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Keeping Your Hedgehog Happy
August 15, 2023

Hedgehogs are becoming quite popular, but they aren’t exactly common pets. Many first timers face a learning curve as they get to know their prickly new pals, and learn about the do’s and don’ts of hedgehog care. A Potomac, MD vet offers some pointers on pampering Hedgie below.


Hedgie will need a fairly large cage. A’ 4 x 2’ size is a good option. Choose something with a solid bottom, as wire floors can cause injuries. For bedding, opt for something dust-free, such as paper pellets or kiln-dried aspen. Avoid pine or cedar, as they aren’t safe for small animals. Your prickly pet will also need some comfy hides.


Hedgehog diets can be a bit complicated. Many vets recommend offering hedgehog food supplemented with low-fat cat food. These guys also have a very specific list of safe and unsafe foods. Some unsafe foods include things like seeds, grapes and raisins, nuts, raw veggies, avocado, raw meats, dried produce, onion, bread, tomatoes, honey, chocolate, and anything that’s high in salt, sugar, or fat. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Veterinary Care

Like any other animal, Hedgie is susceptible to illness and disease. Your tiny buddy should come in at least once a year. Between visits, watch for signs of illness, such as weight loss and diarrhea, and call us immediately if you notice anything odd.


Hedgie is curious and playful, and will need lots of fun toys. Many things made for cats, birds, and pocket pets are safe. You can also offer a solid exercise wheel. These guys like bright colors, so keep that in mind when shopping. 


Treats can go a long way towards making any animal feel safe and loved. Some typical hedgehog favorites include crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. You can also offer a little natural peanut butter or a boiled egg yolk.

Proper Handling

Hedgehogs are very timid, so it may take a while for the little one to feel safe with you. Work on building trust. One thing you can do is offer your quilled pal one of your worn tee-shirts to curl up in. Be very careful when handling your pet. Don’t scoop him up from behind, and don’t reprimand him if he curls into a ball or even pokes you. Love takes time! 

Do you have questions about hedgehog care? Contact us, your Potomac, MD animal clinic!