Hedgehogs as pets are unique animals, so they additionally make unique pets. Not only do hedgehogs eat a very distinctive type of food when compared to other popular pocket pets, but they are all covered with tiny little spikes and roll into little balls when scared. Sonic the hedgehog may have been just all blue and so cool in the Sega video games, but the actual animals have their individual special appeal that only hedgehog enthusiasts can understand.
- Name: African pygmy hedgehog
- Full Size: Five to eight inches long
- Lifespan: Average of five years
As their name suggests, African Pygmy hedgehogs are indigenous to central and eastern Africa region, but most of these hedgehogs are really a hybrid of two species that is – the Four-toed and the Algerian hedgehogs. Their wild equivalents cover miles of the ground every day in the wild where they can be located throughout Somalia, Gambia, Mozambique, and other African nations. In the wild they likewise live primarily off of small pests, spiders, grubs, snails, and even small vertebrates – a diet that we strive to imitate in captivity.
Unlike most other pocket pets that we know, hedgehogs are deemed to be insectivores, and these snouted critters have actually the taste for things that slither and crawl. Mealworms and the crickets are the most generally fed insects in detention, but the staple diet for a hedgehog pet should be a store-bought, especially formulated hedgehog kibble. This kibble species has mashed up small insects along with some vitamins and minerals to build a balanced diet particularly formulated for an African pygmy hedgehog species. Many pet owners and breeders still feed kitten meals to their hedgehogs pets, but this is not perfect since cat food does not include blood meal and chitin in it.
Also Compare: How to choose Healthy Guinea Pig to Be Your Pet
Keeping Hedgehogs as Pets
Cages made for the guinea pigs and rabbits pets are suitable for hedgehogs living, but wire grate cage bottoms should be circumvented at all costs since hedgehogs have small feet that will be damaged if they fall through these tiny grates. A soft covers such as a recycled paper stock or towels that are changed out frequently are best for the delicate feet of a hedgehog.
A large contained running wheel should be put in the cage for your hedgie to exercise in along with a food bowl, hide box, and water bottle. Make sure that the running wheel is washed regularly to avoid any fecal matter from building up there, which can cause foot infections to the pet.
Hedgehogs are very lively at night and will run numerous miles a day on their wheel or in their contained play area. If they are incapable of getting the large quantity of exercise, they need, they may become overweight, depressed, and even develop foot sores. Exercise and much activity are very important to hedgehogs as pets so potential owners should be ready to commit to being able to accommodate a hedgehog with the space required to do so.
African pygmy hedgehogs pets obviously have a lot of sharp spines, but that doesn’t imply they aren’t fun to hold to. Tame hedgehogs will creep into your hands, take treats from you and also enjoy being carried for a little bit. Younger hedgehogs pets are more comfortable to tame than older pets, therefore your best opportunity to having a hedgehog pet that loves being held is by getting one at around six to eight weeks of age.
Typically, hedgehogs pets don’t like their heads being pet and will turn into spiked balls whenever they are scared. Since hedgehogs pets aren’t big fans of water, if you are having difficulty cleaning your hedgehog’s feet, try putting it in a shallow water bath where just its legs are submerged in water or have it walk on a damp towel.
Dental disease, skin issues including mite and intestinal parasites,lice infestations, and tumors can all be problems for pet hedgehogs. Spaying and neutering are highly recommended to avoid any reproductive organ tumors and other conditions later in their life. Thorough dental examinations at the yearly vet appointments and the occasional dental cleaning under an anesthesia are recommended to block your hedgie from losing any teeth or even developing other dental problems. Some pet owners out there are able to brush their pet hedgehog’s teeth using the cat toothpaste and small head toothbrush or even a cotton-tipped applicator on a weekly basis, but this is very uncommon.
Spine loss is common in small amounts, but if your hedgehog pet is losing so many spines on its body that it has bald patches, it apparently has a medical concern. Some Parasite infestations such as mites are the most prevalent reasons for extreme spine loss. If your hedgehog pet is losing a lot of spines, then it’s time for a quick check-up with the vet.