Basic Care of a Hedgehog
It is no longer surprising to share our home with various types of animals, such as snakes, exotic birds, ferrets … and even rats. Much owing to the considerable enlargement of the world of pet animals, it is not surprising that a number of people may have a hedgehog as a pet .
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The hedgehogs we host in our homes are usually terrestrial hedgehogs, among which we can distinguish several species, although it is also true that although the species are different, the care they need is very similar.
In this article we talk about the basic care of a hedgehog , an information that should be very present if you are considering hosting an animal of these characteristics in your home.
What space should we give to a hedgehog?
The longevity of a hedgehog is approximately 5 years and during all this time we must ensure that our pet has adequate space to enjoy a great quality of life.
The hedgehog is an animal of nocturnal habits, which does not imply that it is a quiet animal, this because its nature is very active, therefore, must have a cage with enough space, at least the hedgehog must have a square meter for move.
To offer the best space to your hedgehog you should also take into account the following considerations:
- The irons of the cage should not be too far apart, with a space of 1.5 centimeters, a hedgehog can escape from the cage, that is, the separation space should be smaller.
- The water cooler should be bottle-type, so you can keep the water in perfect hygienic condition, and the feeders should be made of aluminum and should be attached to the cage so they do not come out.
- As a floor we should use sawing of untreated wood.
- The hedgehog must have sufficient stimuli for its activity, so in its cage we must include a wheel for exercise, a container with sand to dig and some toy suitable for it.
- There must be a shelter inside the cage to hide, it may be a wooden, plastic or cardboard box, but it is important that it has a large hole for entry and exit.
The hedgehog cage should be placed in a dimly lit room with an ambient temperature ranging from 20 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
The feeding of the hedgehog
feeding is a health pillar not only for humans but also for animals, so it is important to be well-informed about feeding the hedgehog.
If you have decided to take home a hedgehog that is the most balanced for him and simpler for us, we would be able to give him a specific feed for hedgehogs , or a more generic feed intended for the feeding of insectivorous mammals.
If it is not possible to obtain a ration of these characteristics, we must elaborate the diet of our hedgehog following the guidelines that we give next:
- Use a high-end ration intended for dogs or cats of old age, this ration is of higher quality than the usual ration, since the latter has too many proteins and fats.
- Supplement the feed intake with fruits, eggs and chicken.
- It is also important to offer him live food, in this case choose crickets, flour worms and roundworms.
- During breastfeeding and pregnancy, live food must be supplemented with vitamins and calcium, in which case the veterinarian will be the person who should indicate the best product.
Obviously the hedgehog must always have fresh, clean water , and we must fill the feeder once a day, preferably at dusk, by taking out any food left over the next morning.
The hedgehog must become accustomed to human contact and this adaptation must be progressive. This animal has a typical defense mechanism that consists of curling to protect itself with its thorns, for this reason, it is important that you make the first manipulations using gloves.
We must allow the hedgehog to smell us so that it can recognize us through the odor and when this happens we can manipulate our hedgehog without major complications.
When the hedgehog becomes accustomed to our presence and home, it is very important that at least once a week we let it flow freely in some part of our home, since this complete freedom is completely necessary.
If we keep the hedgehog in optimum condition our pet will only need cleanliness, so the only thing we should do and give him a bath when it is very dirty, and in this case we should use warm water. As a last advice you should cut your nails to the hedgehog only if you have them very large.
Hedgehog Health Care
A hedgehog does not need specific veterinary care, however, we can take certain measures to keep our pet in a good state of health.
- The hedgehog should not be exposed to cold temperatures or drafts
- If we live with other animals it is important that the hedgehog does not keep in contact with them, since they can transmit some tick
- The hedgehog may suffer from diarrhea and usually this is due to overeating. Just reduce the daily food ration
It is very important that the hedgehog feeds on a daily basis, if you lose your appetite , this should be reason enough to go to the vet.