The African Pygmy Hedgehogs Pet Craze
The new pet craze at the moment is the African pygmy hedgehog. Although it was first bred in captivity 10 years ago, they are proving to be this year's must have pet. They cost about £150 and there is such a high demand for them that the waiting list is over a year long.
Wild hedgehogs need a lot of space and freedom whereas a pygmy hedgehog is a quarter of the size of a normal hedgehog. Wild hedgehogs carry fleas but African pygmy hedgehogs do not.
Keeping a wild hedgehog as a pet in the UK is illegal.
Here are a few things to consider before buying an african pygmy hedgehog.
- They can live between 4-6 years.
- On average a pygmy hedgehog weighs between 12-18 ounces.
- Hedgehogs prefer to be on their own, females can get along with each other but males will fight.
- Although they don't hibernate like the hedgehogs in the wild, they need to be kept warm; if it gets too cold they might try to hibernate. They will also need 12 hours daylight a day whether artificial or real.
- Hedgies diet consists mainly of cat food but they eat all meat. They also eat mink and ferret food, cooked poultry and cooked eggs. For treats they like insects, fruits and vegetables.
- They must never have cow's milk; only goat milk as they have an intolerance to dairy products.
- They sleep mostly during the day and will come out to play in the evening.
- Like hamsters, they enjoy playing on the wheel; they can run for hours without stopping, you will then find the wheel covered in poo.
- Make sure they have enough toys to keep them busy as they enjoy playing with empty loo rolls and cat toys.
- They can easily be litter trained. When you first get your hedgie and he does a poo, scoop it up and put it in his litter tray and they will find out that this is the right place to do a poo.
- Pygmy hedgehogs are prone to getting cancer so check them often to make sure they don't have any new lumps or bumps or blood in their poo.
Feel free to share your experience if you have one of these cute pets :)