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...

Cleanliness

May 27, 2013 by

Naturally Clean Some hedgehogs might be considered naturally clean and tidy. They use their litter pans faithfully, and leave their cage pretty much as the owner has arranged it. Other hedgehogs are slobs!  They will try to defy every sense of cleanliness and make a complete mess of their cage. Most hedgehogs are somewhere in the middle. Their cage will need to be tidied, but it would not take more than a minute or two each day. Unfortunately, there is no way to look at a baby hedgehog and decide how its personality will grow and develop in this aspect. Cage Trashing Some hedgehogs routinely rearrange their cage furniture by dragging, pushing, or shoving their wheel and other large accessories. They drag their blankets and sleeping bags around their cage and scoot around their cage liner. Other hedgehogs might turn over food dishes and knock off water bottles.  Having heavy food dishes and a quality water bottle hanger will certainly help this problem. Litter Pan Use or Lack Thereof Some hedgehogs take to using the litter pan as if it is the most natural thing in the world. Hedgehogs that use litter pans are obviously much neater and require less maintenance than hedgehogs that view the litter pan as something that merely shares their cage space. Other hedgehogs just refuse to do their business in a designated spot. The most common spot for hedgehogs...

Cage Maintenance

May 21, 2013 by

Introduction A clean cage is essential to the health and well being of your pet. Our rule of thumb is that if the cage smells bad to us, it probably smells really bad to our hedgehog. Hedgehogs have a much better sense of smell than we do. Type of Cage The type of cage and the ventilation it provides can make a difference in the level of odor that accumulates in the area of the cage. A glass aquarium or plastic bin with poor ventilation will harbor odor, moisture, and will encourage bacterial growth, which will in turn create an unsanitary living environment for your hedgehog. If you should choose to use these types of cages, you may need to perform complete bedding changes more frequently than with a wire-topped cage. Marchioro’s solid plastic bottom cages with coated wire tops provide the needed ventilation and they are our recommended choice of cage. Regardless of the type of cage you use, you will still need to perform regular cage cleanings. Type of Litter Different types of bedding have different absorbency levels so the cage may need to be cleaned more or less frequently depending on the size and general messiness of your hedgehog. Pelleted beddings may allow you to sift the good bedding from the soiled bedding to be reused after the bottom has been cleaned. Refer to our Bedding Guide for more information on...

Bathing Your Hedgehog

May 17, 2013 by

 Hedgehogs and Bathing Many hedgehogs love to play in warm water and will enjoy themselves during bath time. Other hedgehogs may not like the water at all, but bathing a dirty hedgehog is necessary for the overall wellbeing of the animal. Some hedgehog owners have found giving hedgehogs a bath when they are young makes bathing less stressful when they are older. Even though hedgehogs are good swimmers, one should never leave a hedgehog unattended while in the water. Frequency  Hedgehogs do not groom or clean themselves like most other animals. You will know your hedgehog is ready for a bath when it looks dirty, has dry skin, “poop boots” (dirty feet from, well, you know!), or anointed spots of dried “stuff”. Once a month bathing is adequate for the average hedgehog. Some hedgehogs need baths frequently and others seldom need one. Bathing generally helps to relieve dry skin; however, bathing too frequently may contribute to dry skin. Suitable Bath Tubs Common places to give hedgehogs a bath are in a sink, dishpan, infant bathtub, laundry sink, or a bathtub. Hedgehogs are prone to relieve themselves in the warm water so it is a good idea to select a place that is easy to disinfect and that does not come in contact with food. Some owners prefer to have a dishpan or tub that is used only for hedgehog bathing. Infant bathtubs usually have...