Introduction To Biting Articles

Jun 24, 2013 by

Introduction  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...

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...

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...