use heat lamps, it is great for your hedgehog if you explore other heating options.
Can You Use a Heating Pad for Hedgehogs?
Other than heat lamps, another method of keeping your hedgehog warm is by using heating pads. You can place the heating pad under the cage at the spot where your hedgehog sleeps.
It is possible to get a heating pad with an automatic off feature. However, you must avoid heating pads with this feature as your hedgehog may get cold if it turns off.
A downside to using a heating pad is the chances of overheating the enclosure. A sick hedgehog will not have enough health to realize that the heating pad is too warm, leading to burns. Moreover, too much heat is not good for your hedgehog, and it may die if its temperature rises more than normal.
It is best to monitor the device to ensure there are no fluctuations in temperature and your hedgehog is doing fine in its enclosure.
What Are Other Ways to Keep Hedgehogs Warm
While some people prefer to keep the whole house warm enough for their hedgehog, it is not ideal. For example, during hot summer days, you will have to turn the temperature down. However, hedgehogs require warmth despite the changing seasons; hence, you must resort to other methods of keeping them warm.
People use heating rocks for reptiles, and you may wish to use them for hedgehogs too. However, heating rocks are more of a traditional way and do not provide consistent warmth. Hedgehogs require constant warmth and cannot do with fluctuating temperatures.
Another way to keep hedgehogs warm is by using a space heater. If you choose to use a ceramic heater, you will have to look out for the cycles. It is best to test run the ceramic heater before you try to use it for your hedgehog.
Moreover, you must ensure that there are no extreme temperature drops and highs.
Life is unpredictable, and you must prepare for the worst. While all the heating options are nice, they need the power to work. However, sometimes the power goes out, and you need emergency heating options. In a case of emergency, you can get instant heating packs for your hedgehog.
In addition to emergency heating pads, you can also use body heat. For example, you can wrap your hedgehog in a bundle and hold it close to your body. Until the power comes back, body heat will be sufficient for the hedgehog.
If you have a plastic cage for your hedgehog, you may think about the best way to keep it warm. You can keep the plastic cage warm by using heating pads and placing them above the cage. Your hedgehog’s enclosure should be as warm as 28 degrees Celsius, and the temperature should not fall below 18 degrees Celsius.
Heating lamps make a cheap choice to keep hedgehogs warm, but they are not reliable. You can use other methods such as heating pads, space heaters. Moreover, if there is a power outage, you can use your body heat to warm your hedgehog.