Through characters such as Sonic and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, hedgehogs have well and truly nestled themselves in the undergrowth of popular culture.
With Instagram accounts such as Darcy the Flying Hedgehog showing off hedgies as the cutest little creatures in the hemisphere, African Pygmy hedgehogs have quickly become the latest pet fad out there, but it’s worth noting that hedgehogs aren’t just for Christmas.
Before you buy a hedgehog you should always do your research, and below are some tips for making sure you’re ready for a little quilly ball of fun.
1) Make sure you get your ‘hog from a quality breeder for a better chance of your pet being healthy and friendly.
2) Get the cage set up before you bring your hedgie home. Costs can add up, so its best to plan ahead and make sure you’ve thought of all the bits ‘n’ pieces you might need.
3) Living for up to 7 years, a hedgehog is a real commitment. Make sure you think you’ll be hedgehog ready for the foreseeable future!
4) They’re not allowed everywhere, so make sure that you have the correct licence, and that they’re A ok with your local authority or country before you jump right in.
5) They need quite a bit of space, so make sure you’ve got them the right size cage!
6) Nocturnal, these little night owls need a quiet place for their daytime naps, as well as somewhere they can gallivant around at night without disturbing anyone.
7) They’re not really cuddly pets, and they like to have adventures, and play rather than snuggle.
8) Not the right pet for a little ‘un, these cuties will bite if provoked and kids might be too rough with them.
9) Hedgehogs need to stay in warm temperatures or they will go into hibernation, so make sure you’ve got your cage at the right humidity for your hedgie.
10) Introverts at heart, these little beasts need their space, so don’t place them with other hedgies.
11) Their quills aren’t just for show! But if you don’t mind pricks, then this could be the pet for you.
12) They need a lot of care, including bathing and toenail clipping.
13) Some bite, so be prepared for a little nipper.
14) Wire cages can be dangerous, and your cage needs to be well ventilated and secure, as hedgies are expert escape artists, they also need an area to hide when they’re not feeling their best.
15) Make sure you do your research into what they eat and what they don’t. Mealworms, dried crickets and (some) fruit and veg’ can be good options. Like any creature these little quill balls need to have the right food, so make sure you double check before you feed them.
As with any pet, it’s vital that you make sure you’re ready for the commitment. Hedgehogs need care and attention, and it’s up to you to make sure you keep them happy and healthy if you do buy one.
Although we’ve outlined a lot of the negatives of owning a hedgehog above, they can be cute, lovely pets to own if you’re willing to put in the commitment and look after them properly!
We’re creatives not hedgehog experts and you should make sure you get your tips from a more authoritative source before you buy and care for your hedgehog!
All images from (the amazing, wonderful and super cute) Darcy the Flying Hedgehog Instagram, and taken by Shota Tsukamoto. You can see more on the Instagram account here, instagram.com/darcytheflyinghedgehog.