18 Dec How To Care For Pet Hedgehogs
There are millions of pet lovers and owners in the United States, but there may be just as many people who do not know what pet hedgehogs are. These are unique animals that also make unique, lovable pets. Hedgehogs are very little pocket animals that are covered with spikes, and roll into balls when they are scared. They have a special appeal that only those who like the hedgehog can appreciate and understand. The scientific name for these little creatures in The African Pygmy Hedgehog, and they grow from five to eight inches long. Their average life span of these cute pets is up to five years.
Feeding a hedgehog
The hedgehog is considered an insectivore that uses their snout to eat anything the crawls and creeps. The most common food for them is the cricket and mealworm. While these are the most insects fed in captivity, the best staple diet for a pet hedgehog is a specially formulated, store bought, hedgehog kibble. This feed consists of mashed up insects with added vitamins and minerals for a balanced diet.
Caring for a hedgehog
Using cages that are generally made for rabbits and guinea pigs are ideal for the hedgehog, but the cage bottom should not be made of wire grate. This must be avoided because the hedgehog has very small feet, and they can be injured if they fall through the grates. It is better to use a towel or soft recycled paper that can be regularly changed. The cage should also contain a hide box, water bottle, food bowl, and an enclosed running wheel for exercising. Be sure to clean the running wheel regularly to avoid fecal matter from accumulating on it as this can cause an infection of the feet for the hedgehog. Hedgehogs are more active at night, and will spend a lot of time running on their wheel or in their play area, and will get depressed if they do not get their required amount of exercise. The lack of proper exercise will also lead to them becoming overweight, or develop foot sores.
It is most important that a pet hedgehog gets plenty of activity and exercise, so hedgehog owners, and potential owners, must have the time and opportunity to provide the necessary space needed to take care of the hedgehog. Owners must also be committed to giving this care. The hedgehog has prickly spines, but they are still fun to hold. They like crawling into your hands for treats, and enjoy being carried too. The best age to get and start training a hedgehog is when they are from six to eight weeks old since the younger ones are easier to train than the older ones. The hedgehog does not like when their heads are being petted, and they are not big fans of water either. The best way to clean their feet is to place them in a shallow pan of water.
Having a pet hedgehog can be a fun and rewarding experience. However just like any other pet you need to study their habitat, food preferences and other important items for their care.