10 Important Considerations When Picking a Hedgehog for a Pet

Some people think that motorcycling is not for girls like me. But I am happy to say that I survived and am happy in this kind of sport. It is not only in sports or activities that people like me have a unique taste for something. I also know of people who have a different choice in terms of selecting pets. When we think of house pets, we always imagine about a dog or a cat. But there are people who have a taste for exotic animals like hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs are gaining in popularity as exotic pets. If you set your heart on having hedgehogs as pets, there are important considerations you should know about in choosing the right hedgehog.

1. Weight

Acquire a hedgehog that is not underweight or overweight because either condition may increase the risk of the animal to become ill. You can identify whether a hedgehog is underweight or overweight by holding it. When you look at an underweight hedgehog from front to back, it will appear in A-shaped, with the high point along the backbone and then drastically sloping off in each side. An overweight hedgehog, on the other hand, will appear bulgy or rounded in this angle. A healthy hedgehog should have a teardrop shape when you are looking at the same angle.

2. Eyes

Healthy eyes should be slightly protruding, round and bright. Sunken, dull, half-open and extremely bulgy eyes, on the other hand, are a sign of discharge which may signify an illness.

3. Nose

The nose of a healthy hedgehog is just slightly moist and not wet, bubbly or crusty.

4. Ears

Smooth and round ears are a sign of a healthy hedgehog as opposed to ears that have rough edges or missing pieces.

5. Coat and skin

Look for a hedgehog with smooth and pliable skin instead of dry and crusty skin which could be a sign of mite infestation. The coat should also have no bald spots. However, if you are buying hedgehogs aged eight to 12 weeks, it may still be quilling, so it is possible to see some points where the quills are still breaking through the skin.


6. Genitals

Don’t miss out also on checking the genitals of the hedgehog you are considering to get. It should be dry, clean and with no swelling, redness or discharge which are a sign of poor health condition.

7. Droppings

If possible check also the droppings if they are brown in color and firm with no signs of pus, blood or discoloration.

8. Family line

If you know the breeder of your hedgehog, it is also possible to get some background info about its family line, such as if both parents are still alive and in what condition. That way, you will know if the hedgehog you are considering may have inherited some illnesses from its parents.

9. Age

Ideally, you should purchase a hedgehog that is between eight to 12 weeks old. Twelve weeks marks the baby stage of a hedgehog. However, if you prefer a full-size adult, you could also buy a six-month old hedgehog. It is not recommended to buy a hedgehog that is more than two years old because there may be not enough time left to spend with your pet before it passes away.

10. Temperament

It is normal for baby hedgehogs to ball briefly and keep its quills for several seconds after picking. However, a test of good temperament is when the hedgehog slowly un-balls and relax quickly on your hand.

Moreover, before even purchasing or acquiring a hedgehog, be sure that doing so is legal in your state as there are some states that have special restrictions when it comes to owning exotic pets. And if it is legal, it is also understood that before you visit a breeder, you already have hedgehog cages where you could put the new additions to your family.


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