It seems the internet is becoming increasingly filled with adorable hedgehog videos. Despite watching all those fantastic videos, here are a few things you might not know about hedgehogs.
1. The don't get bathed often
Hedgehogs don't need baths frequently at all. Most only get bathed about once per month since their skin will dry out if they are bathed more often. When it is cleaning time, a toothbrush and baby shampoo are used to gently cleanse.
2. They eat cat food
Hedgies need lots of protein and some owners just aren't on board with feeding live worms to their baby. Instead, high protein cat foods are used to make sure they get all the nutrients they need! They can also eat some human foods like cooked chicken and turkey without seasonings, kiwi, banana, mango, pumpkin and so much more.
3. They must stay above 70 degrees
A small thermometer kept inside their cage is the easiest way to constantly know how warm your hedgie is. If you're worried about it slipping below 70, a fleece blanket or heating blanket under the cage (not inside it) is great to keep some warmth in. Additionally, small pieces of fleece inside the cage can be used to burrow and keep nice and toasty.
4. They can't be in wire cages
Hedgehogs have terrible eyesight and no depth-perception. Because of this, clear plastic bins are used as cages rather than typical small animal cages. Hedgehogs, if put in a wire cage, can get their heads stuck between the wires and won't be able to get themselves out.
5. They bond with their owner through scent and sound
Because their eyesight is so poor, hedgies bond with their owner through their owners' scent and voice. It is recommended that an owner wear a T-shirt all day and then use it as some bedding so your hedgie is constantly surrounded by your scent. After a while, your hedgehog won't quill and ball up when you reach to touch it, as long as you let it smell you and talk to it first. Once it recognizes your scent and voice, it will be much easier to pick it up and they will become much more comfortable.
All photos are of my hedgehog who can be found at @stanleythehog on Instagram. Photos courtesy of Madison Grube and myself.