Cage sizes and accessories
All hedgehogs should be caged with at least 4 square feet of living space, and remember the more space your hedgehog has the happier it will be!
They should have a wheel that is solid surface and 11 to 12 inches so they can get enough exersice, remember in the wild they can run up to 4 square miles in one night!
They should have soft bedding such as fleece, we also use Eco small pet bedding, other people will use things like "Klean and Kozy" and aspen, bedding should be changed anytime it gets soiled, I spot clean mine daily and do a full change once a week or more often for messier hedgehogs. NEVER use Cedar, and sometimes pine can also upset a hedgie!
They also need a place to hide, most people use igloos for this, I have seen hedgies who love to use tissue boxes, oatmeal cans, and pvc tubes to hide in. Hedgehogs love to burrow so if you are giving them fleece bedding make sure you have a cuddle sack or larger amounts of fleece bedding otherwise they will go under the fleece liners.
It is also very important to keep them warm. Hedgehogs need a temperature of between 75 and 80 degrees year round! If your house is cooler than this you will need to get a ceramic heat emmitter!
Food and water
Most hedgehogs would prefer to eat and drink out of bowls!
Some people prefer to use water bottles, although you will get a bunch of different opinions on this I suggest letting your hedgehog choose.
Bowls should be something not easy to tip such as the medium size small animal crocks, they are heavy and hold just the right amount of food and water for your hedgie.
As for types of foods to feed to your hedgehog they should be high in protein and low in fat. A good mix will have a few different qualities of food that have 30% protein and 15% or less fat.
Treats are something that helps your hedgehog when it is learning to love you, things like mealworms and crickets are great ways to hand feed your hedgie while it is out with you.
Also you can give them a little of anything you are eating(with the exception of chocolate, onions, nuts and seeds, grapes or rasins, or any other dried fruit) remember only give them small amounts incase they can not handle that treat.
Most commercial hedgehog foods are not that great to feed your hedgehog!
Hedgehogs tend to get scared if they are quickly picked up, so we recommend picking them up like you are scooping something up with both hands, take your hands, making them almost look like spoons, go down on either side of your hedgehog, and move your hands under them, this makes them easier to pick up. If you quickly pick them up it might scare them causing them to wrap up around your figures or to bite, sometimes both!
If your hedgehog is still getting use to you, you can use gloves, a small towel, or a fleece blanket to pick them up.
Most hedgehogs do not want to be on their backs so please try not to hold them this way. You should only hold them like this when you are handfeeding them or checking them over for loose threads or toe nails needing trimmed.
Hedgehogs like to have something to burrow in so during cuddle time we recommend having either their cuddle bags or a blanket for them to hide in.
There are many ways you can give your hedgehog a bath. My favorite is putting them in the sink with warm water running, use a mild shampoo like baby shampoo on them brush it thru their quills using a toothbrush, make sure to wash the belly also, get all poop off their feet, and check to see if their toenails need trimmed. If they do need trimmed use baby nail trimmers and clip them right below the quick(pink area) try not to hit this as it will bleed, make sure to rinse them off well, You do not want the hedgie to have any soap left on them as this can cause dry skin issues.
Some hedgehogs need more frequent feet baths to get off the "poop boots" when doing this you do not need to put soap on them everywhere, just make sure that the poop gets off their little feet.
Some hedgies require you to trim their nails more often than others, so please if you have more than one hedgehog still check each one!
In all cases if your hedgehog gets wet please make sure they are dried off well. Hedgies love to cuddle dry!
Anytime your hedgehog is injured or sick it should see a vet! When you get your new hedgehog it is recommended to take it in for a well hedgie check up. This gives you a chance to talk to your vet about their needs and it also it gives your vet a chance to see your hedgehog when it is healthy.
Vet care can become very expensive, if you are unsure of being able to pay for vet care you might want to ask your vet what their fees are and the average price of a vet visit.
We have had vet visits go over $2000 just to save the hedgies life, they can go higher! Our average vet bill is around $170.
Please make sure before getting your new hedgehog you have the funds to care for them if something like this did come up!