Trying to figure out where to buy a hedgehog? Nowadays, so many people want to get a hedgehog as a pet that’s why there’re lots of people claiming to be hedgehog sellers but some aren’t very reputable.
It can be tricky to tell the difference between a trustworthy hedgehog seller and a low-quality one. That’s why we’ve written this article to help you know the right places to buy a hedgehog.
Let’s get started!
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Things you should know before buying a hedgehog
Hedgehogs are cute spiky balls who have adorable noses and tiny little paws but they can be a handful if you don’t know how to take care of them properly.
Here are 5 things you should know before getting a hedgehog.
Housing is a very important thing in your hedgehogs’ life as they need many things in their life in order to be comfortable and happy. Your hedgehog need:
- A spacious cage to run around freely
- Barrel wheels (without holes in them as they can cause injury or bumblefoot)
- Ceramic or glass food & water bowls
- Hidey house ( someone your hedgie can go to when scared, nervous, or want to sleep)
- 24-hour heat source since he isn’t used to colder weather.
These animals have a strange defense mechanism where they roll themselves up into a tiny tight ball when they feel threatened.
Once a hedgehog is in this ball, it’s very difficult to uncoil him because he has incredibly strong muscles on his back. Once in this ball the hedgehogs’ spikes stick straight outwards and are surprisingly sharp.
Hedgehogs can also make all sorts of crazy sounds like squealing, grunting, snorting, or snuffing. When nervous or angry, they can huff, puff, hiss, or click.
All of these sounds can also be a warning to you that your hedgie is in an uncomfortable situation. Not all sounds are bad if they are happy they can whistle or purr.
3. Hedgehogs can carry diseases
Hedgehogs can carry some zoonotic diseases. One of the popular diseases is Salmonella bacteria which is found in their stool. These diseases can be transferred to people that’s why it is important to clean their cage safely.
In the wild, they are known to have bowel movements while they run leaving their feces behind them.
Also, in a household setting they still do this however they do this why on their wheel, and because of this, your hedgehog’s boots can get very dirty always.
Doing a small boot bath won’t hurt your hedgehog especially when you are going to be handling him daily.
It is very important that you wash your hands after holding your pet to prevent the spread of Salmonella.
4. Handling and bonding with the owner
If you handle your hedgehog well, he can be quite friendly and learn to remember your smell and the sound of your voice.
Hedgehogs that are not handled daily can become skittish and huffy. To help your hedgehog remember you, you can do the following:
- Lay a worn t-shirt over the cage so that your scent can flow through
- You may sleep with a piece of fleece or blanket and place it directly in his cage to lay on
- Any new scents you may have such as lotions and perfumes can confuse your pet
- Have a radio playing in the background while you are out this can reduce the fear of sounds such as door closing or general loud noise when arriving home.
- Talk to your pet quietly when you snuggle with him as it can put him in a happy state.
5. Food Do’s and Don’ts
The best type of food you can feed your hedgehog on a daily basis is dry cat food as it is high in protein.
The best diet amount your hedgehog needs is about 1-2 tablespoons per day. As a treat, your hedgehog can have up to one tablespoon of meat, vegetable, fruit, dairy listed below up to 3 to 4 days weekly. Your hedgehog can also eat nearly anything in your kitchen.
Below is a list of the do’s and don’ts items you can feed your pet:
- Meat (cooked) – chicken, lean steak, salmon, tuna, cooked eggs, and mealworms.
- Fruit – Apples, cherries, pears, bananas, peach, melons, plum, and berries (blueberries without skin)
- Vegetables (Washed and cooked) – Greens, lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, and green peppers.
- Dairy (very small amounts) – cheese, cottage, and yogurt.
- Meats – Canned or processed meats, raw, fried or seasoned, and insects from any bait shop/backyard
- Vegetables – garlic, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, and potatoes.
- Dairy – milk
- Fruit – avocado, grapes, and citrus fruits
- Others – chocolate and nuts
The importance of buying a hedgehog from the right place
Before we dive into what brought you here, you need to know why it is important to buy a hedgehog from a trustworthy and ethical seller.
There are so many stores and breeders that care more about the cash they get from selling the animals but don’t really care about the animals.
This means that there is a higher chance that the animals are not really taken good care of. This is unfair to the hedgehogs they are selling as well as unfair to the buyer.
Why it is important to buy from the right place is because – hedgehogs are not in perfect health meaning that they suffer and their new owner has to spend more time, money, and energy on them. Also, there’s a strong possibility that hedgehogs won’t reach their typical lifespan and might not exceed it too.
People who had bought their hedgie from a bad seller always wished they had bought from a reputable source because no matter the love and care they gave the pet, it didn’t get to a certain age since it wasn’t cared for at the beginning.
One of the main reasons people buy from a low-quality seller is because they fall short of money and these low-quality sellers often sell pet hedgies at very low prices.
However, hedgehogs aren’t expensive. Don’t try to save a few bucks by buying cheap because you will probably spend more, in the long run, addressing different health or behavioral issues.
By buying from stores or sellers that don’t take care of their hedgies, it only encourages them to keep doing the same thing.
There is no incentives for these sellers to improve the level of care they provide or drop out of the industry entirely.
Now that you know the importance of buying a hedgehog from the right place. Let’s see the best places to buy a hedgehog.
Where to buy a hedgehog
There’re lots of options on the table when it comes to where you can buy a hedgehog. But below are the popular places to buy a hedgehog.
If you want to get a hedgehog look for an experienced breeder. There’re lots of advantages when you buy from a breeder.
A well experienced and reputable breeder that has been selling pet hedgehogs is the ideal place to get a hedgehog.
When you buy directly from reputable breeders, you have a low risk of genetic health issues and a trusted resource you can turn to if you have questions.
The problem is there’re so many people out there who claim to be experienced breeders but are not. Buying from the wrong breeder can lead to so many issues that you don’t really want.
Experienced and reputable breeders are breeders with a USDA license. However, there are other good breeders that don’t have this license yet but this is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you are dealing with someone who’s trustworthy.
You can also search online as there are lots of great hedgehog forums online where owners will share their experiences with different breeders and recommend the ones they trust.
Even if the breeder does not end up being in your area, there is a possibility that you can place an order online and get your pet transported to you.
If you don’t want to search online, compile a list of breeders in your area, see what kind of credentials and experience they have and ask around to know if someone else has bought from them too.
2. Pet Stores
Pet stores are also one of the popular places to buy a hedgehog. However, you need to be very careful when considering this option because most pet stores lack the experience and commitment to take care of hedgehogs and care only about the money they make from selling them.
Pet stores probably don’t have malicious intent, it’s just that they lack expertise. Unfortunately, that’s all it takes to seriously impact the health of hedgehogs.
However, there are some local stores out there that specialize in exotic pets and have great knowledge about these animals. But identifying them can be a huge challenge.
In order to identify a pet store in your area that sells hedgehogs, you can search on Google for the term “pet stores with hedgehogs near me”, then go through each website, see their ratings, and testimonies before placing a call to them or before visiting the store.
3. Exotic Animal Shows
Trade shows and conventions are other options in this list of where to buy a hedgehog. These events happen all over the country and bring in large groups of experienced sellers.
Here, you will have the opportunity to get hands-on with hedgehogs and talk directly to the sellers. However, this method isn’t certain.
You need to prepare yourself ahead of time and know what questions to ask the sellers. The sellers at these shows might be experienced but they’re still trying to make money.
So, ask questions about the breeding practices and care and you might find a good fit. If you don’t get a good vibe with this option, then you can use any of the other options on this list.
Adoption is another way to get a hedgehog that so many people don’t know about. It can be an incredible process though it comes with downsides.
There are lots of current hedgehogs owners out there who can’t take care of their pets anymore and will need someone else to help take care of them.
The advantage of doing this is that you are able to do some good and get a hedgehog at the same time. This is also a great way to save money since you should be able to get most of the necessary equipment for free (as the current owner doesn’t need it anymore).
One of the disadvantages is that, if you are adopting an adult you might not have them for a long period before they die (depending on their age).
Another disadvantage is that you need to vet the person you are adopting the hedgehog from – meaning you need to ask questions about their background and where they bought the hedgehog from initially.
Before adopting, ask the current owner to be transparent about the hedgehog’s health i.e. if the animal is sick or unhealthy the owner should let you know about it and if you’re willing to take up the challenge you’ll let them know too.
Adoption opportunities don’t come around very often. So, if you are planning on getting a hedgehog immediately this option is not for you.
Figuring out where to buy a hedgehog wouldn’t a problem anymore as you have gotten some options on where you can buy a hedgehog from this post.
In our opinion, it is best if you buy a hedgehog from a trusted breeder. But if you don’t know whom to trust or the right pet stores to get these animals you can talk to your local exotic pet veterinarian for referrals and advice.
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