Don’t want to get the typical dog or cat as your next family pet? Perhaps you’re considering a more exotic option… the hedgehog! Before you get one, though, read your Larimer County veterinarian’s words of wisdom below.
The Family Lifestyle
Before you run out and purchase a hedgehog, consider your family’s lifestyle. Will you and your family members have the time to commit to a hedgehog? If you do, a hedgehog will make a great pet—they don’t need a huge living space, they won’t keep you up at night, and they’ll be happy without another hedgehog companion. If you don’t, though, it’s not fair to the hedgehog when you can’t commit the necessary amount of time.
In general, hedgehogs are gentle, quiet, fun little animals. They’ll probably be a bit solitary at first, but will acclimate to their human owner over time. If they are housed and fed properly and are given enough attention, a hedgehog should stay very happy.
Keep in mind that young children might not be ready for the handling requirements of a hedgehog. While their quills don’t stab like a porcupine’s would, they can poke painfully if the hedgehog isn’t picked up properly. Young children might not have a good grasp on the method, so you might want to wait until your kids are older. Also make certain that children understand the amount of time and work that’s going to have to go into caring for your new pet.
Hedgehogs are relatively low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean they’re no-maintenance. You’ll need to change your hog’s bedding regularly, switch out food and water, and clean their cage properly.
Ask your Larimer County veterinarian for more advice on whether or not a hedgehog is the right choice for you and your family dynamic. For the right owners who know what they’re getting into, a hog will make a great spiky addition to the family!