Introduction To Biting Articles

Jun 24, 2013 by

Introduction To Biting Articles


  • Most hedgehogs do not bite.
  • Any animal with teeth has the potential to bite, so hedgehog owners must understand the potential of getting bit is always present.
  • Hedgehogs aren’t like dogs, where the bite is usually an intentionally mean or aggressive act.
  • Their main line of defense is to ball up and use their spines for protection, rather than to bite.
  • Hedgehogs do investigate the world around them with their nose, eyes, and mouth.  Quite literally, your pig probably doesn’t even realize she’s hurting you.
  • Also keep in mind that hedgehogs are *hard-wired* to put new/odd/unusual things in their mouths, chew on it and then anoint with it.  So in a way, it’s a compliment your hedgie is biting you, because she finds you interesting.
  • The good news is that hedgehogs’ mouths are designed to crush bugs and not fingers! Their tiny teeth and elongated jaw make it difficult to get in a good chomp when compared to the average cranky hamster.
  • One need not be fearful of a hedgehog bite, but we do want to make you aware that it can happen and when it happens, what to do and how to understand your hedgehog’s biting.
  • Proper understanding of hedgehog behavior will help decrease the risk and/or frequency of biting.

How Bad Does it Hurt?

  • Hedgehogs have fairly small teeth designed to crunch insects. They do not have the typical rodent incisors or the large carnivore canines.
  • The typical bite won’t feel good but won’t cause excruciating pain either. Imagine cricket crushing strength!
  • The reason your hedgehog bites will often determine how bad it hurts.
  • A bite telling you “I’m mad” is going to hurt more than “I wonder if this is edible?” but, isn’t going to hurt as much as the “I’m really mad at you” bite.
  • Finger bites typically hurt less than a bite to your softer skin between fingers or an arm.
  • I personally have never had more than a prick to my finger or a bruise to my arm but, Nicole Gendler-Martin once described to me an extremely rare but particularly nasty bite that dripped blood. That particular hedgehog was previously not known to bite.
  • Hamsters or other rodents deliver a much more painful and bloodier bite than hedgehogs.

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