Hedgehogs – snorting prickly lumps – do not leave anyone indifferent. These cute and touching pets are increasingly becoming residents of home apartments.
However, caring for hedgehogs is not an easy task. Ten thousand needles, which are regularly updated, the night stomp and the remnants of life throughout the house. And a lot of positive emotions from a wonderful pet.
What will tip the scales? Let’s figure it out together.
Which hedgehog is suitable for an apartment
If you meet a hedgehog in the forest, say hello to him and pass by. Do not console yourself with the hope that a wild forest pet will become your good friend and will be able to get used to life at home.
Long-eared hedgehogs are best suited for keeping in an apartment, as well as pygmy African hedgehogs . The latter are a special breed bred by man artificially. African pygmy hedgehogs do not trample, do not have an unpleasant odor and eat ready-made cat food with great pleasure. They do not fall into hibernation, and their summer regime is not much different from winter.
With good care, pygmy hedgehogs live for about 5 years, they are very attached to humans and are completely unadapted to life in the wild.
As for eared hedgehogs, as the name of the breed implies, their distinguishing feature is long 5 cm ears that stick out funny in different directions.
Eared hedgehogs are very fond of warmth, drafts are dangerous for their lives. The breed of these animals is listed in the Red Book. The life span of pets can reach up to 10 years.
There are other breeds of hedgehogs that are suitable for home keeping. But if you decide to have such an exotic pet, do not buy it on the market. Contact breeders, of which there are many today, to be sure that the hedgehog is young and healthy.
What does a healthy hedgehog look like?
A healthy young hedgehog should be active and moderately well-fed. Here are some more signs by which you can identify a healthy pet:
- Clean needles and fur
- No scars or damage
- Beady eyes. Clean, shiny, free from crusts, not sunken or protruding
Setting up a hedgehog cage
Like any other pet, a hedgehog needs its own nook. Of course, prickly animals move around the house with pleasure, but at the same time they must have a place where they can relax and enjoy peace and quiet. The enclosure for the hedgehog should be spacious enough, the ideal size of the hedgehog’s home is 76×76 cm.
Do not place a hedgehog in a cage with iron bars. The fact is that hedgehogs very easily arrange shoots from it. The cage door must close tightly.
In the house of a prickly pet there should be: a drinking bowl, a place for a toilet, a play area and a place to rest. Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, so the bed should be darkened. It can be a box or a handbag, or a separate small house.
Cover the floor in the hedgehog’s dwelling with sawdust and do not forget to update them in a timely manner.
There are cases when especially capable of training hedgehogs have learned to use a tray with filler for the toilet, as cats do. If you have enough patience, and the pet is still young and ready for training, try to teach your hedgehog to be so clean.
To do this, the tray must be placed away from food and drink, filled with sawdust and put hedgehog feces there, as well as a cloth soaked in them. You need to clean the tray no more than once a week so that the prickly one can find it by smell.
So, in order for your pet to feel healthy and full of energy, his diet must include:
- Minced meat (raw or cooked)
- boiled liver
- Fresh fish
- Chicken or turkey, boiled without salt (skin must be removed)
- Fruits and vegetables
List of dangerous foods for the hedgehog:
- Chocolate and other sweets
- acidic foods
- A pineapple
Your pet should always have fresh water in the drinker. If you notice that the animal began to drink little or refuses to drink at all, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Remember, a hedgehog should not be overfed. Despite the fact that pets eat very funny, and many owners watch the feeding process with tenderness, it is very important to prevent the pet from overeating. The fact is that hedgehogs quickly gain excess weight, which subsequently prevents them from curling up. So, the pet’s sleep will be uncomfortable.
Taking care of the cleanliness and hygiene of a hedgehog is a very important aspect in keeping a prickly animal. Wet hedgehogs look very touching. Therefore, bathing will bring not only a lot of pleasure to your pet, but also from the heart will please you.
First of all, wet the hedgehog’s spines. This can be done both under running water and in a basin. Then apply a small amount of special shampoo. Using a toothbrush, spread the foam evenly over the needles in the direction from head to tail.
Be careful! Avoid getting foam in your pet’s eyes and ears.
Now turn the hedgehog over and rinse the pink tummy. Rinse off the lather and apply moisturizing oil. Never dry your hedgehog with a hair dryer. For the animal, this is a serious stress. Wrap it in a towel and wait until the hedgehog is completely dry. Typically, this process takes about 2 hours.
As you can see, caring for hedgehogs does not require serious preparation. The main thing is to follow simple rules and adhere to the basics of a healthy diet, then a prickly pet will delight you with its company for a long time.