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How Much Does It Cost to Own a Hedgehog? (Updated in 2021)
Hedgehogs are the little prickly creatures we’ve come to know and love. They’re a popular pet among small animal owners, and it’s easy to see why!
Hedgehogs are small animals with big personalities. They have likes and dislikes, preferences of toys or food, even preferences for things like bedding. Hedgies may be shy or social, but usually are affectionate and feel safe with the person who cares for them.
However, considering the immediate and long-term costs of owning a hedgehog is a must before bringing one home. They should never be an impulse purchase or purchased for someone who isn’t expecting a new pet. They require time and effort, as well as monetary investments.
Bringing Home a New Hedgehog: One-Time Costs
When bringing home a new hedgie, you’ll have to make an investment both in acquiring your new pet as well as providing a safe, happy home for it. Hedgehogs can be relatively expensive to purchase, even when adopting from rescues.
The upfront costs associated with bringing home a hedgehog include an initial vet visit, an enclosure, food, food bowl, water bottle, toys, a place to hide, a heating pad, and more. It’s a good idea to make a list of everything you will need before you get your hedgehog, and then price shop in your area to maintain your budget.
It’s hard to say how much you will pay to adopt a hedgie, but it is generally upwards of $100. Rescues price adoptions according to how much they may have spent on the pet. Higher adoption fees also help ensure they are going to a home that will provide adequate care for them.
Be mindful that breeders will often call purchasing a hedgehog from them “adopting” it. This can be misleading and leads people to believe they are rescuing an animal versus purchasing it from a for-profit breeder.
When it comes to purchasing a hedgehog from a breeder, $100 is a rare exception that is often reserved for disabled or non-breedable hedgies. You are likely to pay upwards of $200 for a hedgehog from a breeder. You may pay over $300 for more desirable or unusual color varieties of hedgehogs.
Take the time to research any breeder you may purchase from to ensure they are reputable and breeding healthy animals. Usually, you will be able to find this information through reviews online.
You will discover that there are several items hedgehogs require for good care, but there is a whole world of items out there. You’ll be able to find all the supplies you need without sacrificing your preferred aesthetic. Be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars in initial and annual costs on your hedgie.
List of Hedgehog Care Supplies and Cost
|Vet Visit (Initial)||$50-100|
|Food Bowl and Water Bottle||$5-15 each|
|Vet Visit (Annual and Incidental)||$50-150|
- $200–600 per year
You should plan for an annual vet visit to monitor your hedgie’s health. You should also be prepared to purchase food and treats a handful of times per year, as well as cage bedding multiple times per year. Toys and means of exercise are important to enriching your hedgehog’s life, so keeping these items fresh and new should also be considered in estimating your annual spend.
- $50-150 per year
Hedgehogs require very little veterinary care but having an exotics vet is necessary for maintaining their health. You should also have an emergency plan since many emergency vet clinics are not able to see exotics. If you are able to set aside money for emergencies, that is ideal. Maintaining a healthy diet and encouraging play and exercise will also help maintain your hedgehog’s health.
- $50-150 per year
Hedgehogs do not require regular veterinary visits, but it’s in the best interest of their health to take them to a vet at least once per year. They do not need vaccines, but a licensed veterinarian will be able to pick up on health issues you are not able to, like heart problems. It never hurts to have a professional set of eyes take a look at your prickly friend.
- $0-150 per year
Hedgehogs do not require regular dental care and may never require dental care for their entire life. However, they may require dental cleanings performed at a vet clinic under anesthesia. It is also possible for your hedgehog to damage its teeth or even develop tumors in the mouth, both of which require veterinary intervention.
Treatments for Parasites
- $0–150 per year
There are few parasites that usually afflict hedgehogs, so you may never actually spend money on this. Annual veterinary visits and close monitoring for problems with your hedgehog’s skin, spines, and feces will help you catch any parasite activity early. The earlier you catch parasite problems, the easier they are to take care of.
- $100+ per year
Emergencies are a difficult thing to plan for since they come up suddenly. Setting aside an emergency fund will help you be prepared for emergencies related to your hedgie. It is also a good idea to have an emergency plan in place so if something happens during regular business hours or after hours, you will know exactly where to take your pet for care. It also allows you to have a general idea of the baseline cost for managing an emergency.
- $45-120 per year
What you spend on food annually for your hedgehog will depend on the quality of food you purchase and where you purchase it. You may only need to buy a bag of food every couple of months, or it may be a monthly expense. Online vendors and local stores will likely have sales on food multiple times per year, so you may be able to get some deals on food. Buying larger bags may save money, but you will need to have a way to keep the food fresh. Also, keep in mind the cost of treats and fresh foods.
- $100-270 per year
The cage maintenance costs are going to be dependent on several factors including what kind of bedding you use, how frequently you replace it, how often you use cleaning wipes, and how often you need to replace heat lamp bulbs. Paying less on the front end for heating pads and lamps may require annual replacement to keep the products safe and functional. Less expensive or smaller cages may need to be replaced with higher quality or larger items over time as well.
- $20–60 per year
Entertaining your hedgie is fun for both of you. Hedgehogs need exercise and may prefer an exercise wheel to an exercise ball but mixing things up will be exciting and enriching. They also will find experiencing different textures, sounds, and smells to be fun, so providing different types and sizes of toys that are rotated or replaced regularly will keep your hedgie entertained. Preventing boredom and encouraging play is an essential part of keeping your hedgehog healthy.
Total Annual Cost of Owning a Hedgehog
- $200-600+ per year
Depending on the brands you use and the items you purchase, your total annual cost can be pretty variable. There are ways to manage your annual spending on your hedgehog but setting aside money toward your hedgehog’s general care needs every month will help you always meet its needs. Budgeting and preparation are things your hedgehog will thank you for!
Owning a Hedgehog On a Budget
Hedgehogs can be an expensive investment, but there are ways to care for your hedgehog on a budget. An essential part of owning a hedgehog on a budget is to actually create a budget.
How much do you need to spend on the basics for your hedgehog every month? How much extra are you able to spend on non-essential items, like cute toys or a more expensive type of treat? Organizing your budget will help ensure you don’t run out of necessary items.
Researching everything you buy for your hedgehog can help you save money as well. For example, higher-quality food may require less to be fed to achieve adequate nutrition, saving money in the long run.
Saving Money on Hedgehog Care
Keeping an eye out for sales and coupons, as well as price shopping, will help you get the best deals on things like food, treats, and bedding. You may be able to find used equipment, like cages, for sale in local online marketplaces or even places like antique or junk stores. Just remember to thoroughly clean anything you bring home to your hedgie. Also, if there are multiple exotics vets in your area, you may be able to price shop for the lowest cost on basic care and checkups.
Expect to spend at least $200 to get things set up for your new hedgehog and don’t be surprised if your hedgehog costs you $100 or more. Being prepared for over $200 per year spent on the care and maintenance of your hedgehog is a low-end starting point. Creating and following a budget, as well as creating an emergency fund for your hedgehog’s care, will ensure that you are always prepared for any scenario that may arise.
Keeping your hedgie healthy and happy will pay you back with the joy and companionship hedgehogs provide. Hedgehogs are a financial investment and getting a hedgehog is a decision that you should not take lightly or walk into unprepared.
Remember that your upfront and annual expenses will vary based on the area you live in and what products and resources are available in your area. Research veterinarians to help you find the best exotics vet near you who will be able to meet the needs of your new friend.
Featured image credit: Elijus3000, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- Bringing Home a New Hedgehog: One-Time Costs
- List of Hedgehog Care Supplies and Cost
- Annual Expenses
- Total Annual Cost of Owning a Hedgehog
- Owning a Hedgehog On a Budget
- Saving Money on Hedgehog Care