When your dog doesn't seem interested in eating his food, do you know what to do? When your dog vomits often, could there be something serious wrong with him? If he struggles to get up the stairs, does he need to see a vet? Having never owned an older dog, I knew nothing about the things that can begin to go wrong when dogs age. I adopted this guy when my neighbor moved into a nursing home and had to learn a lot about how to care for an older dog. My blog is filled with the many things that I have learned over the last year through the help of my vet.
Hedgehogs are cuddly, intelligent animals that can be a great addition to your home. However, it is not a pet you should rush out and adopt. Here are some important things to know about hedgehogs first in order to determine if it is a good pet for your family.
Hedgehogs Are Friendly With Regular Social Interaction
Hedgehogs are not naturally friendly and social pets, but that doesn't mean you can't train them to be. It might be a little shy and not interested in interacting or playing much when you first bring it home. However, like many other pets, hedgehogs can be raised to be close to you. You want to be patient with the animal, using positive reinforcement when teaching it certain behaviors. Even if it doesn't seek out attention from you, you should still pet it, play with it, and interact with it regularly. Don't be concerned if it wants to spend most time with itself or other hedgehogs in the home; this is not unusual.
They Need to be Handled Very Carefully
Hedgehogs have prickly backs, so be very careful when handling it. If you surprise the hedgehog and grab it without warning, the animal might act defensively and roll up into a ball. This causes their entire body to be covered in pointy spines. It is best to leave it alone and approach it later on when it calms down. In the beginning, you might feel more comfortable holding and handling the animal with a small towel, though you will get used to the spines eventually. Soon, the hedgehog will become comfortable with you and won't keep the spines out so often. Make sure you pet it in the right direction to avoid injuring yourself.
Little Care is Required for Hedgehogs
On the plus side, there isn't a lot required of you when you adopt a hedgehog. They need regular food and water, and regular cleaning of their bed and potty area. Aside from that, all you need to do is give it enough attention and socialization. The animal does not need to be bathed often and you won't have to let it outside or take it on walks. They also tend to be quiet, so there isn't much to worry about there either. However, if you keep it in a cage, giving it a wheel and other toys is a good idea so it stays entertained. If the cage smells bad, it is probably time to clean it.
Hedgehogs Are More Active at Night
Hedgehogs are nocturnal by nature as their food sources are typically acquired at night. When you have one as a pet, don't be surprised if it continues being more active and playful at night. You might hear it playing with its toys or running on the wheels at night more often than during the day.
Make sure you have found a veterinarian that takes care of animals such as hedgehogs. See the veterinarian shortly after adopting the animal. To learn more, contact a veterinary clinic like Capitol Animal Clinic.