Finding the Best Bedding and Substrate for Hedgehogs
There are animal lovers who prefer to adopt bigger animals. Perhaps it makes them feel a lot more to have a big sidekick to join them in their daily activities. There are also those who prefer smaller animals to keep as their pets. You might have seen some animal lovers adopting tiny crustaceans, unusual ball pythons, even the spiny hedgehog. If your one of those who has fallen in love with this prickly yet interesting, small creature, you need to understand everything that will make your future pet’s life a lot comfortable, including the best bedding for hedgehogs.
As always, pets will be healthier if they have a proper environment where they can do what they habitually do. It should be a place that mimics their natural habitat and offers a space where their safety is protected while they are kept comfortable and satisfied.
Things to Know about Hedgehogs for Beginners
If this is your first time to have a hedgehog, you’ll be glad to know some interesting facts about these small wonders.
Hedgehogs are naturally found in England, Europe, Africa, and Asia. They are insectivores. Though they love to eat insects, they can exist on other food sources such as lizards, snakes, birds’ eggs, fish, carrion, mushrooms, snails, amphibians, even on grassroots, vegetables, and fruits. Domesticated ones mostly consume pelleted formulas, as well as on either dried or live mealworms, crickets, earthworms, wax worms available in the market today.
A hedgehog is not a porcupine. Although both have quills, those on the back of a hedgehog are smooth and not sharp and dangerous as that of a porcupine.
Unlike other small animals, hedgehogs don’t have much odor.
Older hedgehogs weigh around 350 to 450 grams. Healthier ones weigh between 220 and 1,000 grams.
Their average lifespan is from 4-6 years.
Housing for Your Hedgehog
If after considering some of the unusual traits of a hedgehog, which includes being noisy (they squeal and snort a lot), camouflaging its scent with another scent by forming spitballs, rolling in when threatened, and being active most of the time, you decide to get one to have as a pet, you’ll need to be ready with a cage made just for your new pet.
Hedgehogs need a clean home to live in. It should be made with smooth walls since your pet likes to climb a lot. There should also be enough space inside the cage to allow your pet to go about without feeling restricted. It should also be well-ventilated, secure, and should have all the essentials for a comfortable and happy living, such as food and water containers, toys, treats, litter box with natural litter, a hide box, and the appropriate bedding and best substrate for hedgehogs.
Choosing the Bedding for Your Hedgehog
Not all bedding will be appropriate for your hedgehog, even for any pet. Some can cause allergies to your pet, so if you notice rashes or any skin irritation, but there is no trace of bugs or mites inside your pet’s cage, perhaps it is its bedding that is causing the allergies.
Some beddings may camouflage the color of your pet’s poop. You’ll have to make sure then that your pet’s health is monitored regularly to make sure that it remains healthy.
Hedgehogs also love to have a taste-test of their beddings. A small sample won’t do any harm, but if you notice that your pet is having more than just to suffice its curiosity, you should worry about your pet getting an impaction. If it won’t stop chewing on the new bedding, you may just have to change it right away.
When choosing material for your pet’s enclosure, opt for one that is non-toxic, has or attracts little dust, absorbent, and several inches deep. You may opt for an Aspen Bedding, pelleted paper, or shredded newspaper. If you prepared a housing with wire floors, you will need to place a clean carpet on the wire floors or a vinyl underneath the bedding material. Remove any loose strings on the carpet as your hedgehog may just want to have a taste of it. It may also get your pet’s limb twisted around it, so you’ll need to make sure that it is already removed.
You’ll have to make sure that your hedgehog’s bedding stays dry and clean, hence changing it frequently will be necessary. Keep your pet happy and comfortable with the best bedding and substrate for your hedgehog.