Caring for a Hedgehog

Are you looking for a fun little pet that is super cute and perhaps a bit unusual? A hedgehog may perfect for you! These little ones are completely charming, and lots of fun to watch. Before you adopt a hedgie, however, you’ll want to do some research to ensure you’re choosing a pet that is right for you. A local Moorpark, CA vet discusses basic hedgehog care below.


The African Pygmy Hedgehog is the type of hedgehog most commonly sold as a pet. These adorable little guys grow about six to nine inches long. Their average lifespan is about four to six years, though they can live up to a decade. Hedgies must be properly socialized to be friendly and calm around people, so we recommend getting your pet from a reputable breeder.


A good, comfy habitat is crucial to your pet’s health and well-being. Your little buddy will need a cage that is at least 4 feet by 2 feet. Bigger is always better, though, so get the largest one you can afford. If you get a wire cage, choose one with a solid floor, so your pet won’t hurt his tiny feet. You’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as recycled paper substrate. Avoid wood shavings, as they can be toxic to small animals. Your tiny friend will need a hidey-hole, a litter box, food dishes, a water bottle, and plenty of fun toys. You may also want to get a small playpen, so Hedgie can have a safe zone to play in outside of his cage.


You may be able to find commercial hedgehog food in a local pet store. If not, use a dry cat food that is high in protein, such as a meat or chicken formula. Hedgehogs can also have moist cat or dog food. Hedgies like veggies, so offer your pet small amounts of beans, peas, corn, apples, or grapes. For treats, you can give your prickly buddy crickets; mealworms; dog biscuits; or cooked egg, meat, or chicken. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Veterinary Care

Just like any other animal, hedgies can get sick. Keep a close eye on your little pal for any signs of illness. Contact your vet immediately if anything seems amiss.

Do you have any questions about hedgehog care? We can help! Contact us, your Moorpark, CA animal clinic, anytime.

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