Hedgehog Day 2018 is on Friday, February 2, 2018: Can my hedgehog live without a cage for a few days?
Friday, February 2, 2018 is Hedgehog Day 2018. Mark Your Calendar this is also HEDGEHOG DAY
Ouch! Hedgehog Day highlights these loveable animals but heed this word of warning, don’t get too close. As everyone knows hedgehogs are covered in spines but whatever you decide and not have access to known is the fact that these spines are really hollow fur stiffened by keratin. Hedgehogs use their spines like a defense mechanism when threatened by by moving right into a tight ball so that all the spikes point outwards, what's less well-known is they also utilize them for cheese and pineapple throughout cocktail parties (there's not yet been any photo taking proof of this).Hedgehogs depend heavily on their own olfaction they are able to smell food under one inch of soil and may frequently sense the existence of danger. They have a tendency to look for food during the night and may travel a distance of two-3 KMs. One very strange fact about hedgehogs is they self-anoint which appears to become associated with irregular smells or tastes which makes them create large amounts of creamy saliva that they flick over their spines using their tongue (don't disturb a hedgehog in the center of this method, it’s like catching someone within the shower).There has been numerous famous hedgehogs in popular culture, the favourite most likely being Sonic the Hedgehog, he’s certainly the quickest. Beatrix Potter produced Mrs. Tiggywinkle, another well-known hedgehog who is actually very proficient at laundry however, she's never cleaned Sonic’s smelly trainers.Enjoy hedgehogs sensibly:That Hedgehog Day is both a Roman tradition preceding the current ‘Groundhog Day’, along with the release date for Sonic The Hedgehog 3 in the united states, in 1994.
Here are some housing ideas:
Unfortunately there is a LOT of really bad information out there on how to care for hedgehogs, and misleading information on what kind of pets they are. Are you sure you want one? As someone who has taken in unwanted hedgehogs from people who didn't know exactly what they were getting into, I ask that you really think about whether a hedgehog is right for you before getting one.
This page explains their dietary requirements:
They're nocturnal. While you're awake and the lights are on or the sun is up, they will want to be hidden away sleeping in the dark. At night when you're trying to sleep, they will be up running on their wheel and making noise. Where will the cage be? If in your room, are you a light sleeper?
They must be kept warm all year. Their entire cage must be kept at least 72 degrees Fahrenheit at all times, not just one part of it with a heating pad; the ENTIRE cage. In addition, many hedgehogs can get quite miserable at temperatures as low as 80 degrees, just like us. Below 72, however, and the hedgehog will attempt to hibernate, which will make it very sick, sometimes weeks later even after being warmed up and kept warm after the chilling event.
They hate loud noises as they have excellent hearing. They hate commotion and being startled. They love routine and knowing what's going to happen next. They need at LEAST an hour of your personal attention each night, which can be just cuddling them in a fleece bag while you do something quiet. They aren't affectionate like cats, and don't seek your attention and approval like dogs. They are the very definition of defensiveness, and gaining a hedgehog's trust can take time and effort.
If you get a baby hedgehog (no younger than 8 weeks....some crappy breeders have been selling hedgehogs as young as 5 weeks, which isn't even weaned yet), its personality may change completely after it goes through 'quilling', which is a painful process of losing baby quills and getting adult quills in, which come in full size through the skin. This makes them uncomfortable for a month or so, and some hedgehogs start out social and end up being anti-social after the quilling is over (maybe they blame *us* for the pain?). If you met a hedgehog that belonged to a friend and decided that you wanted one based on that, be aware that each hedgehog is a unique little personality, just like with people, and that the hedgehog *you* get may be completely different than the one you saw before and fell in love with. Will you be willing to stick with the one you get and love it anyway?
Their wheel is MANDATORY. Hedgehogs can run 10 miles a night in the wild while hunting for food. They need their exercise. The wheel must have a solid running surface, such as the "Carolina Storm bucket wheel". Most of them poop on their wheel, so every morning you will have a poop-covered wheel to clean. Hedgehogs are not pets for the squeamish.
Their cage should be six square feet or larger. It should have a solid floor, and any wire bars in the side walls should be very closely spaced to prevent escapes or fatal attempts (less than 1" spacing). It should have a secure top as some hedgehogs are escape artists and expert climbers. The best bedding is fabric cage liners, such as pieces of thick fleece cut to fit. If you can't do hedgehog laundry, Carefresh Ultra White is ok. Under no circumstances should any wood bedding be used with hedgehogs. Cedar and pine are toxic, and ALL wood bedding, including aspen, is dangerous to eyes, ears, and other soft tissues, and hedgehogs have been injured by it, including being blinded. Similarly, water should be provided in a small glass bowl or something like a Petmate waterer. Rodent water bottles should NEVER be used with hedgehogs, as they have also injured hedgehogs, including broken teeth and an amputated tongue. I know some people out there still say it's ok to use these things, but they're either ignorant of the experiences of other hedgehog owners, or know that these risks exist and are willfully stupid in risking their own hedgehog's health.
Hedgehog, first day in new home?
On their first days in a new home hedgehogs are often very frightened! Give him a few days to settle in, and he'll be right as rain. :) Some things you can do to help him get comfortable: Put a folded-up t-shirt in his cage to familiarize him with your scent; Provide him with a dark, snug sleeping place (like a pet igloo, a sleeper sack, or even just a wadded up hand towel can work); and try to feed him the same food that the pet store was feeding him. New-home stress often causes some tummy upset in hedgehogs, don't be worried if his poop turns greenish as well.
Just leave him a lone for a little bit and make him comfortable while he adjusts to his new home. It's okay to talk to him if you see him awake, let him sniff your hand and such, but don't bother him too much during the first few days. :)
If you have any other questions, feel free to email me! If I can't answer your questions, I have lots of hedgehog resources I can look or show to you.
Is my hedgehog just having a bad day?
Certainly hedgehogs have their grumpy days. One of my hedgehogs named Nutmeg, can be one very sweet girl one day and then become very grumpy at night. They have a day to day personality like we do a lot of times. One day is different than the other. If he doesn't have anything medical wrong with him I'm sure it's just his grumpy night. But there is a chance that he is in pain which causes them to feel frightened and grumpy.