Ways To Help Prevent & Discourage Biting

May 21, 2013 by

Ways To Help Prevent & Discourage Biting
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There are several ways to prevent biting. This knowledge will help prevent any chances of your hedgehog biting.

Hand Washing

  • Always wash your hands and rinse them well before handling your hedgehog.
  • Some soap may smell nice to your hedgehog and encourage licking and nipping, so always be sure to rinse well. You may have to try various soaps if you find your hedgehog finds one particularly tasteful.
  • Do not handle food or another pet before handling your hedgehog.

Avoid Hand Feeding

  • Hand feeding treats may cause your hedgehog to associate your flesh with food and may actually encourage biting.
  • Feeding tongs and syringe feeding treats are ways to bond and give treats without sending your hedgehog the wrong message about your fingers!
  • See out Hedgehog Treats article for more information on syringe and tong feeding.

Careful Handling

  • When your hedgehog begins to lick open your hand until it is completely flat. Gently move your hedgehog around in your hands away from the spot it is licking. It will be harder for your hedgehog to nip flat hands or a moving target.
  • Always be relaxed and calm when handling your hedgehog.
  • If you are in a hurry, agitated or frazzled your hedgehog will pick up on your mood and feel insecure which could lead to a bite. Make sure you are focused on your hedgehog  and in the right frame of mind when you are handling your hedgehog.
  • If your hedgehog tends to be a biter, you can use this idea from the( hedgehog-faq) “Purchase an inexpensive pair of work gloves, rub your hands briskly with the outside of the gloves (or sleep with them for a night), to get your scent all over the gloves.Put on the gloves and pick up your hedgies and hope it bites! Then push back into his mouth – not too hard, but firmly.” This will help the hedgehog associate biting you with something unpleasant, while at the same time saving your skin!

Pay Attention to Your Hedgehog’s Needs

  • Watch for signs that your hedgehog is:
  • When your hedgehog appears tired, scared, afraid, or stressed simply allowing your hedgehog to snuggle in a hoodie pocket, inside a jacket next to you, or in a sleeping bag while you are holding it may help this problem.
  • Hedgehogs that appears frustrated or it is trying to get down simply allowing your hedgehog to climb on you or explore a play area may help the hedgehog burn off some energy.
    • Tired
    • Scared/afraid
    • Frustrated
    • In Pain
    • Trying to Get Down
    • Stressed

Scent Bonding

  • One way to bond with your hedgehog better is to allow your hedgehog to become very comfortable with your scent.
  • An easy way to do this is to sleep in an old T-shirt, a sleeping bag, or a piece of fleece for several nights so that the material is heavily scented with your smell.
  • A quick trick is to have small pieces of fleece that you can tuck into your clothing so that this bonding can start right away.  Things that smell even more like you can replace the small pieces.
  • Give these things to your hedgehog and allow him or her to sleep with them.
  • You can pick your hedgehog up with larger items like the T-shirt, sleeping bag, or larger fleece hedgie blankets.

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