Chlorhexidine Disinfecting Wipes

Jun 28, 2013 by

What You Will Need ½ Roll of Bounty Big, Jumbo or Other mid-size Bounty Roll Paper Towels 1 Container (we use Rubbermaid 3qt #6) or Dollar General’s Sun Oxygen Cleaner bucket or a large ice cream bucket 2 cups of disinfecting solution Procedure Cut a roll of Jumbo Roll Bounty in half with a straight edged knife or electric knife. Pull out center cardboard tube. It is important that you use the right size Bounty Towels. Other brands of paper towels just do not hold up with the moisture. The Basic does not soak up all the water and the Mega is too thick and needs additional water. Dilute Solution as directed on Bottle = 2 tablespoon (1 ounce) per gallon of water *We add 2 extra tablespoons of Chlorhexidine per gallon when making wipes *We recommend mixing one gallon at a time. Extra can be used for cleaning. Pour half your water mixture into your container, add towels, and then pour other half of mixture over top. Put the lid on the top and let it sit for at least 20 minutes for the water to absorb through the towels evenly. Chlorhexidine is Available at our shop! We use the wipes to clean up after all forms of body excretions as well as to clean the bathroom etc. We’ve never tested bacterial.efficacy but it has to be better than soap and water Basic...

Toys, Enrichment & Entertainment...

Jun 27, 2013 by

Environmental Enrichment Wild and free ranging animals have lots of natural exercise and stimulation. Numerous studies have shown that animals in zoos, animal parks, labs and private homes benefit from exercise and environmental enrichment. Thirty minutes outside of the cage each day is ideal for play time. Hedgehogs require physical and mental stimulation through toys and other objects in their enviroment. Activity that is essential to animal health and a happier life. Healthy, happy, active animals (and humans) tend to live longer and have more fulfilling lives. It is up to hedgehog caretakers to provide a variety of cage items to enrich the life of your pet by providing a variety of experiences, which prevent boredom and stimulate activity. In her book Pet African Hedgehogs Kimberly Goertzen states “While it’s extremely unlikely your hedgehog will fetch a ball or jump through hoops for you, they still interact with things. Some will play tug-of-war, some will chase things”. Like children, hedgehogs seem to prefer bright colors while some hedgehogs may have no color preference at all. Many hedgehogs like to push, pull, drag, and climb on a variety of different objects. Safety Precautions One must carefully inspect every cage addition (or play item) for small detachable parts that could become choking hazards. Look for sharp edges that could cut your hedgehog. Inspect toys the same way you would for a young child. Play Areas Enclosed...

Heating Options

Jun 5, 2013 by

Words of Caution  Many heat sources are available through a variety of outlets. We are yet to find the perfect heat source that will work under all conditions. Anything that plugs in has potential to short out and cause a fire, overheat and cause burns, or fail to work. One must be cautious with overhead heating options so that they are not knocked over causing burns, injuries or fires. Also, hedgehogs can over-heat a small aquarium that is not well ventilated. Hedgehogs can get burnt both internally and externally by not being able to move away from the constant heat sources such as heating rocks and heating pads. The best heating options seem to be maintaining an appropriate ambient room temperature or heating only a portion of the cage so that the hedgehog can move away if it gets too hot. Infratherm Pet Heaters The following information is from the Sweeter Heater website: The SWEETER HEATER has no hot spots, it develops a uniform heat pattern, it uses less power to operate, it is unbreakable, it is sealed so it can be washed, and it has a three-year warranty. The SWEETER HEATER is a safe, non-breakable, energy efficient, long lasting (three year warranty) and reliable specific area heater. The SWEETER HEATER has been tested and proven by our customers since 1995. Veterinarians, aviaries, dog breeders, kennel owners and herpetologists have proven that the Sweeter...

Messy Wheels & Wheel Cleaning

May 28, 2013 by

Wheel Overview Our Hedgehog Wheel  Article describes the health and entertainment/enrichment benefits of providing your hedgehog with a wheel. As with most good things, there is a price and the price for providing your hedgehog a wheel is the risk of having to clean it. Wheels have a tendency to cause hedgehogs to forget all about using the litter pan. Some considerate hedgehogs will stop wheeling and hang their little tail end off the wheel to do their business – don’t expect this from your pet. Why Messy Wheels Happen This is the best explanation we’ve found. Taken from Hedgehog Central: http://wiki.hedgehogcentral.com/tiki-index.php?page=wheels#Pooping_on_the_Wheel When a hedgehog runs it releases its bowels and urinary tract. By running, the hedgehog is kick starting its metabolism and urgently needs to expel waste much like a human does after a warm cup of coffee. When a hedgehog is running, it believes it is leaving its waste behind it and unlike a dog will not search for a place to go to the washroom. Hedgehogs on a wheel will release their bowels much like they do in the wild; however, in this instance the hedgehog does not leave its feces behind, but continues to run through it. With a hedgehog, this is inevitable. It is likely you will have to clean the wheel daily and provide your hedgehog with weekly foot baths in a shallow sink or on a damp cloth...

Hideouts & Snuggle Shacks

May 28, 2013 by

Hide Outs Hedgehogs sleep in burrows or other dark places in the wild. Almost every small animal will find a warm, cozy place to sleep and hide in order to stay warm and avoid predators. Most breeders believe it is beneficial for the hedgehog’s well being to have a warm and comfortable place to sleep. When hedgehogs are warm and comfortable they tend to sleep better and are less nervous while they are sleeping or resting. Hideouts should have an entrance and an exit (tunnel) or it should be large enough for the hedgehog to turn around. Hedgehogs usually turn around rather than back out of a tight spot. Sleeping Bags Fleece sleeping bags are warm and snuggly and most hedgehogs enjoy them. Figure 1 – Fleece Sleeping bags Some sleeping bags have a stiffener in the top so the bag remains slightly open which allows the hedgehog easy access inside.   It is a good idea to have multiple bags because, more than likely, the hedgehog bag will get dirty and need to be washed.  Dirty bags may also become a breeding ground for bacteria. Remember to wash the bags in a mild detergent and not to use any fabric softeners. The fragrance can be overwhelming to a hedgehog snuggled in such a small place. Some hedgehogs might prefer to sleep under or on the sleeping bags instead of inside, but as long as...

Wheels

May 28, 2013 by

Wheel Benefits Wheels are an excellent addition to any cage and are one of the most important accessories to provide stimulation since most hedgehogs love to run in a wheel. Our customers have measured their hedgehog’s wheel activity and have reported up to 12 miles logged on a pedometer in one night.  Wheels provide important exercise for your hedgehog.  Exercise increases the overall health and well being of animals and humans alike. Hedgehogs that are provided wheels have a decrease in fatty liver disease and other obesity related health complications. Some hedgehogs have been clocked at a top speed of 12 mph. http://hedgehoghollow.com/faq/part4.html#5.6 Wheel Size and Design Hedgehogs need a relatively large wheel. Wheels that are sold for large rats, chinchillas, or ferrets are generally the right size. Wheels should have a SOLID bottom or a plastic mesh running surface – no wire rung, rodent-style wheels, etc. Make sure you use the 11” to 15” diameter wheels with approximately 5” of running width. The smaller 10” wheels are only acceptable for smaller than average adults or youngsters. Most wheels need a 16” cage height clearance. Wheels with a sturdy stand tend to be a little quieter and are less likely to be tipped over or pushed around the cage. Keep in mind that there is no PERFECT wheel. Each owner and hedgehog tends to have their favorite to use and favorite to clean.  You...

Litter Pans, Litter, & Litter Pan Training...

May 28, 2013 by

Litter pans are a great accessory to any cage as it is well worth your effort to try and litter train your hedgehog.  A litter-trained hedgehog will save you cage cleaning time, decrease the amount of bedding needed, and increase the freedom you have with your pet.  Litter trained hedgehogs are obviously much more suited to “free-roaming” in their own room or in an area of your home or apartment.   Probability of Use We once heard that it was a “crap shoot” whether or not your hedgehog would use the litter pan. We tend to agree! Some hedgehogs take to the litter pan and use it right away with little or no coaxing. Others refuse to use their litter pan despite any attempts on your part to try to teach them the purpose of the litter pan. One former customer e-mailed us and told us that her hedgehog suddenly started using the litter pan when it was two years old. Better late than never! Some hedgehogs prefer to use their litter pan as a sand or dust bath rather than for elimination. Dust bathing is harmless and is simply a natural thing for a hedgehog to do. Another customer e-mailed us and told us that his hedgehog was careful to eliminate on one side of the litter pan and dust bathe on the other. Your litter training success will depend partly on your...

Water & Food Receptacles

May 27, 2013 by

Water Bottles Water bottles are one of the most popular methods of offering fresh, clean water to small mammals including hedgehogs. The tip of the water bottle should hang at your hedgehog’s shoulder height. We encourage you to always monitor your hedgehogs to make sure they are drinking freely from their bottle.  Online pet accessory stores carry inexpensive bottle-brushes that will help keep the bottle clean. Baby bottle-brushes will also fit in many traditional water bottles. Both glass and plastic bottles are available. Glass bottles are typically used for chinchillas and lab animals and are much more difficult to find than plastic bottles. Water bottles should be dumped, washed, and refilled at least every other day. Special brushes designed for water bottles clean more thoroughly that simple rinsing.  Advantages of Bottles Water bottles are typically less messy compared to dishes especially if bedding is being used other than cage liners.  Water bottles are easy to clean. They typically mount on the side of the cage so that there is more floor space available for the hedgehog. Water bottles come in a variety of shapes and styles and are relatively inexpensive. It is easier to monitor how much water your hedgehog is actually drinking with a water bottle as opposed to water being spilt out of a water bowl. Disadvantages of Bottles The water bottle should be checked every day to ensure the bottle is...

Preparing For Power Outages

Apr 25, 2013 by

Potential Need for Back-up Heat One must always be prepared for a power outage if you live in an area that’s temperature gets cold or cool in the winter. Power outages for long periods in cool weather can be just as dangerous as short power outages in extreme cold. When using alternative power or heat, one must use caution and be aware of potential safety hazards. Conserve the Heat You Have Wrap your hedgehog’s cage in heavy blankets. Give your hedgehog extra sleeping bags, or extra pieces of fleece to make their sleeping area cozier. Disposable (Or Reusable) Instant Heat Packs These sources of instant heat hand warmers can be found in the hunting, camping, or sporting goods section of most stores. We have also seen them used for reptiles and other baby animals, so you may find them through various other sources as well. Re-usable ones can often be found at flea markets or through other specialty vendors. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to store. We have found that some will not work if they have been stored for long periods. It is a good idea to have fresh ones available. Also make sure you keep several on hand in case you have purchased an older or defective warmer. Generators Generators are valuable to not only your pets, but can be quite handy for you. There is a huge price range depending...

Dust Baths & Sand Boxes

Apr 24, 2013 by

Dust Bath and Sand Box Dilemma Hedgehog enthusiasts sometimes wonder whether or not a hedgehog actually needs a dust bath. Many hedgehogs have been observed dust bathing in a variety of “dusty” things including spilled chinchilla dust, broken down pelleted litter, and litter in litter pans. Dust bathing is a natural behavior for many types of animals both large (our horse and donkeys) and small (chinchillas and small rodents). These animals use rolling in dust as a way of bathing in a dry environment. While researching this topic more we’ve found a mixed review of opinions both for and against dust bathing. Positive Reviews Most hedgehog owners only provide a traditional bath to clean a dirty pet hedgehog but in addition to the fun of a dust bath there may be some benefits. HedgeMom posted on Hedgehog Central that she has many hedgehogs that seek out and play in spilled chinchilla dust. Ifc claims “My guy LOVES his dust bath; when I let him out of his cage for a run its the first place he goes, often even before he checks out the treats bowl. He looks positively blissful as he rolls and wallows. I think dust baths are more in keeping with hedgehog behavior in the wild. There dusting conditions the coat and deters mites. Greebly has never needed a water bath (which, considering his opinion of any water not in his...