So you’ve decided to get a pet hedgehog because let’s face it they’re totally adorable. You’ve read up, watched a ton of YouTube videos & scoured the forums. You’re ready, you’ve totally got this.
Perhaps not. There are a few things that most people fail to mention (or outright lie about) when it come to owning our spiky friends.
Pygmy hedgehogs have become increasingly popular over the years, helped by the tons of super cute videos & pictures of them paraded through our Facebook & Instagram feeds. However owning them isn’t quite as simple as some would lead you to believe, so I’ve put together this post from my personal experience to help any potential owners know what to really expect when they get one.
Now first off let me mention that the purpose of this post isn’t to put people off getting a hedgie (I love mine) but rather to make people aware of a few things…
For me this was the biggest ‘lie’ I remember reading all over the web.
“Pygmy hedgehogs rarely smell.” “As long as you keep their cage clean there’s no odor.”
Sh*t stinks not matter what. Even if you spot clean their cage everyday (which you need to do) there’s still some smell. It’s not quite as bad as say a hamster but if you’re expecting an odor free companion you’ve got a shock coming! This can be helped out with proper cleaning, a decent diet & regular baths but their poo (which they do a lot of) is going to give their living space a slight aroma no matter what.
They Aren’t All Loveable
Don’t expect your new hedgie to love being picked up and be super social like the stars you see online. Getting your pygmy hedgehog to come out of it’s shell is something that takes a lot of patience and persistence.
Some hedgehogs may never be up for a belly rub and may come across as plain grumpy. This could be a phase though as it took my hedgehog a while to stop huffing when I put my hand into her cage.
They Aren’t That Low Maintenance
Just because they sleep all day and come alive in the evening doesn’t necessarily make them perfect for people with busy jobs. As I mentioned before you’ll still need to spot clean their cage and make an effort to interact with them everyday.
Even if you’ve got yourself a bit of a grumpy hedgehog you’ll still need to spend a bit of time with them daily to make handling them easier in the future. If you neglect your duties or simply give up, all I can say is good luck next time you need to give them a bath or take them out to clean their bedding.
They Aren’t Easy To Bathe
Bath times are the stuff of nightmares. Most hedgehogs don’t really enjoy having a bath but it’s a necessary evil if they have got themselves dirty or worse if they need their nails clipping.
I think the worst part of bath time is actually trying to clip your hedgehogs nails. There’s been many times where I’ve spent a good half an hour trying to clip my hedgehog’s nails and only managed to do 2 nails across her four feet.
With all this being said pygmy hedgehogs can still make great pets! Once you get used to the fact they aren’t all going to be completely stink free & super friendly straight away, you can stop yourself getting disheartened & potentially giving up. Like all pets they require a bit of work but offer rewards in their own special ways (like letting you give them cute little chin rubs).
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