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Caring for a Hedgehog

Are you looking for a cute but slightly unusual pet? A hedgehog may make a great choice for you! These little guys are absolutely adorable, and lots of fun! Below, a local Southwest Las Vegas, NV veterinarian discusses basic hedgehog care.

Habitat

Providing your hedgehog with a comfy cage is very important! Choose one that is at least 2’ by 4’, although bigger is better. Pick a cage with a solid bottom, as wire floors can be hazardous. You’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as recycled paper. Avoid wood shavings, especially those made from pine or cedar, as they can be dangerous. Hedgie will also need a hidey-hole; food dishes; and a water bottle.

Location

Keep Hedgie in a room that stays between 72 and 80 °F at all times. Avoid putting the little guy in direct sunlight, loud areas, or extremely isolated spots. Hedgie is nocturnal, so the bedroom may not be the best choice.

Food

Make sure that Hedgie gets proper nutrition! You may be able to find hedgehog food in local pet stores. If not, you can give your quilled pet dry cat food. Choose a brand with a high protein content, such as a chicken or meat formula. You can also give the little guy canned cat or dog food. You’ll want to supplement these things with small amounts of fresh produce, such as peas, corn, apples (not the seeds), and grapes. For treats, offer your hedgehog cooked egg or meat, dog biscuits, or store-bought crickets or mealworms. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Toys

Living in a cage can get dull, so be sure to offer your hedgehog lots of fun toys. Some suitable options are little toy cars, balls, mazes and tunnels, and stuffed animals. You can also give your adorable buddy an exercise wheel. Just be sure to choose a solid one: wire wheels can be dangerous. Many hedgehogs like colorful things, so try to choose bright, vibrant toys.

Taming

Proper socialization is very important! We recommend choosing a hedgehog from a reputable breeder, which will help ensure that Hedgie has been socialized. You’ll need to handle your hedgehog frequently to keep him tame and friendly.

Do you have questions about caring for your hedgehog? Contact us! As your Southwest Las Vegas, NV animal clinic, we are here to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

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