Hedgehog care


Hedgehog Care

 

It is VERY important to keep your hedgehog’s cage temperature above 74 degrees. If his/hers body temperature falls below these temperatures he/she could go into false hibernation and die!!!! If you are unable to keep your house/room 74 degrees or warmer then please buy your hedgehog a heat light. You can find the clamp on type at Petsmart in the reptile section. You can use clear, red, or a CHE (ceramic heat emitter). You can also use a heat safe disc. These you can find in feed stores or online. I also recommend you buy a thermostat and put inside the cage to make sure that the temperature is staying above 74.
Bathing
You can give your hedgehog a bath in the sink or bathtub with a small amount of water in it. You can use an old toothbrush or a fingernail brush to clean their quills. Put some baby shampoo or baby bath and gently scrub their quills in the growth direction. Rinse thoroughly and dry. Make sure your hedgie is completely dry before returning him to his cage. This is also a perfect time to trim your hedgehogs nails. Clip off just the white tip of the nail, careful not to cut their quick.

Cages
Please do not house your hedgehog in a wire cage unless you have attached choroplast (the white corrugated stuff they use to make signs)to the inside of the cage. You can find choroplast at Home Depot, Lowe’s, or your local sign making company. Don’t give him/her a home that has multi levels! Hedgehogs don’t have great eyesight and they can fall off and get hurt. Please DO NOT use an aquarium for a hedgehog home. They don’t have adequate air ventilation. Aquariums are made for fish!
An adequate and inexpensive home for your hedgehog is the 90 or 105 quart plastic storage containers that you can get at Walmart. Drill large holes in the sides and in the lid for proper air ventilation. Your hedgehog must have these items in her/his cage: water bottle or dish, food dish, wheel, igloo (or other source of hiding spot). The wheel must have a flat running surface, no metal mesh wheels. They could get their feet stuck in them.
Bedding – Wood shavings (pine or aspen, NO CEDAR – it has oils in it that could kill your hedgie!), Liners – made of fabric that can be washed and reused. The only downfall to these is that your hedgie has nothing to dig and burrow in. If you decide to use liners, go to your local fabric store and buy some fleece and cut it up into strips and put in his/her cage. 
Food
I use Purina One Adult chicken & turkey hard cat food. You will want to mix the two foods until they adjust to the new food. I keep their food dish full of food and fill it once a day. Generally hedgehogs will only eat what they can. If you notice that your hedgehog is getting too fluffy, cut back on the amount of food you are giving him/her.
Treats a few times a week
Mealworms – live only! You can find them at just about any pet store
Chicken – boiled with no seasoning.
Fruit – strawberries, blueberries, bananas
Vegetables – cooked broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes
Eggs – scrambled or hard boiledDO NOT feed your hedgehog nuts or avacados, as they are not good for them.Don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime if you have any questions or concerns. 985-326-9518 or email me at hedgehogs@kellysquills.comVet – Dr. Rich or Dr. Pence @ West Esplanade Vet Clinic 504-455-6386