Hedgehogs are a popular pet yet not many people are aware of how to handle them. These tiny little cute creatures are too hard to resist and anyone would want to hold them in their palms. But the question is, should you?
The truth is that hedgehogs take their sweet time to adjust to a new owner. Like any other pet, it takes them a little while to get used to changes in their environment. Therefore, holding them on the very first day can be a bad choice.
Let’s find out more about the right time to hold a hedgehog and the right way of doing so.
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Do Hedgehogs Like to Be Held?
Yes, hedgehogs enjoy being held in the palm of the hand. It makes them feel secure and also helps them build a connection with their owner. In fact, holding the pet is an excellent way of strengthening your bond with your pet hedgehog. This is just the building, once the bond builds, your pet will be comfortable around you and may even sit in your lap and play with you.
However, you need to be cautious about how you move with things. Hastening the process and forcibly holding the pet can force the animal to curl up into a ball, letting out all of its spikes. This can lead to injuries.
Here’s all that you need to know about holding hedgehogs.
When Not To Hold Your Hedgehog?
One of the most common mistakes hedgehog owners make is trying to hold their pet the very moment they bring them from a store.
Hedgehogs are sensitive. They have a natural defense system. They have a strong sense of smell and touch with which they identify an enemy.
As odd as it may sound, you’re an enemy in their eye unless they get used to you. Therefore, it is not wise to touch them at that point. It might scare them and make them ferocious.
It is in your best interest to let the pet remain in the cage for a few days until it becomes accustomed to the new environment and makes a bond with you.
When To Hold A Hedgehog
It takes about a week for a hedgehog to begin to recognize you as the owner. However, this largely depends on how much time you spend with the pet. Win the pet’s trust first. Don’t expect your pet to be friendly all of a sudden if you have spent no time building your connection with the animal.
How To Become Friendly With A Hedgehog To Hold the Animal
Becoming friends with a hedgehog will require you to get to work from the first day. Sit next to the animal and give him food.
Hedgehogs have a strong sense of smell. They’ll begin to recognize you eventually.
It’s important to build a routine and to repeat actions, i.e: feeding the animal every day at a specific time. Eventually, the two of you will get comfortable with each other.
The pet may even make grunting noises in the beginning as you try to get closer. This is their way of showing insecurity and fear. However, eventually, the noises will reduce indicating comfort.
The Right Way Of Holding A Hedgehog
- Bring your hands closer to your hedgehog so that it could sniff it. This is their way of recognizing a familiar person. Do not get scared. You need to be confident as well. The animal will not bite you.
- Gently place your palms at the sides and cup them in your hands. If you’re doing it for the first time, wrap a warm towel around your hand to protect your hand and make the pet feel comfortable.
- Control your fingers and ensure they do not touch their belly. It can make them angry and uncomfortable.
What To Do If The Hedgehog Points Its Spikes When You Hold It?
Be careful and quickly place the pet on your forearm, away from your face. Now, bribe the animal. This may sound odd but bribe works with hedgehogs. A good option is to use mealworms. Hedgehogs love them and they’re easy to hold.
They’ll distract the pet and cool down the animal.
Holding a Hedgehog: Some Useful Tips
- Do not hold the hedgehog from the top.
- Use a warm thick towel to hold a hedgehog if it acts stubborn and prevents you from holding it. However, don’t force yourself on to the pet.
- Do not wear gloves when holding or feeding the animal.
- Stay confident and do not shake or try to rub the animal right away.