Hedgehog Pros and Cons: What You Need to Know

Hedgehogs, commonly known as “hedgies,” are small, adorable creatures native to Asia, Africa, and Europe.

They are small, spiky, and have adorable faces that make them incredibly appealing to animal lovers.

This article will explore the pros and cons of having a hedgehog as a pet to help. So, if you are confused about whether or not a hedgehog is the right pet for you, keep reading!

Pros of Having a Hedgehog as a Pet

There are several reasons why having a hedgehog as a pet can be a great choice for animal lovers. Let’s explore what they are:

Hedgehogs are Low-Maintenance Pets

Unlike dogs or cats, hedgehogs require minimal grooming. You don’t have to bathe them too often, and their nails do not need to be clipped as often as other pets.

Moreover, they are easy to clean. Hedgehogs also lick themselves to stay clean. Moreover, they also don’t need a lot of space.

Thus, they make the best pets for people who live in small houses or apartments.

Hedgehogs are Surprisingly Active for Their Size

Hedgehogs love to explore and play, especially at night. So, if you work during the day and are looking for a pet that is active and engaging in the evenings, this is the right pet for you.

Hedgehogs love toys and games like running through tunnels or playing with balls. With a little creativity, you can create a fun and stimulating environment for your hedgehog to play in.

Hedgehogs are Unique Pets

Another reason hedgehogs make great pets is that they are unique animals. They have a spiky appearance and cute round faces.

Moreover, they have attractive and unique traits. If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind pet, you’ll love hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs are Relatively Quiet

Hedgehogs are not known for being noisy pets. Unlike other pets, they make minimal noise when moving around their cage.

So, if you are sensitive to noise or have neighbors nearby, a hedgehog would be an ideal choice.

Additionally, hedgehogs do not require much attention or interaction, so they can be a good choice for people who prefer a quiet and peaceful environment.

Hedgehogs are Clean Pets

Hedgehogs are naturally clean animals. They are covered in spines that protect them from predators and dirt, and they use their spines to groom themselves.

Additionally, hedgehogs have a unique ability to self-anoint, which means they coat themselves in frothy saliva when they encounter a new scent.

Although this trait may seem strange, it is actually a way for hedgehogs to protect themselves from potential predators.

Hedgehogs are clean and self-sufficient pets that require minimal maintenance. Hedgehogs are fascinating animals to observe. They also sometimes roll into a ball, which is entertaining and adorable.

Hedgehogs Have a Long Lifespan

Hedgehogs can live up to 7 years, longer than many other small pets like hamsters. So, if you choose to have a hedgehog as a pet, you can enjoy their company for several years.

Additionally, hedgehogs are relatively low-maintenance pets. Hence, they are a good choice for people who do not have much time to devote to pet care but still want a companion that will be around for a while.

Hedgehogs are Social Animals

Although hedgehogs do not require a lot of attention or interaction, they are still social animals and bond with their owners. They are known for being friendly and curious. They even learn to recognize their owners’ voices and scents.

Hedgehogs are Relatively Healthy Pets

Hedgehogs are generally healthy animals and do not require many vet visits. However, like all animals, hedgehogs can still develop health issues like respiratory infections or dental problems.

It is important to find a good veterinarian who has experience with hedgehogs to provide your pet with the care it needs.

Cons of Having a Hedgehog as a Pet

While there are many great advantages of having a Hedgehog as a pet, there are a few downsides you should know about. Here are a few of them:

Hedgehogs are Nocturnal Animals

These little fellows enjoy coming out at night, which can be problematic for some pet owners.

If you are accustomed to enjoying a peaceful night of sleep after a long day of work, hedgehogs are not recommended for you.

They can cause quite a disruption at night. Therefore, some people find Hedgehogs to be a little unfriendly when they try to interact with them during daylight hours.

Hedgehogs are Not Good with Kids

While pets like dogs and cats are very playful and careful around kids, animals like hedgehogs don’t mix well with younger ones.

Hedgehogs respond poorly if they feel their personal space has been invaded. Children sometimes tend to play rough, which can cause hedgehog stress.

You should avoid keeping a Hedgehog as a pet if you have kids below the age of 7. However, if you can supervise the interaction between hedgehogs and kids up to the age of 13, you can consider keeping one.

Hedgehogs Often Make a Mess

Yes, you’ve heard it right. Hedgehogs are not very good when it comes to litter discipline. They have been proven to be bad at litter training.

It’s not uncommon to find droppings everywhere if you let them loose. Although adult hedgehogs grow out of eating through furniture and bedding, young hedgehogs which are teething can create quite a mess when they start chewing on your stuff.

Hedgehogs Need a Specific Habitat

Hedgehogs are very particular about the place where they are kept. They have a specific need for a particular habitat.

Moreover, these pets need help adjusting to a habitat they are unfamiliar with. Putting materials like cedar shavings in their habitat may even be fatal for them.

Building a particular habitat for your hedgehog means you’ll have to spend a little more time than other pets.

Hedgehogs Sometimes Require Special Care

Keeping a dog or cat is simpler than keeping a Hedgehog as a pet. The reason for this is they may require special care in new environments.

Hedgehogs sometimes curl up in a ball if they feel threatened, which can be troublesome.

Hedgehogs also have a very specific diet which they cannot deviate from without developing problems.

They sometimes also require special veterinarian care to attend to their medical needs in case of an illness or injury.

As a hedgehog owner, you might even have to provide your pet with some means of exercise so it does not grow obese. Additionally, they also require regular trimming.

Final Word

In conclusion, whether or not a hedgehog is a good animal for you to keep as a pet depends on various factors.

These cute little beings can be a great addition to your space if you want an exotic and attractive pet.

They are low-maintenance, active, and playful pets that are relatively quiet and clean. These unique animals are fascinating to observe and can bond with their owners.

Additionally, hedgehogs have a long lifespan and are generally healthy pets. However, there are a few downsides, including being nocturnal, not great with kids, and requiring a lot of care.

Therefore, weighing the pros and cons before adopting a hedgehog is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions that people have about owning a hedgehog:

Are hedgehogs’ good pets?

Hedgehogs can make great pets for the right person. They are low-maintenance and can be very affectionate with their owners.

However, they do require some special care, and their quills can make handling difficult. It’s important to do your research and make sure that a hedgehog is the right pet for you before getting one.

What do hedgehogs eat?

Hedgehogs are omnivores and eat a variety of foods. Their preferred diet includes insects, bugs, and invertebrates, but they can also eat fruits, vegetables, and meat.

It’s important to provide a balanced diet for your hedgehog and not rely solely on one type of food.

Do hedgehogs need a lot of space?

Hedgehogs don’t require a lot of space, but they do need a comfortable living environment.

A cage or enclosure with plenty of room to move around, along with a hiding place and a wheel for exercise, is ideal. It’s important to keep their living space clean and free of any hazards.

Are hedgehogs social animals?

Hedgehogs are not social animals and prefer to be alone. They can become stressed or aggressive if housed with other hedgehogs, so it’s important to keep them separate.

However, they can still form a bond with their owner and enjoy human interaction.

Do hedgehogs smell?

Hedgehogs are generally not smelly as long as their living space is kept clean. Regular cleaning of their cage or enclosure, along with bathing and grooming, can help keep odors under control.

How long do hedgehogs live?

Hedgehogs have a lifespan of around 4-6 years. However, proper care and a healthy diet can help extend their lifespan.

It’s important to be prepared for the commitment of caring for a hedgehog for their entire life.

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