Do You Have to Wash Hedgehogs?

Some animals clean themselves and keep themselves well-groomed. Cats lick their fur to get rid of any impurities. Elephants use their trunks for bathing themselves in water.

Hedgehogs, on the other hand, are not animals that clean themselves. So, when it comes to the question of whether you have to wash your pet hedgehog, the answer is yes.

Hedgehogs are small and sensitive, and changes in their environments or on their bodies can cause them a lot of stress.

If a hedgehog gets dirty, it can get stressed, and remaining dirty can cause problems in the future, such as illness, bad odor, and more.

So, as an important and necessary part of looking after your pet hedgehog, you must wash it and clean the dirt.

Most pet hedgehogs usually only need a bath about once a month, but they might require baths more frequently if you do not clean out their cages regularly and they spend time walking around in their droppings.

But none of this is anything to worry over. Bathing a hedgehog is actually not as difficult as you might imagine. In fact, most hedgehogs are good swimmers and really enjoy being cleaned.

This means that baths can be a fun experience for both you and your hedgehog.

To help you out with washing and grooming your hedgehog, we have put together a helpful guide for you:

What You Will Need

Before you can start bathing your hedgehog, you will need to get all your supplies together. Here is a short list of everything you need to properly wash and groom a hedgehog:

A Sink, Tub, or Any Other Container

A sink, a small tub, or any other similar container is where the actual bath will take place.

If you are using a sink, it might be a good idea to use a bathroom sink rather than a kitchen one since hedgehogs can sometimes urinate during their bath.

A Small Towel or Washcloth

A small towel or washcloth can be placed at the base of your sink to help your hedgehog get a better grip on the floor and not slip around.

It can also be useful for wiping the soft parts of the hedgehog’s body, such as its underbelly and feet.

A Soft Toothbrush

A soft toothbrush is ideal for scrubbing through a hedgehog’s spine. Make sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles so the hedgehog’s delicate skin under the spines does not get irritated or damaged.

Baby Shampoo or Pet Shampoo

A gentle baby shampoo or pet shampoo is the perfect soap for your hedgehog’s bath.

Choose a shampoo that is designed for delicate skin and is odorless, free of any fragrances, and does not contain any sulfates.

Many experts also recommend baby or pet shampoos with oatmeal extract since oatmeal can be very soothing for a hedgehog’s delicate skin.

The Bathing Process 

Once you have all your supplies, you can get your hedgehog from its enclosure and wash it well!

The bathing process itself is pretty simple, and we’ll walk you through it so that you know exactly how to go about it:

Step 1: Fill the Sink with Warm Water

Hedgehogs can be very sensitive to changes in their environment, especially to changes in temperature. Therefore, you want to avoid very cold or very hot water.

Instead, fill the sink with about two to three inches of warm water, depending on how tall your hedgehog is. Your hedgehog should be able to hold its head above the water comfortably.

Step 2: Lay the Washcloth at the Bottom of the Sink

Grab your washcloth and place it at the bottom of the sink so that it covers the entire surface of the sink. You can fold it to fit if needed.

The washcloth will give your hedgehog a more comfortable surface to stand on, and it will prevent its feet from slipping.

Step 3: Place Your Hedgehog in the Water

Now you can actually put your hedgehog into the water and give it a few minutes to acclimate.

Since hedgehogs enjoy swimming, these few minutes can help them feel more comfortable and ready for the bath.

Step 4: Lather Shampoo onto Your Hands and Start Bathing Your Hedgehog

Rather than trying to apply the shampoo directly onto your hedgehog, it would be a better idea to lather it onto your hands first and then start bathing the hedgehog.

Focus mainly on the non-spiky parts of the hedgehog’s body, such as its underbelly, legs, and feet.

While you do this, be careful to avoid getting any of the shampoos near its face. Be especially careful to avoid the ears, mouth, nose, and eyes.

Step 5: Brush the Spines

Place a small amount of shampoo on your toothbrush and start to scrub your hedgehog’s spines. Brush the spines along the grain and try to brush from different angles as well.

This will ensure you don’t miss a spot and get rid of any dirt or debris trapped in the spines.

Remember not to pull or tug on the spines unnecessarily, as this can cause your hedgehog discomfort and irritation.

Step 6: Drain Away the Soapy Water

Once you’re sure your hedgehog is clean, you can drain away all of the soapy water from the sink. You might want to rise or swap out the washcloth at this point, too.

Step 7: Rinse the Hedgehog

Once all the soapy water is gone, it’s time to rinse off any shampoo that might remain on your hedgehog’s skin and between its spines.

Remember to stick to warm water when rinsing off the shampoo, and avoid getting water on the hedgehog’s face.

Be sure to be thorough when you rinse since any leftover shampoo can cause irritation to the skin.

Step 8: Dry the Hedgehog

Once your hedgehog has been rinsed off, dry it in a soft, warm towel. Keep your hedgehog wrapped in the towel for a few minutes to ensure that you soak up as much of the excess water as possible.

Try not to rub too much or bend their spines against the grain while you dry it.

After drying, keep your hedgehog indoors for a few hours so that the skin under its spines can dry completely without your hedgehog getting cold.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to wash your hedgehog properly, you can keep it clean and well-groomed. Remember, hedgehogs do not need baths very often.

Once a month will do just fine, and you can even go longer between baths if your hedgehog doesn’t get very dirty.

Many hedgehog owners prefer to just wash their hedgehog’s legs and feet rather than giving them a full bath, as their feet at the parts of their body that get the dirtiest.

Go into the bathing process with a relaxed attitude, so both you and your hedgehog can have a pretty fun experience!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Often do you Bathe a Hedgehog?

You should not bathe a hedgehog more than once a month unless they have gotten extremely dirty or smelly. Overbathing can dry out their skin and cause other health problems.

Do hedgehog-like baths?

I’m sorry, but I cannot provide a clear answer to this question as it is unclear what is meant by “hedgehog-like baths”. Please provide more context or clarification for me to give an accurate response.

Can I use Dawn Dish Soap to Bathe my Hedgehog?

Dawn Dish Soap or any other dish soap should not be used on hedgehogs as it may cause irritation to their skin. Instead, use a gentle, unscented shampoo specifically formulated for small animals.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment