Many people wish to keep hedgehogs as pets but do not know where to get one. While some stores and breeders sell hedgehogs, it can be an expensive purchase. If you are on a budget, you can choose to adopt a hedgehog, instead. By adopting a hedgehog, you will also save a life and give that spined mammal a better home.
You can adopt hedgehogs from animal shelters or from people online.
You will find hedgehogs in animal shelters that are up for adoption. These shelters may charge a tiny adoption fee, but it will not be as costly as buying a hedgehog. There are also many people online who put up hedgehogs for adoption.
However, you may not always find young hedgehogs for adoption rather older ones. Therefore, if age is a preference for you, you may have difficulty finding a young hedgehog up for adoption.
What to Know Before Adopting a Hedgehog
Adopting a hedgehog may seem like an easy task; however, what comes after is difficult. Hedgehogs are not like other pets, and if you are completely unfamiliar with them, you may wish to do some research, so you are prepared.
Here are a few things you should know about before adopting a hedgehog:
Hedgehogs Need Lots of Space
Hedgehogs love to run around and explore. Therefore, you will need to prepare to give your new companion a lot of space. If you keep your hedgehog in a small enclosure, it can become depressed easily. Moreover, a big enclosure also means that your hedgehog will get lots of exercise.
In addition to space, you also need to provide a wheel, so your hedgehog runs on it every day. There should also be ceramic bowls for food and water. Most importantly, the room your hedgehog is in should be warm because hedgehogs cannot survive cold temperatures.
Hedgehogs Are Nocturnal Animals
Either way, if you are a light sleeper or an early sleeper, you may have issues with your hedgehog’s nocturnal habits. Hedgehogs sleep the entire day and wake up during the night. Therefore, any noise coming from your hedgehog’s enclosure can wake you.
However, this is not a problem that you cannot solve. To avoid any disturbances from your hedgehog, you can keep it in a separate room or keep your bedroom door closed as you sleep.
Hedgehogs Are Solitary Animals
If you are looking for a pet to hug and cuddle, hedgehogs may not be a good fit. Hedgehogs, by nature, are solitary animals and love to be alone. These mammals do not even like the company of other hedgehogs. Hence, your hedgehog may not enjoy your company for too long.
However, it also largely depends on your hedgehog’s personality. Some hedgehogs can be more social than others. Therefore, if you have other pets, you may have to look out for your hedgehog. It is best to introduce your hedgehog to your other pets slowly and only if they can tolerate each other.
Hedgehogs Can Carry Disease
Unfortunately, while hedgehogs make lovable pets, they can also carry diseases like salmonella. It is easy for humans to catch these diseases from their hedgehogs. Therefore, it is important to keep the food and water source of your hedgehog clean.
Moreover, after you handle your hedgehog, you must wash your hands with soap. Hedgehogs are also dirty animals and can poop while they are running, especially on the wheel. Hence, after each time you clean the cage, it is important to clean yourself to avoid contracting any disease.
Hedgehogs Can Be Noisy
Although it may come as a surprise, hedgehogs are noisy animals. Hedgehogs may seem like they walk around and sniff, but hedgehogs can be expressive using sounds. Hedgehogs make a variety of sounds that indicated that they are happy or hurt.
Hence, you can always tell what your hedgehog is feeling by the sound they make. Moreover, when hedgehogs are angry or feel annoyed, they may huff and puff. Therefore, it is best to leave your hedgehog alone if they are huffing and puffing.
Hedgehogs can also be noisy during the night as they eat food, drink, and play.
Can You Buy a Pet Hedgehog Instead of Adopting?
If you have the money and a reliable breeder, you can buy a pet hedgehog instead of adopting one. Many hedgehogs go without a home because of a lack of adopters. However, if you have specific breed and age requirements, you will be more satisfied purchasing a hedgehog instead.
It would help if you kept in mind that buying a hedgehog can be heavy on the wallet.
Moreover, you must approach a reliable breeder. Many breeders claim to follow clean breeding habits; however, it is untrue. Inbreeding causes a lot of problems and genetic diseases in hedgehogs. These diseases do not appear right away, and rather they take time to show.
Hence, look for a reference or someone who has good reviews.
Also ensure, that the place you get your hedgehog from is clean and hygienic. Many breeders keep hedgehogs together, which leads to the spread of diseases and flea infestations. You want to ensure that you get a healthy hedgehog and not support unhealthy breeding practices.
If you are looking to adopt a hedgehog, it is a great idea because many unwanted hedgehogs look for homes. You can adopt a hedgehog from an animal shelter, or you can look online to see that many people put up hedgehogs for adoption.
However, if you adopt a hedgehog, it is very unlikely to get the breed and age according to your preference. Many people prefer getting a younger hedgehog as opposed to an older one.
Before adopting a hedgehog, you must understand that they require special care. Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals that like being alone. Moreover, hedgehogs may also be carriers of diseases. If you wish, you can buy a hedgehog, although that is an expensive option. You must ensure that your breeder is reliable.