I remember seeing a post on Pinterest of a little hedgehog wearing a little beanie. It was the cutest picture and since then, I’ve wanted to adopt a little one for myself. Hedgehogs are considered to be exotic pets. Animals in that category are illegal in some areas in the US. But not in Nevada! Yassss! In this post, I’m going to share my hedgehog adoption process.
I did as much research as I could about hedgehogs. I can’t even say how many hours I spent reading on Hedgehog Central. I mean, what do hedgehogs even eat?! This forum is amazing and extremely informative. Since it is a forum, questions are answered by people who have first hand experience. It’s a great website for tips, ideas, and those “what the heck do I do now?” situations.
Although it’s the pricey-er route, I decided to adopt through a local breeder in Las Vegas. I knew that it would be a better option for the hedgehog’s health and attitude. I found Feathers and Spikes through some research. And I’m glad I did! I had such a pleasant experience with this breeder.
Because hedgehogs are becoming more popular, there was a adoption wait list. I signed the paperwork in December and didn’t officially get on the list till a couple weeks later in January 2015. I swear, I checked the Feathers and Spikes website everyday to see if my paperwork was approved. Once I got on the waiting list, I went out to buy everything I needed for my hoglet. Even though I knew it might still be awhile till I actually get to bring the little one home. Let’s just say I was extremely excited.
After all the waiting, I was finally able to bring home my baby hoglet on February 13, 2015.
We decided on the name Hendrix Pineapple. She is an African Pygmy Hedgehog and was born on New Year’s Eve. She is dark brown with slight pinto in color. Hendrix was an “only child” so she was a BIG baby. Because she was handled often by the breeder, she is friendly and doesn’t mind being picked up. Although she can be very huffy and a bit dramatic at first, something the breeder says she gets from her mama.
Hendrix eats a food mix that I get from the breeder. She also loves baby food. Her favorite to munch on is Chicken and Rice. She’s not a fan of anything vegetable. Like me! Lol. For snacks, she likes to eat fruit or mealworms.
Hendrix loves playtime! Which is something I try to do with her everyday. During playtime, I bring out a small animal playpen and a few of her toys. Her favorites are cat toys with bells, a mouse squeaker, and toilet paper cardboard rolls. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so she is most active at night. Hendrix has a Flying Saucer by All Living Things in her habitat. And let me tell you, she is a runner! The Flying Saucer is a great wheel but ours broke early on. She is still able to use it but it doesn’t spin as smooth as it did. I am in the process of switching her over to a Cake Top Wheel. Hopefully she transitions well. Hendrix also really likes to swim. As long as the water is the right temperature.
We made her habitat out of wire cube storage shelves, zip ties, and coroplast. For her bedding, I use Anti-Pill Fleece. In her habitat, she has a Pineapple Hideaway and an Igloo. And of course, her food and water bowls.
If you are planning on adopting one, remember hedgehogs are very high maintenance pets. They can’t be too hot and they can’t be too cold or they could hibernate. Hibernation is fatal for Pygmy Hedgehogs so heat lamps are essential during the winter. Hendrix always seems to tip over her bowls. So even if I think I’ve given her enough water or food, it never really is enough. I can’t ever leave her on her own for more than a day because of that. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so that’s something to remember if you are a light sleeper. They also do not bathe themselves like other animals do so you’d be responsible for their baths.
Even with all their demands, for me, hedgehogs are still great pets. You eventually get the hang of things and their care becomes second nature. Plus, they are the cutest little animals! 🙂