Hedgehogs

Hedgehog care guide

Prevention is better than cure!

Browse the care guide for hedgehogs designed by our vets to find answers to your concerns such as food, a healthy life and caring for your pet.

Characteristics

They are from the Erinaceidae family, insectivores order. The two most common species are the African hedgehog and the European hedgehog. In the wild, they live in environment with low vegetation like prairies, orchards and wasteland. They travel many kilometers during the night searching for food. They eat insects of all kind and even mice, birds, eggs and carrion. They are solitary.

 

English name:Hedgehog
French name:Hérisson
Latin name:Erinaceus europaeus
Class:Mammals
Order:Insectivores
Family:Erinaceideas
Size:25-30 cm
Weight:Male: 400-600 g, Female: 300-400 g
Longevity:8-10 years
Body temperature:35.4-37 degrees C
Teeth formula:2 (I3/2, C1/1,P3/2, M3/3)
Respiratory frequency:25-50/min

 

Habitat

The hedgehog is a very active, solitary animal. Males become aggressive at sexual maturity. They need a cage of a minimum of 0.6 by 0.9 m and a cardboard or wooden hiding place to meditate. Cage bedding must be recycled paper or alfalfa hay in granules, 3-4 in thick. Never use cat litter because in can stick to his paws. Avoid any fabric in his cage because injuries are frequent because fabric fibers can encircle paws and it can cause necrosis of the paw. Ambient temperature must be between 22-32 degrees Celsius and humidity at least 40%. In order for the hedgehog not to hibernate, you have to feed him during the day and open lights during the night. An exercise wheel will make him spend his energy and access to exterior will make him happier. The hedgehog in a cage will walk on his stool, it is very important to clean his paws regularly.

Diet

Commercial food, 1-2 teaspoon of soft food like dog or cat can or a meal of earthworms, cooked meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables.

Avoid

Raw egg or raw meat, milk because it can cause diarrhea. Nuts and carrots can obstruct the oesophagus.

Additional guides (PDF)