What Happens During Your Appointment?...

Jun 17, 2013 by

The first thing we will do when you come is that we will give you an orientation to the nature of hedgehogs and how their uniqueness is important in the way you handle your new pet. We do have a chairs but be prepared to sit on the floor to handle the hedgehog babies for the most fun! Baby hedgehogs are not afraid of falling and for the safety and comfort of both hedgehogs and humans we sit on the floor while playing with the babies. When you reserve a specific hedgehog with a deposit you will have the opportunity to handle that baby and at least two other baby before making your final purchase decision. When you do not have a deposit on a specific baby we cannot guarantee specific animal availability or have advance notice of exactly which babies will be available at the time of your purchase. We will work with you and give you handling tips and instructions to help you feel confident and capable of handling your new pet. Preparing for your visit by reading our information guides will help us focus on your questions when you get here. Some of the topics we will discuss include but are not limited to: Hedgehog senses and how their senses play a part in the way they like to be handled How to pick up and hold your hedgehog How to...

When & How Much to Handle Your Hedgehog...

May 25, 2013 by

Handling Frequency Pet hedgies do best if handled every day, even if it is for just a short amount of time. We recommend handling your hedgehog for at least half an hour a day.  The easiest way to accomplish this task is 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. Some hedgehog owners suggest that you wait for a few days to handle your new hedgehog, so that it has a chance to get accustomed to it’s cage.  This is not a bad idea, but it is not always necessary in many cases.  We believe that if your hedgehog is not showing signs of stress it is ok to handle it from the beginning.  This allows the bonding process to start immediately with your new pet. Even with consistent handling they may take a long time to become accustomed to their new owners and environment. Like most pets, the more time you spend with your hedgehog the better socialized and friendly it will become. Time of Day You will find that your hedgehog will be more receptive to handling or play at different times of the day. Some hedgehogs might be more active in the morning; others might be more active in the evening.  Hedgehogs that want to run and play are likely to become frustrated if you try to restrain them in your hands. We typically handle our hedgehogs in...

Behavior Changes & Adjusting to New Homes...

May 25, 2013 by

Behavior Changes It is common for a hedgehog to exhibit changes in its behavior between the time it is purchased and the time the hedgehog is settled into its new home. These changes can occur for many reasons. By understanding these reasons, you can help your hedgehog transition smoothly into your home. With patience and proper handling, you and your new hedgehog will be the best of friends. New Surroundings Keep in mind that your hedgehog is leaving familiar surroundings. It is leaving its cage mates and home and entering into a strange new world. A change in environment and its associated affects is often called “shipping stress”. All animals react differently to changes. This is proven by the fact that differences in stress levels between animals are noted at the time of weaning. Handling Techniques Handling hedgehogs is prickly business. A hedgehog owner’s confidence can range from having no fear of getting pricked, to being very scared of his or her new pet. Remember that hedgehogs have great emotion detection. If you are nervous, your hedgehog is likely to be nervous. Proper handling is something that is learned and perfected with practice. Read and review the tips outlined in our other guides to make sure that you are doing what is best to encourage a good response from your pet. Quilling The quilling process is likely to have started or will soon start...

Using Gloves When Handling Your Hedgehog...

May 24, 2013 by

Necessity Quite a few hedgehog books and owners recommend the use of rubber or leather gloves when handling hedgehogs, but gloves are NOT a necessary part of hedgie handling. The rationale behind using gloves is so that you will be more comfortable handling your pet and that the spines will not poke you. We teach all of our customers how to handle our hedgie babies without gloves.  The hedgehog can get more comfortable with your movements and you won’t be as fearful of its movements. However, using gloves to learn how to pick up your hedgie is better than not handling your hedgehog at all, or not having the confidence to pick up your hedgehog properly. Type We suggest using cotton gardening gloves with rubber coated palms and fingers or very thin leather gloves. Thick leather gloves are stiffer, harder to maneuver, and more difficult to take off. Many hedgehogs do find leather tasty and may nip at the gloves, but simply leaving the gloves in your hedgehog’s cage overnight should remedy this situation. It is a good idea to sleep with your gloves under your pillow or tuck them into your shirt so that they are completely permeated with your smell.  That way the hedgie will associate the gloves with you. Technique Use the same method to pick up your hedgehog with gloves as you would without gloves. Let the hedgehog uncurl in...

Petting Your Hedgehog

May 24, 2013 by

Petting Basics Even though hedgehogs are “pets” they may not automatically enjoy being petted.  You must first earn your hedgehog’s trust so that it can relax and enjoy your touch, rather than fear your touch as potential harm. It is o.k. to begin to attempt to pet your hedgehog once your hedgehog is relaxed and exploring in your hands. When you notice your hedgehog pulling its “visor” down over its eyes, that is a signal to you that it isn’t quite comfortable with you yet or it doesn’t like what you are doing. When your hedgehog huffs or puffs, just relax and give your hedgehog time to relax.  Don’t attempt to continue to pet it. You are actually TEACHING the hedgehog to huff and puff in your hands if you continue to pet the hedgehog when it isn’t ready for you to  pet it. Give it more time just to explore in your hands so that it gets more comfortable with you. Always pet your hedgehog while it is in your hand. Never reach into the cage to pet your hedgehog unless your hedgehog is completely comfortable with you. Technique Most people know to pet a hedgehog from front to back just as you would with any other animal. I have found that hedgehogs respond much more quickly to petting if done so that it can see your hand, smell your hand, and know...

Basic Handling

May 24, 2013 by

Introduction Hedgehogs are wonderful little creatures that have unique habits and personalities. Their response to you will depend on how you handle them and how you respond to their needs. You will need to learn to respond to your hedgehog’s subtle way of communicating and adapt to their prickly protectiveness. Our human nature is to want to reach out and touch or pet our prickly friends or to hold them close and cuddle them. As naturally shy animals, hedgehogs will require you to earn their trust before they accept your handling.  Once a hedgehog is comfortable with you, they will appreciate your affection. Holding A Hedgehog We have found it almost necessary to “retrain our brain” and think of hedgehog handling as different from all other small pet handling. When we pick up other small pets, puppies, or kittens, we want to hold them close and pet them to help them feel safe, secure, and to help them relax. Hedgehogs, on the other hand, seem to respond very well to sitting on completely flat hands out away from our body. When we hold them close, their senses are almost “overloaded” making it difficult for them to relax.  Petting is very scary for hedgehogs when they don’t know who or what is touching them. Try to keep in mind that we, as humans, don’t want anyone or anything scary touching us, and hedgehogs are no...

Reasons Why Hedgehogs May Bite

May 21, 2013 by

Scent & Taste Hedgehogs are very scent oriented and use their sense of smell to search out food. Sometimes you might smell good enough to eat!  If you smell good, and taste good through licking… watch out! Sometimes hedgehogs will lick salt from sweaty hands and become tempted to bite,because they like the salty taste. When a hedgehog bites due to taste and smell it is exhibiting normal, but unacceptable behavior. This is the most common reason for biting and the easiest to avoid. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest behaviors to manage.  Simply move your fingers or hands when your hedgehog starts to lick! Washing hands after eating will help reduce the risk of food smell but some soap or hand sanitizer scents smell good to hedgehogs and are just as tempting to hedgehogs as actual food smells. If your hands are clean and your hedgehog is fascinated with licking you, it is helpful to only let your hedgehog lick the palm of your hand rather than your fingers. Keep in mind that food odors may linger for several hours after eating. According to Becca Loane in an article on Hedgehog World, “Another very frequent problem causing scent is tobacco smoke. It is very common for breeders to get contacted by people wanting to get rid of their hedgehogs because they frequently and painfully bite, with the hedgehog stopping their biting immediately...