Are Hedgehogs Dangerous?

Are Hedgehogs Dangerous

Hedgehogs have long been popular pets, but many people are unsure if they can be dangerous. It’s important to understand the potential risks of owning a hedgehog as well as how to keep your pet and yourself safe when handling them. In this article, we will discuss the dangers of owning a hedgehog and provide tips on how to ensure that you and your pet remain safe while interacting with each other.

Are Hedgehogs Dangerous?

Hedgehogs are generally not considered to be dangerous, but they can be if mishandled or provoked. Hedgehog spines are sharp and can cause injury if handled incorrectly. It is important for owners to learn proper handling techniques in order to avoid any injuries.

Tips For Keeping Yourself and Your Pet Safe:

  • Always wash your hands before and after handling your pet hedgehog.
  • Handle your hedgehog gently and never squeeze it tightly.
  • Provide a safe place for your hedgehog to hide when feeling scared or threatened.
  • Never leave young children unsupervised with a hedgehog.

The Potential Risks of Owning a Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular as house pets, but there are potential risks associated with owning one. It is important to be aware of these risks before deciding to bring home a hedgehog.


Hedgehogs can cause injuries due to their sharp quills and the habit of rolling into a ball when scared or threatened. These quills can penetrate skin and cause lacerations, puncture wounds and infection.


Hedgehog dander (skin flakes) contains allergens that may trigger allergic reactions in some people. People who have asthma or allergies should consider whether they will be able to tolerate living with a hedgehog before committing to one.


Hedgehogs often carry parasites such as fleas, mites and ticks which can transmit diseases including rabies. Regular veterinary check-ups for your pet hedgehog will help to identify any parasites early on so that appropriate treatment can be administered quickly.

Zoonotic Diseases

Some zoonotic diseases, such as salmonella, can spread from animals to humans. Good hygiene practices like washing hands after handling the animal or its feces will reduce the risk of contracting an illness from your pet hedgehog.

Dietary Requirements

It is important for owners to understand what foods their pet needs in order for it to remain healthy. Hedgehogs need a diet high in protein and low in fat. They also require access to fresh water at all times.

The Potential Risks of Handling a Hedgehog

Hedgehogs can make great pets, but there are some potential risks involved in their handling and care. It is important to understand these risks so that you can take steps to minimize them.

Risk of Injury or Illness

Hedgehogs have sharp spines on their backs which can cause injury if handled incorrectly. If a hedgehog feels threatened it may also bite, as a defensive measure. In addition, hedgehogs can become ill with various illnesses such as mites and respiratory infections. Therefore, it is important to handle your hedgehog carefully and seek veterinary advice if the animal appears ill.

Risk of Allergic Reactions

Some people may be allergic to certain proteins found in the saliva or skin secretions of hedgehogs. This could result in an allergic reaction when handling the animal. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itching, redness, swelling and hives.

Risk of Zoonotic Diseases

It is possible for humans to contract diseases from animals such as hedgehogs. These zoonotic diseases are usually caused by bacteria or parasites that live on or within the animal’s body and can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids or feces. Examples include salmonella, ringworm, cryptosporidiosis, leptospirosis, and rabies. To reduce the risk of contracting one of these diseases it is important to practice good hygiene when handling your pet.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling your pet
  • Do not kiss or lick your pet
  • Avoid contact with urine, feces or saliva from your pet
  • Keep children away from areas where fecal matter accumulates

The Friendly Nature of Hedgehogs Towards Humans

Hedgehogs are small and cute animals that can also make wonderful companions for humans. They may be one of the most underrated pets out there, but they’re actually quite friendly and affectionate creatures with plenty of personality.

They have a reputation for being shy and aloof, but hedgehogs can become very sociable when handled often, forming strong bonds with their human caregivers. With regular interaction and patience, your pet hedgehog will start to trust you more and more over time.

Benefits of Owning a Pet Hedgehog:

  • Hedgehogs are low maintenance pets that require minimal space.
  • They’re quiet, making them great for apartment living!
  • They’re easy to handle once tamed; many enjoy being petted or held in your hands.


Overall, hedgehogs are relatively safe animals to keep as pets. They have few dangerous qualities and can even make for ideal companions. Although their spines may cause injury if mishandled, these injuries are typically minor and can be avoided with proper handling techniques. Hedgehogs also require a specific diet and environment in order to remain healthy so it is important that prospective owners research what they need before bringing one home. With the right care and attention, hedgehogs can become an enjoyable addition to any household.


  • Frederick

    Frederick Faunce is an experienced and passionate hedgehog writer, blogger, and researcher. He has dedicated his life to understanding the conservation and care of hedgehogs, and is committed to educating and inspiring others to do the same.

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