How To Take Care Of a Hedgehog

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Ashley Bouldin Ms. Fitch ENC 1101 6 Oct. 2011 The most common type of household pets these days are dogs, cats, or fish; but have you ever heard of owning a pet hedgehog? Hedgehogs are becoming a very common household pet in this decade. This exotic animal is in high demand, but unfortunately there is a lack of knowledge on how to care for them. The African pygmy hedgehog is the most typical type of hedgehog to own. They are about the size of a large hamster, although some species can get a bit larger. Hedgehogs have sharp narrow faces with small eyes. Their bellies are covered with soft white fur, however, their top side is covered with short spines. The spines, or quills, are sharp, however, can not break skin. The spines are for their protection. When another animal or human being poses as threat, they roll up into a ball of spines which deters most animals from bothering them. With every animal the proper housing is a necessity. Hedgehogs live in a warm climate and can tolerate humidity. The best cage for this pet would be a wired cage, but avoid a cage with wire flooring. Wired cages have the best ventilation, and are the easiest to clean. Bedding for the cage should be at least 2-3 inches deep so that the hedgehog can practice digging. Hedgies are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and are awake ready to play at night. Because they are nocturnal, hedgehogs need various places to hide throughout the day and to sleep. The best object to use for hiding is a hat, that way they can dig underneath and hide inside. Exercise wheels are highly recommended for your pet hedgehog that way they can run around. Toys are also recommended so that your hedgie can stimulate areas of the brain just like small children do. Hedgehog’s diets are very important to their health. Hedgehogs are omnivores, so they eat both meat, vegetables, and fruits. Hedgies are

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