Are you considering adopting a hedgehog? These prickly little guys make adorable pets! However, they can be quite timid. It’s important for you to help your pet feel safe and secure. How does one do that? A Helotes, TX vet lists a few options below.
As you may know, Hedgie tends to roll himself into a little ball when he’s scared. Hedgehogs may also scratch out of nervousness, and may twitch their heads a bit. He may also just try to get away, and find himself a safe spot to hide.
When you pick your hedgehog up, make sure that his entire body is supported. Otherwise, you may scare the little guy!
Pay attention to the lighting when you hold or handle Hedgie. Hedgehogs can’t see very well, so they get quite scared of shadows.
If your hedgehog curls up, don’t try to make him uncurl himself. Put him back in his cage, and talk to him gently. You can also just sit beside him and hang out with him.
You’ll need to handle your pet gently every day. One option is to get a hoodie with a front pocket. Let Hedgie hang out in there as you’re using a computer or watching TV. This will help him get used to you, and become familiar with your scent.
Speaking of scents, building a positive association with your scent is very important. When you take off a t-shirt you’ve been wearing all day, put it in Hedgie’s cage. You can also give him a throw blanket you’ve been using. Just make sure there are no holes or dangling threads.
Just like any other pet, hedgehogs love treats. Some good options are mealworms, silkworms, or wax worms; chicken; tuna; salmon; and cooked veggies, such as spinach or collard greens. Hedgie may also enjoy small amounts of fruits, such as bananas, pears, and melons. Ask your vet for more information on safe and unsafe treats.
It’s also important to know what frightens Hedgie. Being picked up suddenly or improperly is a big one. Hedgehogs also don’t like being scooped up when sleeping. They’re also frightened by loud noises, other pets, and sudden movements.
Do you have questions about hedgehog care? Contact us, your local Helotes, TX veterinary clinic, today!