Hedgehogs have become pretty popular in recent years, and it really isn’t difficult to see why. They’re absolutely adorable! Hedgehogs do tend to be quite timid, though, so don’t be surprised if it takes you some time to win your prickly pet’s love and trust. A Las Vegas, NV vet offers some tips on this below.
Hedgehogs are very cute, so it can be tempting to want to pick up Hedgie and hold him right away. It’s better to hold off a bit, though. Don’t swoop your pet up from behind, especially when he’s sleeping. As you can imagine, being grabbed and hauled into the air unexpectedly while napping can be pretty scary!
It’s important to know that hedgehogs don’t have particularly good eyesight. They can be startled by shadows, as they won’t know if there is a predator coming up on them. Keep this in mind both when choosing the spot for Hedgie’s cage and when approaching him.
Talking to Hedgie, and offering yummy snacks, can go a long way toward making him feel safe. Use a gentle, friendly tone of voice. As for the snacks, stick with vet-approved goodies. Things like waxworms and mealworms may not be fun to handle, but they will help with bonding. You can also offer small amounts of safe fruits, such as bananas, though you don’t want to offer too much sugar. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Don’t be surprised if Hedgie rolls himself up into a ball. This is a defensive mechanism, if perhaps one of the most adorable ones on the planet. Don’t try to force your pet to unroll: just wait it out. Chances are, he’ll unfurl himself once he realizes you aren’t going to eat him.
It can also help to get Hedgie used to your scent. Put a worn tee shirt in his cage for him to cuddle up in. During the bonding process, try to keep your scent consistent: don’t change lotions, detergents, or perfumes during that first week.
Make sure Hedgie has a good spot to retreat to, like a little tent or hide. You can also try putting him in the pouch of your hoodie as you relax. He may just go to sleep!
Do you have questions about hedgehog care? Contact us, your Las Vegas, NV animal clinic, today!