Did you know that February 2nd is Hedgehog Day? These prickly little guys are small, but they are quite cute and can make really fun little pets. However, they do have some unique needs and tastes. A local Helotes, TX vet discusses hedgehog care below.
Hedgehogs are typically very gentle, but they do get frightened easily. As you may know, when hedgehogs get scared, they roll themselves up into little balls. You’ll need to handle your pet hedgehog frequently and gently to keep him tame. If your pet rolls up, just cradle him and talk to him gently until he feels safe enough to uncurl himself.
A good diet is crucial for all pets, even the tiny ones. Your pet can have commercial hedgehog food for his main meals. For treats, the little guy can have mealworms, crickets, or certain fruits or veggies. A bit of boiled egg or organic baby food is also fine, though you don’t want to go overboard here. Ask your vet for more information on nutrition and snacks.
Hedgehogs tend to get obese very easily. Even giving your pet a few calories too much each day can cause him to pack on weight! Pay attention to serving sizes, and provide your little buddy with an exercise wheel. Get a solid one, as wire wheels can be dangerous. You’ll also want to give your pet some supervised playtime. If you have room, a kiddie pool can make a great hedgehog playground.
You’ll need to provide your pet with plenty of toys. These guys really like bright colors, so look for things with vivid hues. Some good options are cat toys, balls, toy cars, and small stuffed animals. Your hedgehog may also like having mazes and tunnels to explore.
Just like any other pet, hedgehogs are vulnerable to illness and injury. Keep an eye out for any indication of sickness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, staggering, and lack of appetite. You’ll also want to watch for signs of fleas, such as scabbing, crustiness, and itching. Call your vet right away if you see any of these red flags.
Please reach out to us, your Helotes, TX vet clinic, for all of your pet hedgehog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!