Hedgehogs are increasingly popular as pets, and if you’re considering adding one to your family, it helps to be aware of the costs associated with owning a hedgehog. While hedgehogs can make wonderful companions for both adults and children alike, their care takes more than just love — it also takes money.
In this article, we will explore how much hedgehogs cost and what expenses come along with ownership. We will look at the cost of purchasing a hedgehog from a pet store or breeder as well as ongoing costs such as food, housing and vet visits. With this information in hand, you can decide whether a hedgehog is the right pet for you.
How Much Are Hedgehogs?
The cost of a hedgehog can vary greatly depending on the breed, age, and where you purchase it. Generally, purchasing a hedgehog from a pet store or breeder will cost anywhere between $100 – $400. If you are looking for an exotic breed such as the African pygmy hedgehog or Chinese water dragon, then be prepared to pay more.
Initial Purchase Costs
When shopping for a hedgehog, initial costs may include:
- Hedgehog – Prices vary depending on breed, color, and age.
- Habitat – A 10-gallon aquarium is recommended. This could range anywhere from $20-$40 depending on what type of materials you choose.
- Bedding – Bedding should be changed regularly so purchasing in bulk is recommended; this could cost around $10-$15 per month.
- Accessories – Other accessories such as food bowls, toys, and tunnels can range from $5-$50+ depending on your preferences.
Pros of Owning a Hedgehog as a Pet
- They are low maintenance: Compared to other pets, hedgehogs are relatively low maintenance. They require minimal grooming and feeding, so they’re perfect for people with busy schedules or who don’t want too much responsibility.
- They are quiet: Hedgehogs like to be alone and aren’t especially vocal. This makes them ideal for people who live in apartments or small spaces where loud noises can be disruptive.
- They are interactive: Despite their solitary nature, hedgehogs can become very attached to their owners. With regular socialization and interaction, they can learn to recognize their owner’s voice and even come when called.
- They have unique personalities: Each individual hedgehog has its own unique personality traits that will develop over time.
Cons of Owning a Hedgehog as a Pet
Hedgehogs may not be the best pet for everyone because there are also some drawbacks to owning one:
- They can be expensive: Depending on breed and availability, purchasing a hedgehog can cost up to $200. You’ll also need specialized cages, bedding, food, toys, and supplies which all add up in cost.
- They require dedicated care: While they may not need as much attention as other pets such as cats or dogs, hedgehogs still need daily cleanings of their cage, proper nutrition, playtime outside of their cage each day (supervised), plus regular visits to the vet.
- Some states regulate ownership: In some parts of the United States it is illegal to keep pet hedgehogs due to health regulations. Check your local laws before purchasing one.
- They bite: If provoked or scared enough, hedgehogs will bite — sometimes quite hard! Be sure you know how to handle them safely before attempting it yourself.
Preventing Hedgehog Bites
Hedgehogs can be cute and cuddly, but their sharp spines make them a potential bite hazard. To prevent hedgehog bites, it’s important to handle them properly and keep them safe.
Handle With Care
When handling a hedgehog, use gentle movements and always support the animal’s body weight with both hands or cupped palms. Never pick up or hold a hedgehog by its back or tail as this could cause injury. When carrying your pet around, cradle it against your chest so that it feels secure.
Provide A Safe Environment
Make sure you provide your hedgehog with an escape-proof cage where they feel comfortable and secure. Additionally, ensure the cage is large enough for them to move about freely without feeling cramped or threatened. It should also have plenty of hiding spaces where they can retreat if stressed.
Keep Calming Scents Around
Soothing scents such as lavender oil may help calm down agitated hedgehogs when used in moderation. Place some drops on cotton balls near their hideaways to give off a subtle scent of relaxation.
Monitor Their Food Intake
Monitoring how much food your hedgehog eats is another way to reduce aggression levels in these little critters. Feed them once daily instead of stuffing their cages full of food throughout the day which can lead to overeating and obesity.
Seek Professional Help
If you find yourself unable to tame your pet’s aggressive behavior then seek professional help from an experienced exotic veterinarian who specializes in small mammals like hedgehogs. This will ensure that any underlying medical condition causing the aggression is identified and treated accordingly.
The Average Lifespan of Pet Hedgehogs
Hedgehogs are a unique and beloved pet, capable of bringing joy to any home. As with any pet, understanding their lifespan is important for making sure that you provide the best care possible. The average lifespan of a hedgehog in captivity is 4-7 years.
Factors That Impact Lifespan
There are several factors that can affect how long your hedgehog will live. These include:
- Diet: A proper diet for a hedgehog should consist of fresh vegetables and high-quality commercial hedgehog food. Providing an inadequate diet can lead to health problems which may decrease the animal’s lifespan.
- Care: Proper care is essential for keeping your hedgehog healthy and happy. This includes providing them with regular veterinary checkups, grooming sessions, clean bedding and toys, as well as adequate exercise time outside of the cage.
- Genetics: Genetics also play an important role in determining how long a hedgehog will live. Some breeds are known to be hardier than others or have a longer life expectancy.
In conclusion, hedgehogs are a great pet for those who want something a little more unique and low-maintenance. While the initial cost of purchasing or adopting a hedgehog is relatively high, their ongoing care costs are relatively low. With the proper care and attention, a hedgehog can make an excellent companion for many years to come.