Tucson Hedgehogs

Is that a baby porcupine?? They look very similar, but they are not even related. An african pygmy hedgehog is an insectivore, not a rodent like the porcupine.

 A hedgehog's closest relative is actually the shrew. An average African Pygmy Hedgehog will fit in an adult man's cupped hand. African Pygmy hedgehogs have a thick coat of spines, varying in color. There is no fur under the spines, but soft white or dark fur covers the belly, neck, face, and legs. Sight is relatively poor, but hearing, smell, and taste are very well developed in most pet hedgehogs. 

 

Hedgehogs are easy going, non-aggressive and not attention seekers. They are great pets that can be handled by anyone and well adjusted hedgies go to strangers with ease. If you are going to be gone on vacation for a week they normally won’t be depressed or angry. When you come back they will willingly go to you as if you never left. 

 

They are easy to keep as pets, all the supplies you need for them can be found at any pet store. We have placed many of them in schools as classroom pets because they are such cool animals that children are very intrigued by and can learn a lot from. They can make good "first" pets for kids  with adult supervision

                 

       Finding the perfect home for your new pet!  

We as pet owners want happy, healthy pets .....  as they bring happiness into our lives.  One huge key to a hedgehog's happiness is finding the right habitat.  Hedgehog's, while small in size, require a lot of space as they can run 3 - 5 miles a day!   A minimum 8 square feet is recommended.  There needs to be room in his / her new home for a 12" wheel,  a food and water bowl,  a sleepy home or igloo along with some space to do laps and go thru some tunnels and tubes.   

Pet stores typically carry small cages for guinea pigs, chinchilla's, and hamster's and  unfortunately those cages are approximately 3' x 18" so about 1/2 the recommended size.  Hedgehogs that live in a cage too small can often suffer from anxiety, depression and fear.  They primarily stay in their igloo and become afraid of people.  Often times it leads to obesity and even hibernation out of boredom.  The pet is soon forgotten about and then possibly re-homed.  I strive to find forever homes for my babies and I believe the right home makes a happy pet.

 

There are other options to consider as well.   Over the years,  I have either made or seen many habitats that I love.  Re-purposing furniture can be a fun project and allows for the new pet to join the family in an inconspicuous habitat.

Temperature

Hedgehogs need their temperature to be between 73-80 degrees.

You may need a heat source when running your Air Conditioning in the summer months, and when the temperatures drop in the fall. Here in Arizona we have some extreame temperature fluctuations, and having a heat source available is recommened.          

Tucson Hedgehogs Heat Source Options