COMMON HEDGEHOG FACTS 101
Northern Plains Hedgehogs
Hedgehogs should be kept at a temperature in between 73-80 degrees. If the temperature falls below 73 degrees, there is a chance your hedgehog will go into hibernation, which in turn can result in sickness or even death. Anything above 80 degrees and you risk heat-related illnesses. Ours hedgehogs are kept right at 77-78 degree's year round.
- Hedgehogs need 12-14 hours of natural or artificial light per day. This can be provided with a light on in the same room, or near there cage. If they do not receive the adequate amount of light per day, you again can put your hedgehog at risk for hibernation, illness, etc.
- Domestic hedgehogs normally live in between 3-7 years old, but can and do live older. This varies quite a bit as there are diseases and other things that factor into this. A few of these things is the care they receive, what they are fed, and so on.
- In the wild, hedgehogs can run up to 13 miles in search of food. Domestic hedgehogs are not able to do this, so a wheel MUST be provided to ensure to hedgehog gets enough exercise. Depending on how messy the hedgehog is, the wheel should be cleaned on a regular basis meaning, every other day to every few days.
- Hedgehogs are by nature opportunistic omnivores, meaning in the wild, they naturally will eat bugs such as crickets, a variety of worms, beetles, and other insects, but they will also eat bird eggs, baby mice, basically anything they can find. Our domestic hedgehogs can not live off a diet of primarily insects, and must be fed a variety of things in order to get the nutrition they need. The staple of their diet should primarily be a dry cat food mix that the protein level is in between 28-35% and a fat level in between 10-12%, but depends on the individual hedgehog. Insects should be purchased at a pet store or other reputable online source. Do not feed insects that are found outside as they could have been exposed to pesticides and other lawn chemicals. Other things to feed your hedgehog is unseasoned cooked meats, a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as cooked unseasoned eggs.
- Adequate housing must be provided for the hedgehog. Your cage should be large enough to provide enough space to house a 12 inch wheel, igloo or house, a litter box if you so choose, and space to move. The minimum size your cage should be is 3x3, but the larger the better. Keep in mind that if you have more than one level you MUST properly enclose any and all ramps and shelves to prevent any falls.
- In the wild, hedgehogs keep their toenails trimmed by running, digging, and finding food. Pet Hedgehogs need to have their toenails trimmed for them. It is recommended that you trim your hedgehogs every two weeks, depending on your hedgehog, and it is also good to check them at least once a week. A good time to do it is bath time, as you can wash their toes prior to trimming them. You must take care not to trim to short or they will bleed. Please see our Bathing and Toenails page for more information and a chart to go by.
- Hedgehogs are solitary animals. You should always keep your hedgehogs in separate cages to prevent territorial fighting. Males should never be kept together under any circumstances as they will fight to the death. Females can sometimes be housed together, such as a mom and her daughters, but again, in most cases the dominant female will start to take over the cage and fighting can occur. It is best just to keep everyone separate if you have more than one hog.
- It is difficult for some to tell the difference between a Male and a Female Hedgehog. As you can see from the below picture, the one on the left is a male. They have a prominent "Belly Button" close to the middle of their stomachs. Female's do not have this, and have a slit down by their tail as you can see from the picture on the right.
There are countless articles, forums, websites, and facebook groups that you can search for about hedgehog care. Make sure you do plenty of research as a lot of the information you come across will be different. One thing we do not recommend is watching videos on You Tube. More times than none these videos do not give proper information regarding care, and are not in the best interest of the hedgehog.
Hedgehogs do require more care than the average pet, but it is well worth it.