A hedgehog is definitely not an ordinary pet that can be found in any ordinary home. It is a quirky little animal that is suited for someone who wants to stand out, and that has elevated tastes. And because they are not known by the general public, you need to do your proper research and analyzing before buying one, to make sure you know how to take care of it.
In my quest towards vet school, I have read many articles related to these little creatures, as they sparked my interest. They look very sharp and spiky to the touch, but almost everybody I have talked to about them, and that has encountered a hedgehog in their path, has told me they are actually shy and lovable animals that have an outdated reputation.
People have divided opinions when it comes to having one as a pet. One of the main reasons is because they think wild animals should stay wild. But at the same time, cats and dogs were once wild and taming them proved to be a good thing for the species. But if you do adopt one, make sure its environment matches the one in the wild.
In order to make sure your hedgehog is healthy and has a good genetic history, look out for a trustworthy breeder. Or at least give a chance to a responsible seller, that treats the animals with care and dedication, and doesn’t use them as money making machines. Most pet-rescue shelters have hedgehogs waiting for a new life, so consider this option too.
These pets are nocturnal, so when you rescue one, your schedule will need a bit of an adjustment. If you try to make them be active during the day, they will get sick, as their internal clock will be conflicted. At night, the lights should be dimmed or even turned off in the room the pet is living, as its eyes are sensitive to light. Also, try to find a good vet in your community, since not all vets know how to deal with the special companion.
A proper cage is an essential when raising a hedgehog. It has to be easy to use, as you are going to clean it often, and make sure it is made from the right materials. Avoid glass and other potentially dangerous elements, since these pets like to climb and to chew. When it comes to size, even if they are tiny creatures, the cage should be large enough for them to run and hide as they wish.
They are not cheap pets to raise. They require time, money and dedication. But they are usually worth it because they are unique and funny looking, and will make you laugh for hours.