Do Hedgehogs Smell?

Do Hedgehogs Smell

Have you ever wondered if hedgehogs have a distinct scent? Hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals that are native to Europe and parts of Asia. They can be found in the wild, as well as kept as pets. While some people may find them cute and cuddly, others may be concerned about their potential odor. In this article, we’ll take a look at whether or not hedgehogs smell and explore what causes any odors they might give off.

Do Hedgehogs Smell?

The short answer to this question is yes, hedgehogs do have a distinct scent. This scent can vary from individual to individual, as well as depending on their diet and environment. Generally speaking, however, hedgehogs have a mild musky smell that is reminiscent of damp earth or wet grass.

Causes of Odor in Hedgehogs

Hedgehog smells are caused by the presence of natural oils and waxes found in their fur and skin. These secretions help keep their skin hydrated and healthy while also providing some level of protection against parasites. They also produce pheromones which can be used for communication between individuals.

In addition to these natural odors, hedgehogs may also emit stronger scents due to improper hygiene or health problems such as infections or parasites. For example, if your pet has mites or fleas they may give off an unpleasant odor due to the waste products produced by these pests.

  • Diet: Certain foods can cause changes in body odor, so what you feed your pet will affect how it smells.
  • Environment: A dirty cage with old bedding will lead to an unpleasant odor over time.
  • Health Problems: Health problems such as infections or parasites can also lead to stronger odors.

Using Natural Solutions to Eliminate Hedgehog Odors

Hedgehogs are popular pets that can bring many hours of joy and companionship. However, they do come with one downside: odor. Even a well-cared for hedgehog may have an unpleasant scent due to their natural bodily processes.

If you’re looking for ways to eliminate odors from your pet hedgehog, there are some natural solutions available. These methods are not only effective in getting rid of the smell, but also safer than using harsh chemicals.

1. Cleaning the Cage Regularly

The most important thing you can do is clean the cage regularly. This should be done at least once a week and more often if needed. Start by removing all bedding and any other items in the cage including dishes or toys. Then use a cloth dampened with warm water to wipe down the walls and floors of the cage.

Once everything is wiped down you’ll want to replace any soiled bedding material with fresh bedding and give your hedgehog new toys or dishes as needed.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is great for absorbing odors naturally without putting anything dangerous into the air like chemical deodorizers do. To use baking soda, sprinkle it over your hedgehog’s bedding every few days and then vacuum it up when necessary.

3. White Vinegar

White vinegar is another natural solution that can help get rid of odors without introducing any toxins into your home or harming your pet. To use white vinegar, mix equal parts white vinegar and water together in a spray bottle and lightly mist over your hedgehog’s bedding each day.

4. Essential Oils

  • Lavender essential oil has been known to help neutralize odors while providing calming benefits for both humans and animals alike.
  • Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that can help reduce bacteria which helps minimize bad smells coming from your pet’s habitat.

The Olfactory Differences Between Hedgehogs and Guinea Pigs

Hedgehogs and guinea pigs are two very different animals. Though they may look similar, their olfactory differences help to differentiate them from one another. Here is a closer look at the olfactory differences between hedgehogs and guinea pigs.

Hedgehog Sense of Smell

Hedgehog’s sense of smell is quite powerful. They have an acute sense of smell that helps them find food in their environment as well as detect predators. In addition, they use scent glands to mark their territory and communicate with other hedgehogs.

Guinea Pig Sense of Smell

Compared to hedgehogs, guinea pigs have a much weaker sense of smell. This means that they rely more on visual cues than smells when it comes to locating food or detecting predators. Despite this, guinea pigs still possess some degree of olfaction which allows them to identify their owners by scent.

Difference in Scent Glands

Another difference between these two species lies in the type of scent glands present on each animal’s body. Hedgehog’s possess several types of scent glands located around their face and neck region whereas guinea pigs do not have any scent glands at all.

The Pros and Cons of Keeping a Hedgehog as a Pet

Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular pets due to their quiet, gentle nature and low maintenance care requirements. But like any pet, there are both pros and cons to owning a hedgehog.


  • Low Maintenance: Unlike more traditional pets such as cats or dogs, hedgehogs require very little in the way of grooming or exercise. They can be left alone for long periods of time without feeling neglected.
  • Quiet: Hedgehogs make virtually no noise at all. If you live in an apartment building or have close neighbors, this can be a real blessing!
  • Affordable: Not only do hedgehogs cost less than most other household pets, but they also don’t require expensive food or supplies.


  • Potentially Prickly: Hedgehogs may look cute and cuddly, but they can also be quite prickly if not handled properly. It is important to ensure that your hands are clean before handling them to avoid getting pricked by their quills.
  • Nocturnal: Hedgehogs tend to be active mainly at night, so you might find yourself having difficulty sleeping if you keep one as a pet.
  • Not Good With Other Pets: Hedgehogs should not be kept with other animals, especially those larger than themselves, such as cats or dogs. This could put them at risk of injury from being attacked by the other animal.


In conclusion, hedgehogs do have a distinctive smell that can be quite strong depending on the individual and their environment. However, this odor is mostly due to their natural oils and does not usually cause any discomfort for humans. In fact, many owners of pet hedgehogs enjoy the musky scent of their fuzzy friends! As long as proper hygiene is maintained, there should be no offensive odors associated with owning a pet hedgehog.


  • 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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