Basic Hedgehog Care
(Copy and Print for Your Records)
For any questions/concerns, please refer to http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/.  If you still have questions/concerns, please contact me.


Housing:
Your hedgehog will require a secure home since they are very good climbers and can easily escape from open-topped cages. For example, I prefer using the 105 quart clear plastic totes, but be sure to cut some holes in the lid and along the top side of the tote for proper air flow. Cages you can buy at the pet stores with a plastic bottom/wire top are also suitable for a hedgehog, but some will climb the wire siding, and they could fall and get hurt, so watch out for this. If the baby is small enough, they can squeeze through the wiring. 

Cage Placement:
Place your hedgehog's new cage in a comfortable, warm, well lit area that is free of drafts and direct sunlight. They are most comfortable at temperatures between 74-78 F.
Hedgehogs require a constant source of heating to keep them at their comfortable temperature. If the room you keep your hedgehog in cannot be kept at a good temperature, then on option is to get a CHE ( Ceramin Heat Emitter) and find a way to place it over one side of their cage,, be sure that you have a thermometer in the cage to gauge their temperature.. Also be sure that the CHE does not have a bright light. Hedgehogs need it to be dark during the night, but need heat at all times,, so be sure to buy a CHE bulb that gives off heat but not light..
**Hedgehogs require 12-14 hours of sunlight each day. Light from a window is often not adequate enough because of any overcast that may hide the sun. It is recommended to use either a desk lamp next to their cage, or the room light. If these needs are not met, the hedgehog can and will go into hibernation and this can be fatal if it is not caught soon enough. Once a hedgehog goes into full hibernation, they cannot be woken up and will die from starvation/dehydration.

Diet:
A mixture of good quality dry cat food is the best. Follow these guidelines when selecting the food: Protein 28-33% ; Fat 9-15% ; Fiber 3% or more.
Keep the bowl full so they get as much nutrition as then need. If you notice your hedgehog is becoming too plump, read up on it. Get him a wheel if he doesn't have one. 
The food bowl needs to be fairly wide and heavy so the hedgehogs cannot easily tip it over. Be sure that the bowl is closer to 3 inches high so they can easily reach their food.
(The food we use is an even mixture of 4Health All Life Stages/4Health Untamed Duck and Lentil/Taste of the Wild Trout and Smoked Salmon. 
You can buy the food from us in 2 or 4 lb bags. 2lbs/$10 & 4lbs/$20. Our mixture can also be sent to your house with an added shipping fee. $6/2lbs & $8/4lbs.
( Please note!! Some pet stores sell food that says it is made just for hedgehogs.. please do not feed your hedgehog this food! Cat foods are better for them than that stuff!! It does not provide what the hedgehog needs.)

(Below is a list of other foods/treat that you can feed your hedgehog. Please Note: Other Foods/Treats should be given in small amounts, no more than 2-3 times a week. Be Alert! Treats will change your hedgehogs stools. Some treats may cause diarrhea, green stools or extremely stinky stools. To be sure that you do not keep feeding your hedgehog something that does not settle well with it, you can keep a diary of what you fed your hedgehog and the reaction it caused.
Throwing in dry treats for your hedgehog is a fun way for them to act like a normal hedgehog and search for their treats in their bedding)


Safe Fruits/Veggies
Meats ( Unseasoned, Thoroughly Cooked, Cut into small pieces)
Chicken
Turkey
Lamb
Salmon
Beef  (Only Occasionally)
Pork (Only Occasionally)






Fruits: (Cut into small pieces)
Apple (Peeled)
Banana
Pear (Peeled)
Blueberries (Peeled)
Melon (Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Honeydew)
Mango (Peeled)
Papaya (Peeled)
Raspberries
Strawberries
Vegetables: (All Cooked, Cut into small pieces)
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Yams
Squash/Pumpkins
Carrots
Peas (Mushy part only, not the skin)
Asparagus
Green Beans
Bell Peppers
Corn (Small Amounts)
Cucumber
Radishes
Turnips
Zucchini


Others:
Eggs- Scrambled/Hard Broiled and chopped up)
Baby Food
Regular Cheese (Small Amounts Occasionally)
Cottage Cheese (Small Amounts Occasionally)
Plain Yogurt (Small Amounts Occasionally)

Other Treats:
Hedgehogs love meal worms, wax worms, silk worms and crickets. It is advised that you get these from the pet store or a home grower. You do not want to put a cricket cought from outside in for your hedgehog to eat because it may have gone through grass that has insecticide on it. NOT GOOD for your Hedgehog!!

Water Bottle:
Water bottles are preferred over an open dish. You can easily monitor how much your hedgehog is drinking each day. If you notice that the water level does not go down very fast, check the water bottle to make sure there is nothing stuck in the spout.

Hiding Place:
This can be as simple as a piece of 4 inch PVC pipe, an old plastic pitcher, an old ice cream tub with a hold cut into it, or an igloo bought at the pet store. 
They also really enjoy hiding under a little towel or a piece of flannel.

Toys:
Hedgehogs do love toys! Cat toys like the little plastic jingle balls or crinkle balls are lots of fun for them!
If you choose to get a wheel for your hedgehog, make sure that it is a solid plastic and not the wire kind, like what is made for a hamster. Also be sure that it is big enough that your hedgehog does not have to bend it's back backwards to run on it. This position is not good for your hedgehog.

Quilling:
Hedgehogs lose and grow new quills anywhere from 7 weeks of age up to about 6 months of age. This is uncomfortable for the hedgehog, and will most likely cause them to be grumpy. Keep handling your hedgehog during this point, but just hold for comfort rather than a lot of play. A warm bath can feel very soothing to them. 

1st Time Home:
Allow your new hedgehog to have time alone to get use to his new cage and surroundings for at least a day. When you do start to hold your hedgehog, do it for a few minutes at a time only a few times during the day/evening. Remember that hedgehog are nocturnal, so they sleep most of the day and come out during the night. Giving your hedgehogs treats while you are holding him is a good way for them to warm up to you. 

Baths:
You do not want to give your hedgehog too many baths! This will dry out their skin. Hedgehogs can swim, so sometimes putting them in luke-warm water for awhile will let them have some fun! If they get dirty and you do need to wash them off, some baby tear free shampoo and a toothbrush is all you need, followed by a warm towel. If they are quilling, a warm bath can feel really good. If they have dry skin, you can use just a little bit of Oatmeal Bath Wash. Make sure you do not place your hedgehog back into it's cage until it is mostly dry. Keep it close to your warm body so they are able to regulate their temperature before being placed back by themselves. Or, you can use a sock with rice tied at the end and warmed up in the microwave, and then placed in the cage, or a warm water bottle so they can cuddle next to it for warmth. Snuggle bags are also a wonderful item for hedgehogs. It provides warmth, a safe place to hide, and a place to burrow!!