A common question I often get asked is "what do I need to raise a hedgehog"? Here is a checklist for you to maintain a happy, healthy, hoggy: **PLEASE NOTE THAT WE SELL COMPLETE CAGE SETUPS WITH ALL THESE ITEMS AVAILABLE***
A cage. A safe, easy to clean cage. The cage needs to be big enough to accommodate a hide (pet igloos work great), a wheel, food and water bowls and toys. I recommend wire rabbit cages; they are very easy to clean and come in different sizes. Other people use large plastic totes, which are perfectly fine too. Please keep in mind that if you use the containers with the top on, you will need to drill several holes in the top to allow your hedgehog plenty of ventilation.
Any homemade cages made with wood require extra precautions. Make sure the wood is treated with a pet friendly sealant to prevent urine and feces from saturating the wood. Wood that is saturated with urine or feces will not only smell terrible, but will provide the perfect atmosphere to breed bugs and parasites.
A wheel. Make sure you use a plastic bottom, smooth surface wheel. Silent Spinners and Kaytee wheels work great. Any wheel with a wire bottom should not be used as hedgehogs can get their feet or nails caught in them. Some people have used flying saucer wheels and have had mixed reviews with them.
Food and water bowls. We use ceramic food bowls and water bottles here. Do not use spring loaded water bottles as hedgehogs can get their tongues caught in them.
Litter pan. If you are going to litter train your hoggy, a litter pan is essential. Rodent litter pans (for rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs) work great!
Litter for the litter pan. We like pine pellets (found at Tractor Supply), but recycled paper pellets work well too.
Fleece liner or substrate for the cage. Since our hedgehogs are litter trained here, they all have fleece liners on the bottom of their cages. If you prefer to put bedding in your cage, Care Fresh bedding works great. The type of bedding you choose and use is one of the key factors in helping to determine the overall health and happiness of your pet. Keep in mind that most wood, paper, or other processed bedding can be dusty. Any type of wood shavings/ bedding can harbor mites, which can be transmitted to your hedgehog. A safe way to kill the mites is to put the bedding in a freezer as the cold temps will kill the pests. We suggest avoiding fragrant bedding or bedding that has added chemicals. NEVER USE CEDAR SHAVINGS!!!!
Heat lamp, ceramic heat emitter bulb, and digital thermometer. Your hedgehog MUST BE kept at 70 degrees or warmer or IT CAN ATTEMPT HIBERNATION. This can be fatal for some hedgehogs. Ceramic heat emitter bulbs work great, they only emit heat, no light, so it will not interfere with the hedgehogs day/night cycle.
Nail trimmers.We prefer scissor type trimmers as they are easy to use.
Igloo or hideaway. Hedgehogs are burrowing, foraging animals in the wild, so they love a nice, dark place to hide in and sleep. Ours love igloos, but a simple box with a hole cut in it works great too!