Where to Buy a Hedgehog
When buying a hedgehog, you want to find the right hedgehog for you. You also need to be sure the hedgehog you are buying is healthy and not aggressive. Before you hurry off to the buy your hedgehog, there are a few things you should know.
What to look for when buying a hedgehog
- When you buy a hedgehog, the first thing you want to make sure of is that you’re buying from the right person, whether you’re buying from a pet store or breeder. S/he should have a breeding license and should be able to provide you with the age and background of the hedgehog. This person should keep her/his animals clean and well-maintained.
- Ask about the hedgehog’s diet.
- Never buy a hedgehog younger than six weeks. Hedgehogs in the wild usually leave their mother around this age. Any younger could lead to a short life for the hedgehog.
- Handle the hedgehog before you buy it. Hedgehogs that have been neglected before will not like being held. It is normal for a hedgehog to hiss, but any clicking or popping noises indicates that the hedgehog is acting threateningly and won’t make a very good pet. Handling the hedgehog before buying helps avoid getting an aggressive hedgehog.
- You want to be sure the hedgehog you’re buying is healthy.
- Look at the hedgehog’s eyes, are they clean, bright, and bold? Or are they runny, dull, droopy, half-closed, or sunken? Hedgehog eyes indicate health, be sure take a good look at them before buying.
- The hedgehog’s nose is supposed to be moist. If the hedgehog’s nose is dry, runny, or the breathing is raspy, it might have a respiratory infection.
- Are the ears clean, do you see any discharge or scabs? Ask about these and see what caused them.
- Is the hedgehog walking normally? Hedgehogs shouldn’t limp, wobble, or wince when walking.
- The quills are also good indicators of health. If there are any missing quills, discoloration, or bare spots, the hedgehog might not be in good health.
- A few other indicators of health are:
- The hedgehog’s weight. The hedgehog shouldn’t be too fat to roll into a ball nor so skinny that the stomach is caved inward.
- The skin should be dry and show no signs of mites.
Breeder or Pet store?
This is a questions that comes to many people’s minds before buying a hedgehog. Though, I can’t tell you every pet store is bad and every breeder is good. If you can find a licensed breeder, I recommend buying from a breeder. Let me tell you why:
- Breeders know where their hedgehogs come from. They know the ancestors of the hedgehog, so you can guarantee your hedgehog is coming from a line of healthy hedgehogs.
- Breeders know the hedgehog’s personality. This can really help when choosing your hedgehog.
- Breeders can offer you helpful information on how to take care of your hedgehog. Breeders know more about the species of hedgehogs and the breed than most pet stores. They will also be happy to help if you have any difficulties. If you have to move to a place where hedgehogs are illegal, the breeder will most likely be welcome to take it back.
- Unlike most pet stores, breeders keep female and male hedgehogs in separate cages after 6-8 weeks, this prevents early pregnancy and other problems that keeping both genders together cause.
- You know the hedgehogs haven’t lived a disturbed life. Hedgehogs can become aggressive if they have been neglected or abused; they won’t make a very good pet. With a breeder, you know they have had a good life and will make great and friendly pets.
- You shouldn’t breed hedgehogs that come from pet store. They may have genetic diseases that they can pass down to their babies. Licensed breeders stop lines that produce sick babies. Pet stores don’t.
Why are hedgehogs hard to find?
Hedgehogs are exotic animals; therefore, the USDA regulates breeding and selling hedgehogs. To have more than 3 or 4 females, you need a license. Most people don’t want to go through the process of getting a license. Also, breeding isn’t easy, nor is maintaining and buying supplies for many hedgehogs. That is why they’re so hard to find.
Why are they Expensive?
Hedgehogs are exotic animals; exotic animals are normally more expensive than average pets like guinea pigs, rabbits, or hamsters. Taking care of hedgehogs is not cheap and the expenses of breeding and raising the hedgehog is reflected in the price of the hedgehog.
That is all you need to know before buying a hedgehog! I recommend reading our Hedgehogs As Pets post for reasons you should get a hedgehog. Don’t forget to comment and share!