Do Hedgehogs Like Water?

Do Hedgehogs Like Water

Hedgehogs, one of the most popular exotic pets in recent years, are a fun and entertaining companion to have around. Many people wonder if hedgehogs like water or not. This article will provide information on whether hedgehogs enjoy swimming and playing in water, as well as explore other ways they interact with it. We’ll look at how hedgehogs behave when presented with different types of water sources and discuss how best to introduce your pet to aquatic activities if you choose to do so.

Do Hedgehogs Like Water?

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. While some hedgehogs enjoy interacting with water, others may have a more negative reaction to it. Ultimately, whether your pet likes water depends on its individual personality and preferences.

Hedgehog Reactions to Water

When presented with water, some hedgehogs may be curious and explore the area cautiously. Others may immediately withdraw from the situation and appear frightened or uncomfortable. Some owners report that their pets even seem to dislike the feeling of wet fur! It’s important to pay attention to how your hedgehog reacts when you introduce them to water so you can adjust your approach accordingly.

  • Calm Exploration: Some hedgehogs are fearless when it comes to exploring new environments, including those with water sources like ponds or baths. If you notice this type of behavior in yours, it’s likely they don’t mind playing in shallow waters as long as they feel safe.
  • Timid Retreat: It’s normal for some hedgehogs to retreat upon first encountering unfamiliar situations such as swimming pools or deeper bodies of water. For these animals, introducing them slowly and gradually will help build trust until they become comfortable enough for aquatic activities.
  • Avoidance: In some cases, a hedgehog may actively avoid any contact with water sources altogether. This could be due to fear or simply because they don’t enjoy the sensation of being wet; if this is true for your pet, it might be best not to push them into aquatic activities.

Bathing Your Hedgehog: Tips and Advice

Bathing your hedgehog is an important part of their grooming routine. If done correctly, it can help keep them healthy and comfortable. Below are some tips and advice to help you bathe your hedgehog properly.

1. Prepare the Bath

Before you begin bathing your hedgehog, make sure to prepare the bath first. Fill a shallow tub or sink with 1-2 inches of warm (not hot) water that’s been treated with a dechlorinator like Prime or Stress Coat. To make sure your hedgehog doesn’t slip and slide in the bath, consider putting a rubber mat on the bottom.

2. Introduce Your Hedgehog to the Bath

Start by introducing your hedgehog to its new environment. Place them gently in the water and speak soothingly to help relax them. You may also want to provide toys for distraction.

3. Cleaning Your Hedgehog

To clean your hedgehog, use only lukewarm water and gentle soap specifically designed for small animals like Dawn or Ivory dish soap diluted in water until it’s sudsy. Avoid getting any soapy solution into your hedgehog’s eyes, nose, or ears as this could be very uncomfortable for them.

4. Rinse Off The Soap

Once you’re done cleaning your hedgehog, rinse off any remaining soap with clear lukewarm water. Make sure all traces of soap are removed as they can dry out their skin if left behind.

5. Dry Your Hedgehog

Once you’ve finished rinsing off the soap, carefully lift your hedgehog up-side down onto a towel to dry off excess moisture before wrapping them up in another towel for further drying. Do not use hair dryers as this will cause stress for your pet!

The Unusual Fear of Water in Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are adorable animals known for their spines, curiosity and love of insects. However, one behavior that sets them apart from other animals is their fear of water. While many people think hedgehogs like to swim or bathe, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Most species of hedgehog have a deep-seated fear of water which can make it difficult to give them regular baths. This doesn’t mean they don’t need to be cleaned though – they should still receive regular grooming sessions with special pet shampoos.

Reasons Behind The Fear Of Water

There are several theories as to why hedgehogs have an unusual fear of water. Some believe it could stem from their wild ancestors’ evolution. In the wild, hedgehogs would never come into contact with large amounts of water so there was no need for them to develop any swimming abilities.

Another theory is based on their natural defense mechanisms. When threatened by predators, hedgehogs curl up into a tight ball and rely on their spines for protection – something they cannot do when submerged in water.

Signs Of A Scared Hedgehog

  • Shaking Or Trembling: A scared hedgehog will start shaking or trembling as soon as it comes into contact with water.
  • Running Away: If given the opportunity, a frightened hedgehog will try to run away or hide from the source of its distress.
  • Cowering Or Hissing: Hedgehogs may also cower down and hiss when exposed to large amounts of water.

The Pros and Cons of Letting Your Hedgehog Swim


  • Swimming can be a great form of physical exercise for your hedgehog. It helps to keep them fit, healthy and active.
  • It is also an excellent way to bond with your pet, as swimming together can create a strong connection between the two of you.
  • Hedgehogs are naturally good swimmers due to their dense fur coat which traps air bubbles that act as natural floatation devices.


  • Swimming can be very dangerous for hedgehogs if done incorrectly or without proper supervision.
  • Hedgehogs may become too cold in water if not monitored closely enough, leading to potential health issues such as hypothermia.
  • If they become too exhausted while swimming they could drown or get injured in some way.


In conclusion, it appears that hedgehogs are not particularly fond of water but can benefit from being in it. Care must be taken to make sure the water is shallow and warm so as to avoid potential health risks associated with deep or cold water. While some owners have reported their pet hedgehog enjoying a bath or swimming in a pond, this should always be done under close supervision and with appropriate precautions. Ultimately, whether your hedgehog enjoys water will depend on its individual personality and preferences.


  • 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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