Hey there! Just a heads up that this post contains affiliate links. What does that mean? By shopping this post, you help feed my Netflix binges, my Amazon shopping habits and my new found need for everything hedgehog. Everything you buy is the same price as if you found it yourself. Questions? Just ask!
We’ve been proud hedgehog owners for three weeks now. Yes, only three weeks and here I am, writing an “essentials” list! Craziness, right? Maybe or maybe not. Bringing a hedgehog into our family wasn’t a decision made quickly or lightly. Tons and tons of research went into our decision (ok, my husband would say this was my decision) to bring home a hedgie.
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First, hedgehogs are climbers and this is important to take into consideration when buying a habitat. One thing I learned in my research is that many people don’t buy traditional pet habitats at all, but actually use Sterilite totes! Hedgies need a lot of floor space (as compared to similar sized pets), so you can’t just grab any old tote. You want something large, like the tote below. In this particular case, you can get a much better deal on a tote at Walmart, Target or Meijer than on Amazon. And your tote needs to be clear, not colored, so your hedgehog can see outside of his space.
Hedgehogs are very temperature sensitive, so it is extremely important to have a good heat set up. Hedgies need a maintained temperature of 72-80 degrees. A heat set up should consist of a reflector dome, a ceramic heat emitter bulb (CHE), a thermostat, and a thermometer. The CHE bulb and dome create the heat, the thermostat controls when the heat is on and the thermometer allows you to monitor the temperature. A cold hedgie could attempt hibernation, which can be fatal.
Poop Boots. It’s a phrase hedgehog owners are familiar with. Our little guys/gals tend to get messy from time to time, and you need a super soft brush for cleaning. A toothbrush fits the bill perfectly.
Depending on your hedgie’s preferences, you’ll either need 1 bowl (food) and a water bottle or two bowls (food and water). We tried a bottle with my guy, but he wasn’t having it. He prefers the refreshing ability to dip his toes in while he drinks. Whatever makes you happy, little guy!
Changes in weight are important indicators of health, and hedgies are weighed in grams. Most people (at least in the US) don’t have a gram scale just lying around. This model is easy to use and inexpensive.
There are tons of options for “hides” out there, and no matter which hide you choose, it is important to give your hedgie somewhere to escape to. I like this one because it’s plastic (read: can be easily cleaned) and it’s inexpensive.
Snuggle sacks are great for shorter trips, but when you’re going to be in the car for a while or you’re traveling solo, a pet carrier is a must! I love this one because it doesn’t allow for climbing like the kind with side/front swing doors and the clear door on the top allows me to peek in at my little guy without disturbing him.
Lots of hedgie owners let their little potatoes run around the house, uncontained. However, we have cats and that makes free-ranging a bad idea. We grab this super inexpensive playpen for floor time in the living room and outside in the yard. It lets Louie have a little freedom, but keeps him contained too.
Last, but not least, you need a wheel. I’m not recommending a wheel yet, as I am still deciding how I feel about the wheel I purchased. What I can say is that a smooth wheel is best and you should thoroughly research wheels, including appropriate size, before buying one. A wheel is a super important purchase, as most hedgehogs run several miles per night.
If you thought the most expensive part of getting a hedgehog would be paying for the hedgehog…surprise! That being said, it’s all worth it! My spikey little lap cactus brightens my mood every evening. We even fall asleep on the couch together sometimes. I’ll have more on Louie, other hedgehog related topics (like fleece bedding patterns), and hedgie themed shopping soon.
If you’re a hedgie owner and think of something you think I should add to the list, let me know. In the meantime, I’ll be over here… snuggling with my cactus.