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Supply Checklist Before Taking Your New Hedgehog Home

<< Back to All Hedgehog Help & Education or Shop Hedgehog Products

  • Cage
  • Hiding Hut/Hideaway
  • Bedding/Cage Liners
  • Heating
  • Exercise Wheel
  • Food
  • Food Dishes
  • Water Bottles/Dishes
  • Treats
  • Toys
  • Cage Accessories
  • Nail Trimmer
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Vitamins/Supplements
  • Travel Carrier
  • Exotic veterinarian address and contact information
  • Other

CAGE

  • The recommended cage size for a hedgehog is 24" x 24" or 4 square feet. Larger is always better, choose the largest cage that you can afford and that comfortably fits in your home. Other requirements for a hedgehog cage include solid floors (including shelves, if any) If there are shelves in your hedgehogs cage, many create sidings or walls to prevent them from falling off and hurting themselves. The spacing of the wire bars on a cage should be no more than 1/2 inch. The direction of the bars, vertical or horizontal, is not a concern.
  • (View our Cage Department for high-quality sugar glider cages. Related info articles: Hedgehog Cage Requirements)
  • Your hedgehog will require a flat bottom cage that is as large as possible. Hedgehogs should be given as large of a cage as possible, the more space the better, but we recommend an absolute minimum of 4 square feet of floor space for each animal. Rabbit and guinea pig cages with wire coated tops and solid floors make excellent cages as they provide plenty of floor space and proper ventilation. Large clear sided storage tubs, modified ferret cages and home-made enclosures may be used as well. A good cage is one which has a solid floor to prevent leg injuries, walls high enough that a hedgehog cannot climb out, provides good ventilation and can be well lit but is not exposed to direct sunlight during the daytime.

HUT / DEN

  • Hedgehogs naturally seek out a hiding place when they sleep. They prefer a place that gives them a sense of security, so they find a covered shelter to sleep in. This enclosed area will also give them somewhere to escape to if things around their cage get too loud. You want to make sure this hideaway is big enough for your hedgehog to crawl into, but still small enough to give the closed-in feeling they prefer in a hiding place. This Pig Loo is perfect, but you can also use any of our other huts or cage accessories, or an upside down shoebox (just make sure to change it frequently because it gets soiled).
  • Hedgehogs naturally seek out a hiding place when they sleep. Commercially available hiding logs, igloos, or snuggle sacks work well. Hedgehogs naturally like to burrow, providing additional bedding gives them a more natural ability to make a bed inside the logs, igloos or snuggle sacks. Many hedgehogs will sleep under the snuggle sack as opposed to inside it. Providing 12x12 squares of fleece also make good sleeping material. Hedgehogs will bury themselves inside the blankets.

BEDDING / CAGE LINERS

  • There are a couple different options for bedding, including cloth cage liners, Aspen shavings, or paper substrate such as Carefresh Bedding
  • Cloth cage liners are great for hedgehogs as long as they are made with safe material. Fleece, flannel or corduroy fabrics work best. If the wrong fabric is used, it could cause injury (Loose threads can cut off circulation if wrapped around a toe). Cage liners must be changed daily to ensure cleanliness. Liners made from Vellux are not recommended as it is easily torn by a digging hedgehog and can be colder than other fabric types when wet.
  • Aspen is a popular substrate, however aspen is not recommended by some because it contains sharp pieces that can pierce a hedgehog in the eye while burrowing, and hedgehogs are burrowers by nature.
  • If you want to use a paper substrate for bedding, CareFresh Ultra (white) is the best type to use. This substrate allows for easier detection of blood, green stool, or discolored urine than other substrates.

HEATING (required if your home/room is colder than 72F)

  • Keeping your hedgehogs habitat at an appropriate temperature is absolutely essential! (72-80 F, but ideally 74-78 F)
  • Heat Lamp or Space Heater
  • Hedgehogs need to stay relatively warm, as hibernation can be fatal. Supplemental heating may be required.
  • If you provide your hedgehog with the tools to keep warm it will utilize those tools to its advantage. A thick layer of bedding, fleece pieces, snuggle sacks are good items for a hedgehog to cuddle up in. The ambient room temp should be no lower than 72 degrees; heating pads under a corner of the cage are fine so they can get up against it or away from it if needed. If your hedgehog does try to go into hibernation the fastest and safest way to warm it up is to put the hedgehog on your chest preferably between two layers of shirts and let it warm with your body’s heat. Usually within 10 minutes the hedgehog will begin to recover. Older or sickly hedgehogs may require warmer environments as they will have more trouble maintaining their body’s temperature.
  • Make sure to buy a reliable thermometer to keep track of the temperature of your hedgehogs habitat

EXERCISE WHEEL

  • 12 inches in diameter, designed for chinchillas or hedgehogs
  • Should have a solid floor to run on, and won’t warp over time
  • Find a silent wheel, your hedgehog will run all throughout the night!
  • Wheels can be on the floor of the cage or attached to the side of the cage
  • Our Silent Runner Wheel is a great example, and also has accessories, including our Sandy Track and AutoClean Track
  • An exercise wheel is an absolute must for hedgehogs!

FOOD

  • High-quality, low fat hedgehog food
  • Hegdehogs need plenty of protein too
  • Check out more information on feeding Hedgehogs here

FOOD DISH

  • Use a wide and heavy crock to prevent spillage (No plastic, and make sure the dish has a larger diameter than 3”)
  • Find one that isn’t too deep, or else they can’t reach their food (No more than 3” in height)
  • Our Mess Free Curved Bowls meet these recommendations and are great for hedgehogs!

WATER BOTTLES & WATER DISHES

  • Hanging water bottle that attaches to the side of the cage
  • One 8 oz. water bottle should be enough for one hedgehog
  • Use a clear bottle so that the water level and the cleanliness of the bottle can be seen easily
  • Or use a water dish (use a heavy dish that is hard to spill)
  • Water dishes will have to be changed more frequently because the water can be easily contaminated (Hedgies will walk right through it)

TREATS

Healthy treats have several benefits for both pets and pet owners. Treats can lend variety to an otherwise monotonous diet, provide good exercise for teeth and jaws, and add behavioral enrichment for animals that spend their lives in a small, limited environment. Most importantly, treats form a connection between pets and pet owners, assisting in bonding and training.

TOYS

  • Toys such as small, solid rubber balls made for cats; empty toilet paper rolls, small cardboard boxes

CAGE ACCESSORIES

  • Cage Accessories such as extra tunnels and hides are optional, as long as you have at least one hide for your hedgehog

CLEANING SUPPLIES

  • Scent free + vinegar for the fleece.
  • Wash hard toys with scented free dish soap and hot water.
  • Clean the wheel completely daily, water + vinegar.
  • Cleaning the wheel daily and in the morning (After your hedgehog goes back to sleep) keeps your home odor free.
  • For the cage you can also also use water + vinegar. (buy spray bottle and keep the mix in it) or use our Kage Kleen
  • With plastic toys that have gotten too dirty, soak them in a very dilute bleach solution, and then rinse them extremely well...but nowhere near your pets. 
  • Cleaning Wipes are a great alternative and can be used for quick clean up!

VITAMINS

  • Supplements such as our Hedgehog Booster will fill in any gaps in your Hedgehogs vitamin intake and overall nutrition.
  • If at least 75% of your hedgehog's diet is made up of Exotic Nutrition's Hedgehog Complete, supplements are optional, because the pellet diet already contains added vitamins and nutrients.

EXOTIC VETERINARIAN ADDRESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION

  • It is imperative that before you bring your hedgehog home that you have a veterinarians contact information in case an emergency arises once your pet is home.
  • Finding a vet that is experienced in Hedgehogs can be difficult in certain areas, many times it can be over an hour away. Make sure you are prepared by knowing this information before an emergency arises.

Extra Supplies

  • Moonlight lighting system
  • Fruit fly traps
  • Elimina odor remover
  • Bonding Pouch
  • Travel Carrier

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Looking for more information on Hedgehogs? Browse our archive of articles:

<< Back to All Hedgehog Help & Education or Shop Hedgehog Products

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Please Note: Exotic Nutrition is not in a position to provide specific health and care guidelines on an individual basis. Please visit our animal info tabs or consider purchasing a care guide book for additional information. If you have a health or pet emergency issue, please notify your veterinarian or a specialized technician.

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Newport News, Virginia 23603

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