What Do Hedgehogs Need?

What Do Hedgehogs Need

If you’ve ever considered owning a pet hedgehog, you may have wondered what kind of care and environment they need to thrive. Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular pets due to their friendly personalities, intelligence, and low maintenance requirements. This article explores the different needs that must be met in order for your pet hedgehog to live a happy and healthy life. We will look at housing, diet, exercise and medical care needs for these unique little creatures so that you can ensure your pet is getting everything it needs!

What Do Hedgehogs Need?

Hedgehogs require a few basic needs in order to stay healthy and happy. These include:

  • Proper Housing: Hedgehogs need plenty of space to move around and explore. A cage at least 24” wide, 18” deep, and 12” high is recommended for an adult hedgehog. Make sure that the environment is secure with no gaps or openings they can escape through. Additionally, the floor should be lined with bedding such as shredded paper or wood chips.
  • Nutritious Diet: Your pet hedgehog’s diet should consist of a quality commercial dry food made specifically for hedgehogs, supplemented by small amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits. Avoid giving them sugary treats or human foods as these can cause health issues.
  • Exercise & Playtime: It is important for your pet hedgehog to get regular exercise in order to stay fit and healthy. Provide them with toys such as balls, tunnels, ladders, and tunnels so that they can explore their environment and stay active.
  • Medical Care: Just like any other animal, it is important to take your pet hedgehog for regular check-ups at the vet in order to monitor their health. This will help you detect any potential problems early on before they become more serious.

Creating a Comfortable Home for Your Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are unique and wonderful animals that can make great pets. To ensure your hedgehog is happy and healthy, it’s important to create an optimal home environment. Here are some tips for creating the perfect habitat for your new pet.

Choose the Right Cage

When selecting a cage for your hedgehog, bigger is better! The ideal minimum size of the cage should be at least 24 x 16 inches with a height of 12-18 inches. It should also have plenty of ventilation so air can circulate freely inside the cage.

Provide Appropriate Bedding

The bedding you choose will depend on your personal preference as well as what type of substrate (bedding material) works best in keeping your hedgehog warm and comfortable. Common substrates include wood shavings, paper towels, newspaper or shredded paper products.

Provide Appropriate Temperature

Hedgehogs prefer temperatures around 75°F – 80°F and need access to areas both warmer and cooler than this range. You may want to consider providing additional warmth using heating pads or lamps in one area of the cage while allowing another area to remain cool enough to provide relief from high temperatures.

Create Hiding Places

Your hedgehog needs places where he/she can hide away from bright lights or loud noises that could cause stress. Provide several hiding spots throughout the enclosure such as tunnels, boxes or other structures made specifically for small animals like hedgies.

Keep Things Clean

It’s important to keep your hedgehog’s home clean by regularly changing out their bedding material and spot cleaning any messes they leave behind. Doing this will help prevent bacteria build up which can lead to health issues down the road.

Caring for Hedgehogs: What You Need to Know

Hedgehogs are increasingly popular pets, and they make wonderful companions. If you’re thinking of welcoming a hedgehog into your home, there are some important things you need to know about caring for them.

Housing Requirements

A suitable habitat is essential for a happy and healthy pet hedgehog. The enclosure needs to be large enough so the animal can move around freely and explore its environment. It should include hiding places such as tunnels or boxes, which hedgehogs use for sleeping during the day. The enclosure should also be escape-proof with no gaps that the hedgehog could squeeze through.

The temperature inside the cage must be kept at between 65°F and 80°F (18-27°C). A heat lamp may be needed if temperatures in your home drop below this range. Bedding materials like wood shavings or hay can provide insulation and comfort.

Feeding Your Pet Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Commercial hedgehog food is available from pet stores, but it should only form part of their diet. Other foods that can make up their diet include cooked lean meats, insects such as mealworms, fruits (like apples), boiled eggs, cooked vegetables (e.g., sweet potatoes), oats/cereal or plain yogurt.

Avoid feeding your hedgehog fatty or sugary items as these can cause health issues over time.

Fresh water should always be available in a shallow bowl that won’t tip over easily.

Providing Environmental Enrichment

In addition to providing an appropriate living space, environmental enrichment activities are important for keeping your pet active and engaged. Toys like balls, tubes, and ladders give them something to play with. Placing treats inside hollow toys encourages them to explore and search out rewards. Allow plenty of time outside of the cage every day so they can exercise and build muscle tone.

Choosing the Right Diet for Your Pet Hedgehog

Providing a healthy diet is essential to keeping your pet hedgehog happy and healthy. Here are some tips on choosing the right diet for your pet hedgehog:


Hedgehogs naturally eat insects in the wild, so it’s important to include this as part of their diet. Commonly recommended insects for pet hedgehogs are mealworms, waxworms, crickets, grasshoppers and earthworms.

  • Mealworms should be fed as treats rather than regular food because they’re high in fat.
  • Waxworms are also high in fat but can be fed regularly in moderation.
  • Crickets provide an excellent source of protein and can be fed regularly to your pet hedgehog.
  • Grasshoppers should only be offered occasionally since they contain very little nutrition value compared to other insects.
  • Earthworms can provide a good source of protein but should only be offered occasionally as well due to their low nutritional value.

(Note: Be sure to always offer live or frozen/thawed insects that have been gut-loaded (fed nutritious food before being used as feeder insects) prior to feeding them to your hedgehog).

Commercial Foods

You may also choose to supplement your pet’s natural insect diet with commercial foods such as specially formulated pellets or canned wet foods. Look for foods that are designed specifically for hedgehogs and avoid those labeled “for all small animals”. These generic formulas often lack the nutrients necessary for proper growth and development of your specific species.

When selecting a commercial food, look at the ingredient list carefully; if meal worms or other insect proteins don’t appear near the top then you may want to consider another brand. Additionally, check the expiration date; expired dry goods can cause digestive upset in small animals like hedgehogs.


Hedgehogs are amazing and unique pets, but they do require special care to keep them happy and healthy. They need a large home with plenty of space for running and playing, as well as an environment that meets their temperature needs and is free from potential hazards.

Proper nutrition is also key; hedgehogs can benefit from a balanced diet of commercial food supplemented with occasional treats such as mealworms or crickets. Finally, hedgehogs thrive when given lots of love and attention, so it’s important to spend time bonding with your pet every day. With the right care, you can ensure your hedgehog has all the things he needs to lead a long and happy life!


  • 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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