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...

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...