Can Hedgehogs Swim [Learn More About This]

A hedgehog is a spiky-haired, small mammal that curls into a ball when threatened. You probably wonder why anyone would want them as a pet, right?

If you don’t have the energy or budget to keep a cat or dog, a hedgehog is a great option. Compared to cats and dogs, hedgehogs demand less attention, and caring for one would not overwhelm you.

However, there are certain things you need to know about a hedgehog to keep it alive. For example, hedgehogs love being around water. This brings up the question: Can they swim?

Yes! Hedgehogs are great swimmers. Their quills, partly filled with air, allow them to stay afloat. The air chambers allow them to swim freely without fearing for their life.

However, a deep swimming pool with high sides or a pond with no beach area can be a drowning hazard.

Moreover, accidents happen, and you never know how your hedgehog will react once in contact with water.

Is Swimming Dangerous for Hedgehogs?

As we said, hedgehogs are good swimmers. However, water is unpredictable by nature. Hence, water can bring some complications when you keep a hedgehog as a pet.

Let’s say you have a pond in your garden. Your hedgehog escapes its cage at night, ventures into the garden, and decides to swim.

The fall from the pond’s edge and into the water is quite high, so when the hedgehog decides it has had enough and wants to get out, it isn’t able to.

A leisurely midnight swim becomes a death trap because the hedgehog cannot climb out of the water.

It keeps swimming to stay afloat until its little legs tire out, fatigue sets in, and the hedgehog eventually drowns. This inevitable exhaustion is what puts hedgehogs at risk in water.

Hence, you must cover the pond at night or install a ramp that helps your hedgehog easily exit the water.

As for a swimming pool, ensure your hedgehog does not enter it without supervision. Now that you know that your hedgehog can swim, let’s learn more about the swimming habits of this animal:

Can All Hedgehogs Swim?

All hedgehogs can swim. Their swimming skill depends on various factors, such as weight, size, breed, age, and gender. The four most common breeds that swim like a pro include:

  • Indian Long-Eared Hedgehog
  • African Pygmy Hedgehog
  • Egyptian Long-Eared Hedgehog
  • European Hedgehog

Though we did say hedgehogs can swim, not all like to. Hedgehogs have different personalities. Some species might hate to swim because they find the activity too taxing.

It’s possible that the hedgehog is either too lazy or intimidated by the water.

Imagine trying a new activity and being a little skeptical about whether you will enjoy it. The same stands for hedgehogs.

They might be nervous about swimming. When they first encounter water, you will see them shaking, urinating, and pooping or tightening their spines. However, after a few sessions, they get accustomed to it.

If you see them exhibit the same behavior daily, perhaps swimming is not for them. It’s better not to force them into the activity and look for an alternative exercise method.

You could allow your hedgehog to explore the garden, buy a toy maze to play with, or install a wheel in their cage.

Swimming Keeps Hedgehogs Fit

The biggest benefit of swimming is that it keeps your hedgehog active and in shape. Like other pets, hedgehogs to are at risk of becoming fat if they lead a sedentary lifestyle.

This happens because their diet contains too much fat. Wild hedgehogs, on the other hand, have a fast-paced lifestyle.

They cover a distance of up to 2km every night while foraging. As a result, they mostly spend their time hunting, and all the exercise they get looking for food keeps them fit.

Can Baby Hedgehogs Swim?

Also known as hoglets, baby hedgehogs take time to learn to swim. Their little legs are not strong enough to propel them forward, so owners are recommended not to put them in a pond or swimming pool, even under supervision.

They might struggle to stay afloat in deep water, which can cause stress. However, you can place them in a shallow body of water, such as in your sink, and let them get used to the water.

Remember to keep the water low enough so they can easily walk in it. If they have trouble finding ground, they might start to panic.

If your baby hedgehog loves swimming in the sink and you see no signs of stress, progress to your bathtub.

Rescuing Your Hedgehog

Your hedgehog will be better able to tell you what they think about the safety measures you have taken to prevent it from drowning.

Accidents happen all the time, and your hedgehog might drown in a matter of seconds because you were not paying attention.

If your hedgehog is swimming happily, note how long it takes them to tire out and what they do next.

Immediately assist them with a small piece of wood they can climb on to rest if you sense they are tired.

This piece of wood will provide a quick escape and allow it to catch its breath. It’s possible that your hedgehog might be too tired to help itself. In this case, pick up your hedgehog in a towel and place it on the ground.

When the little one has caught its breath, place it back in its cage so it can relax in a familiar environment.

Don’t forget to offer your hedgehog something to drink and eat. The food and hydration will help it gain its energy back.

You could also buy a pond escape ladder, which is more reliable than a piece of wood. You can also place it in the swimming pool.

The ladder offers the hedgehog a sturdier grip and a stationary object to get out of the water.

Check the Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for a hedgehog is lukewarm. If the water is too hot, your hedgehog might develop minor burns.

If it’s too cold, the shock of it will stress out your hedgehog. Another thing to remember when letting your hedgehog enjoy a swim in the pond is that you must limit this activity to not more than three times monthly.

Water is bad for a hedgehog’s skin and can dry it out, especially in the swimming pool, because of chlorine. Remember:

Just because hedgehogs can swim does not mean they need this stimulation daily. Think of it as a recreational activity they can enjoy when they have been a good hedgie.

Final Word

In conclusion, hedgehogs can swim, but not all of them like to. You should allow your hedgehog to step their tiny feet into the water thrice a month.

A swimming hedgehog is too cute of sight, making it a great companion on family trips. When they float backward, they do so with ease.

However, you should never force your hedgehog to swim. It may drown in the water if it has led a sheltered lifestyle.

So, try the tips mentioned in this blog, and let us know how your hedgehog fared in your swimming pool.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do hedgehogs enjoy swimming?

Hedgehogs are not natural swimmers and do not typically enjoy swimming. In fact, swimming can be dangerous for hedgehogs as they can easily become exhausted and drown.

It is important to keep hedgehogs away from water and provide them with a dry and safe environment.

Can Baby hedgehogs swim?

Yes, baby hedgehogs can swim. However, they are not natural swimmers and can easily tire in the water, so they should be supervised closely if they are swimming.

It is also important to make sure they have a way to climb out of the water, as they can become trapped and drown.

Can Hedgehogs swim underwater?

Hedgehogs are not known to be good swimmers and cannot swim underwater. They have short legs and are not adapted to swimming.

However, they are capable of swimming short distances and can float on the water’s surface to cross a body of water.

It is not recommended to intentionally expose hedgehogs to water, as they are not comfortable in it and may become stressed or even drown.

How long can Hedgehogs Swim for?

Hedgehogs are not strong swimmers and can only swim for a short period of time, usually less than a minute. It is not recommended to let hedgehogs swim as it can be stressful for them and can lead to health problems.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment