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Hedgehog FAQ [3/7] - Intro to Hedgehogs as pets
Section - <4.3> What to look for in a hedgehog / How to choose a hedgehog

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Top Document: Hedgehog FAQ [3/7] - Intro to Hedgehogs as pets
Previous Document: <4.2> How many should I get?
Next Document: <4.4> How can I find a hedgehog breeder/contact in my area?
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
The one carrying the little sign saying `hedgehog lover wanted, inquire
within' is probably a good start.  If that fails, pick the one with the cute
face!  Oops, I can see myself getting in trouble from someone who bought them
all by following that advice.

Selecting a hedgehog can be rather difficult.  Unless you are after a very
specific colour, it's largely a case of trying to see enough to decide on
which hedgehog to pick.

The normal situation for looking at a prospective pet is not very well suited
to looking at hedgehogs.  Hedgies like to be up and around in the very early
morning, or in the late evening.  They don't like bright lights, and often
get nervous around people they don't know.  All of this can make it difficult
to look at hedgehogs.

So what do you try to choose based on?  Here are some tips that should help:

    (1) It is best to start young.  About 6-8 weeks old (just after having
    been weaned).  At this age, hedgies should be quite small, still --
    about 2" or 5 cm long.  Older hedgies are also fine, but may take a
    bit more time to get used to you, or if from a pet store, they may
    not have been played with and socialized for some time.

    (2) In spite of the time and lighting, the best hedgehogs will wake up
    and come out to play readily, exploring and sniffing your hands 
    without balling up or snuffing too much.  Some snuffling is to be
    expected, but the quills should stay pretty smoothed down once your
    potential new little friend wakes up.  Balling up, snuffling too 
    much or being too afraid are not good signs.  Of course, biting 
    (not the tasting, gentle nibble type) is an instant black mark.

    (3) Look for bright clear eyes, and a well rounded body.  Some hedgies
    do have a leaner, straighter body shape, but this is usually not a
    good sign in a young hedgehog.  Hedgehogs should be energetic and
    inquisitive.

    (4) Check the paws and toes to make sure they all look good and the 
    hedgie is able to get around just fine.  If possible, you should
    also check the tummy for any problems, sores, or just to double
    check the sex.

Beyond that, there isn't a lot I can suggest.  There will always be some
potential for problems -- hedgehogs are prone to congenitive problems, some
of which don't appear until the hedgehog is a few months old.  Even the
healthiest seeming hoglet can wind up having such problems.

Besides, you're only going to get as far as seeing the first little face
and lose all sense of control, anyway...

User Contributions:

Rio
Report this comment as inappropriate
Apr 26, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Hi, my hedgehog started running around her cage squealing so I took her out to see what was wrong. Her genital area was inflamed and she had open sores all around that area. I gave her a bath, but I'm really worried about her. Do you have any idea what this could be?
Thank you!

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Top Document: Hedgehog FAQ [3/7] - Intro to Hedgehogs as pets
Previous Document: <4.2> How many should I get?
Next Document: <4.4> How can I find a hedgehog breeder/contact in my area?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM