Cats, dogs and hamsters are not the most popular pet choices these days. Hedgehogs make awesome pets too. Although these cuties are spiky, they are incredibly friendly and loyal. Owning a hedgehog is lots of fun, albeit you have to learn how to take care of them – it is a rocket science for someone. Before getting a hedgehog, check out the following facts about these adorable little creatures.
1. Hedgehog has 5000 to 7000 quills
Just like kids lose their baby teeth and get new ones, hedgehogs lose their baby quills. The process is painful, so if you get a baby hedgehog, find a vet who provides a high standard of care for these animals. The muscles along the hedgehog’s back can raise and lower the quills whenever a hedgie feels threatened.
2. Hedgehogs love the night
If you are a night owl, a hedgehog is your ideal pet. Just like hamsters, hedgies are very active during the night, and typically spend their days sleeping. It is not recommended to wake them up during the day since it may affect they health.
3. They have an excellent sense of hearing and smelling
Hedgehogs recognize their owners for their voice and scent. As soon as you get a hedgie, it is crucial to get them used to your scent and voice. This is because hedgehogs have poor eyesight.
4. They are not afraid of loneliness
Cats are independent, right? Buy they still crave your attention. Hedgehogs are okay to be alone, though it is best to spend at least a few hours a night with them so that they do not forget you.
5. Hibernation is not for all hedgehogs
There are 17 different species of hedgehog and each has its own needs. When it comes to hibernation, consulting a vet is a must, because for some species hibernation means death, while for others it is vital.
6. The average lifespan is 5 years
Healthy hedgehogs live around 7 years, but it is mostly about wild species. Domestic hedgehogs often suffer from different diseases, including Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome and cancer. It is probably because of poor care. People get hedgehogs, but have no idea how to care for them. Do not be one of them. Do your research before having this exotic pet.
7. Hedgehogs do not use their quills to carry food
It is a myth that unfortunately many people believe. When it comes to a hedgehog diet, you must pick the food very carefully. Hedgehogs are not picky eaters, but feeding them on everything you have in the kitchen is a bad idea.
8. They make perfect companions
Hedgehogs love to cuddle up on their owner’s chest, read the book with them, play in the garden, burrow in the clothes, and even chase their owners. They make loyal companions. But if you are a highly sensitive person that has trouble dealing with a pet’s death, hedgehogs might not be for you. They have a very short lifespan.
Each pet has its advantages and disadvantages. Before owning a hedgehog, do your own research. These are definitely not all the facts about them. Hedgehogs are illegal in many countries and states including Arizona, Pennsylvania, California, Georgia, Hawaii, and NYC. Plus, they are very expensive. But overall, they are fantastic pets that you will not regret owning.