Handling & Bonding
Socializing and bonding with your hedgehog is vital to the quality of life for your hoglett.
We do recommend a 48 hour acclimation time, when bringing your new hedgie friend home. During this time, you are to allow your hedgehog to become used to their new surroundings, house, scents, humans, and more. We want your hedgie to have the time to feel safe in their new surroundings BEFORE any hands come and try to pick up or bond with. We do not want the first few interactions to be associated due to fear.
When you feel your hedgie is showing signs of comfort (eating, running on the wheel, even showing signs of human curiosity) we recommend starting slow.
The correct method for picking up a hedgehog is to place your hands, palms up, on each side of the hedgehog and gently scoop them up from underneath.
Allow them the opportunity to smell you before you attempting to pet.
Their bellies are soft and covered in fur, not quills. DO NOT TRY TO FLIP YOUR NEW HEDGEHOG OVER TO PET THE TUMMY. This action is forcing your new hedgehog to expose their very most fragile parts. This action is only for the most bonded human hedgie friends, not for introductions.
Once you have made your introductions, now is the time to hold as much as possible. Your hedgehog is nocturnal, so let them sleep on you all day long. Your hedgie is happy sleeping away in a pocket while you wash your dishes, clean your room, run to the mailbox, or even to a friend’s house to have a hedgie play date. Hedgehogs are called "Pocket Pets" for a true reason. At the end of the day, the more you hold and love on your hedgie outside the habitat, the more social and friendly your hedgie will be.
Baby hedgehogs go through something called "quilling" This is when they go through a shed of those sharp baby quills and growing in much softer longer adult quills. Within the first year, a hedgehog will have this shed happen at the most 4 times. Within the first year of life is also the sharpest a hedgehog's quills will ever be. This is a time when the young hedgies they are still learning how to lay their quills down and how to have them directly straight.
At any age, the quills are not actually sharp enough to cause any real injury.