The African Pygmy Hedgehog
The African pygmy hedgehog is a peculiar animal. They have started to become popular pets since the 1980’s and have remained as such today. Classified as an exotic pet, the African pygmy hedgehog is illegal to own in certain countries and also certain states. If allowed in your area, however, hedgehogs can make great pets for those desiring something different.
Is a hedgehog the right pet for you?
First and foremost, hedgehogs are nocturnal animals. This means during day hours, your hedgehog will be primarily spending that time sleeping. Hedgehogs will become active during night hours, meaning you might not be able to interact with them as much as other pets. The quills of a hedgehog are every bit as sharp as they look. If unsocialized as a hoglet, those quills will make handling very difficult, if not painful. Here are some additional things to know before owning one.
- Hedgehogs primary diet consists of insects. They can, however, eat low-fat and high-protein cat food.
- Hedgehogs can and will attempt to hibernate, which is usually fatal if the temperature is too low. Room temperature must stay above 70 degrees farenheit
- Wild Hedgehogs are known to cover miles in a single night, a solid bottomed wheel is necessary for appropriate exercise.
Hedgehogs as pets
As with any pet, if you’re willing to put in the necessary effort, hedgehogs can make wonderful pets for those dedicated. If socialized enough, they can create a bond with their owner. For example, once a hedgehog gets to know their owner, most will respond to their approach. Some hedgehogs will even vocalize by chirping when their owner comes near. Once again, here is some additional information regarding the capability of hedgehogs as a pet.
- If it trusts their owner enough, a hedgehog will keep it’s quills flat for easy handling
- As insectivores, hedgehogs enjoy insects such as mealworms and crickets as treats
- Hedgehogs are relatively inexpensive to maintain, especially so if litter trained.
Learn more about pet hedgehogs
The Hedgehog Association – a non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of hedgehog care and to facilitate hedgehog rescue and welfare.
Hedgehog Central – a website containing informative resources for basic hedgehog care. Also provides basic information on colors and more.