There’s a new pet trend that is slowly making its way into homes across the United States—hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are small, spiky animals that are indigenous to Africa, Europe, and Asia. They are solitary nocturnal animals that have special habitat and dietary needs. Owning a hedgehog should be considered seriously.
Are you thinking of adding a pet hedgehog to your family? Before bringing home a hedgehog, there are a few things you should know to be sure you can offer them a good home. You’ll also need certain hedgehog supplies to keep them healthy and happy in your home since hedgehogs have different needs than other small animals. In order to ensure your hedgehog’s health and well-being, it is important to provide them with the proper food, water, and shelter.
As a first step towards welcoming your new hedgehog into your home, let’s take a look at the essential supplies you will need to take care of them.
Top 14 Essential Hedgehog Supplies
1. Hedgehog Cage
The first consideration for purchasing supplies for a pet hedgehog is the type of hedgehog cage to purchase. Hedgehogs prefer wire enclosures and the spacing between wires of their cages should not exceed 1 inch. One of the most important is a cage that is the appropriate size. The dimensions of the cage should be at least 3 square feet by 12 inches high to provide enough space for the hedgehog to move around. The cage should also be at least 12 inches high with a securely closing top to prevent escape. The cage should also have a solid floor.
Hedgehogs have a range of around 300 yards and some roam upto 2 miles per night in the wild! A cage should be as large as possible for these active little animals.
We like this Prevue Pet Products Deluxe Hamster Home for its 17.5-inch height and built-in platform so your hedgehog can enjoy the view. Although it includes the word hamster in the name, the manufacturer assures this product as being suitable for hedgehogs.
2. Cage Liner
A pet hedgehog needs the necessary items for its comfort and well-being. Line your solid-bottomed cage with lots of hedgehog bedding or fleece for burrowing and nesting. The bedding will help to keep your hedgehog warm and cozy. The bedding or fleece should be soft and absorbent. It is important to keep the hedgehog’s environment clean and dry to prevent illness.
We recommend Carefresh Small Animal Bedding, Natural because alongside being made from biodegradable reclaimed paper fiber, it controls ammonia odors for up to ten days, absorbs twice as much as wood shavings, and doesn’t produce dust, so you and your pet can breathe well.
3. Hedgehog Hideouts
A hedgehog needs some privacy and downtime to live a healthy life. Hideouts are important for hedgehogs because they need a place to feel safe and secure. They can use these to escape from predators or other disturbances. There are many different types of hideouts that are available for purchase, but some people choose to make their own. This Wild Harvest Edible Logz Natural Small Pet Hideaway is a fun option because as well as providing a dark nook for your Hedgie friend, it is made of golden honey and fresh alfalfa for a nutritious treat that your pet won’t be able to resist!
4. Cage-mounted Water Bottle
The best way to provide your hedgehog with fresh water is to use a cage-mounted water bottle. Hedgehogs need plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated, and a water bottle lets you easily monitor how much they’re drinking. Look for a water bottle that attaches securely to the side of your hedgehog’s cage and is easy to refill. Be sure to replace the water regularly to keep your hedgehog hydrated. Cage-mounted water bottles are the recommended way to give water because they won’t tip or get contaminated, but you can use tip-proof bowls for providing water if you prefer.
The MidWest Critterville Small Animal Water Bottle is a perfect way to ensure your spiny friend stays hydrated. Remember your new companion needs a constant supply of water.
5. Tip-Proof Food Bowl
A hedgehog needs a tip-proof food bowl because they are prone to tipping their bowls over and spilling their food. The best type of food bowl for a hedgehog is a weighted or clamp-on bowl that attaches to the edge of the cage. As hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, you aren’t likely to be able to see them when they have tipped over their food and made a mess of their environment. The Ware Slide-N-Lock Small Animal Bowl securely locks to your hedgehog’s cage, giving you total peace of mind.
A hedgehog’s diet consists mainly of insects, but they can also eat vegetables and fruit. Hedgehogs require a constant supply of food. Hedgehogs need a diet that is high in protein and low in fat. It is important to provide a varied diet to ensure that your hedgehog stays healthy. Some good food choices for hedgehogs include crickets, mealworms, waxworms, small amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a small amount of dog food or cat food.
If you’d like to make feeding as convenient as possible, you can try feeding a specially formulated hedgehog food, such as Mazuri Hedgehog Food. It is high in fiber, and full of protein, vitamins, and minerals, to keep your hedgehog in fine fettle. However it offers less mental stimulation than hunting for live insects.
7. Snacks & Treats
The essential supplies for a pet hedgehog include snacks and treats to provide variety and little moments of joy for you and your pet. Hedgehogs require high-protein and low-fat diets, so choosing the right snacks and treats is important. Some good options for hedgehog snacks include cooked chicken, insects, and small amounts of fresh fruit or vegetables. Exotic Nutrition Live Mealworms Reptile Food is ideal, because it triggers your insect-loving pet’s natural instinct for hunting, providing mental stimulation as well as an enjoyable snack. They are prone to obesity so snacks should be kept to a minimum.
8. Hedgehog Toys
One of the essential supplies for a pet hedgehog is toys. Hedgehogs love to play and need something to keep them occupied. Some good toy options include balls, small animal-shaped stuffed animals, and wooden blocks. It’s important to make sure that any toy you choose is large enough that the hedgehog can’t choke on it. It is important to provide your hedgehog with sufficient toys to keep it happy and healthy.
These dual-function SunGrow Coconut Fiber Rabbit & Guinea Pigs Chew & Exercise Balls, Teeth Grinding Treats are a great option, because they provide boredom relief when your nocturnal pet spends time alone
9. Exercise Wheel
A hedgehog needs an exercise wheel to stay healthy. The wheel should be a certain size for the hedgehog’s body, and it’s important to attach it securely so the hedgehog can’t fall off. Make sure the wheel is fully silent, as hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, your new pet is going to be using this wheel while you sleep. The last thing you need to hear is a continuous squeak or rattle. Check out the Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner Small Animal Exercise Wheel which has a dual ball-bearing design to create a whisper-quiet wheel.
10. Litter Box
You may also want to provide a litter box for your pet since some hedgehogs can be potty trained. Choose a small animal litter box and fill it with hedgehog litter to ensure it’s safe and accessible for your hedgehog. Having a litter-trained hedgehog is a big help in keeping their cage clean. The box should be big enough for the hedgehog to fit comfortably inside and should be filled with a soft, absorbent material such as hay or shredded paper.
Hedgehogs will use the litter box to relieve themselves, so it is important to keep working on maintaining the litter box. The CALPALMY Rabbit Litter Box with Bonus Pads, Drawer, Corner Toilet Box, and Bigger Pet Pan even comes with deodorizing pads that catch your hedgehog’s messes to make clean-up a breeze.
For those trips to the exotic animal vet, a hedgehog needs a carrier to travel in. The carrier should be big enough for the hedgehog to move around in and have a place for the hedgehog to hide. The carrier should be made of a sturdy material that can protect the hedgehog from being injured if it is dropped. The Frisco Top Loading Small Pet Carrier, Medium is a great mid-priced product highly rated by pet owners in fulfilling their pet transportation needs.
12. Cage Cleaning Products
A hedgehog needs a clean environment to thrive, so it is important to use a cage cleaner to sanitize its home. Hedgehogs can also be susceptible to respiratory infections, so using a pet friendly disinfectant is essential. Having a cage cleaner on hand will help you keep the hedgehog’s home clean and free of waste, which is crucial for its health and well-being. Zoo Med Wipe Out Terrarium & Small Animal Cage Cleaner is a pet-safe liquid disinfectant, deodorizer, and antibacterial cleaner. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any type of cleaning product.
A hedgehog needs a place to play. A pet playpen is perfect for this. It should be big enough for the hedgehog to move around in and have some objects for the hedgehog to play with, such as a ball or a toy. The playpen should also be filled with soft bedding, like straw or hay, so the hedgehog can burrow and take naps. A playpen makes for a great change of scene to keep your hedgehog happy and thriving. The Outback Jack Happy Habitat Cat Playpen Tent is a great, spacious, lightweight option.
14. First Aid Supplies
Hedgehog first aid supplies include a variety of products that are used to help treat and care for injured or sick animals. These items can include bandages, gauze, tape, antiseptics, ointments, and more. It is important to have a well-stocked first aid kit for any pet owner, as it can help you provide the necessary care in a crisis situation. Speak to your vet for a complete list of what is necessary to have on hand. A complete kit such as ClotIt Pet First Aid Kit for Dogs, Cats & Small Pets can be a great starting point.
In conclusion, hedgehogs can be an interesting pet in the right environment for those looking for an interesting and unique companion. With the right supplies, you can be on your way to enjoying all the benefits that come with owning a hedgehog. Hedgehogs can be loving and rewarding pets, but they are not for everyone. Be sure to do your research before getting a hedgehog to ensure that they are the right pet for you. Thanks for reading!
Featured Image Credit: Thanisnan Sukprasert, Shutterstock