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Hedgehogs are cute little pets that require very little maintenance compared to other pets. They are nocturnal creatures, known to sleep during the day and get active as night falls. You may find some hedgehogs out in the day but it’s a rarity.
Hedgehogs like to stay neat and clean and are known to enjoy baths. Therefore, bathing a hedgehog should you be one of your top priorities. It will keep them healthy and ward off potent diseases by eliminating mites and bacteria that attack their skin.
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How Frequently Does A Hedgehog Need To Bathe?
A hedgehog only requires one bath a month. This is because they do not smell as bad as other pets. This is due to the less amount of ammonia present in their urine and feces.
This gas is responsible for the unpleasant stench that comes from the waste material.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean off the waste they leave behind. It is important to get rid of the mess to ensure the animal remains healthy and clean.
Things To Know Before Giving A Bath To A Hedgehog
You cannot give a bath to your hedgehog as soon as you bring it home. They are sensitive and may get scared due to a new environment. This is why it is important to give them time to be comfortable and ready.
One of the most important things to know about hedgehogs before giving them a bath is that they are scared of human touch and smell.
You cannot expect to hold the animal in your hands unless you two develop a bond.
Here are a few things you can do to make them bath-ready:
- A hedgehog will get scared and curl up in a ball, pointing its quills out if you forcibly try to hold it. Therefore, learn to hold the animal first:
- Start by wearing gloves. It will protect your hands from getting poked when you try to hold your pet. However, this practice should only last for a few days as it is for your safety.
- It is okay to remove the gloves when you notice that your hedgehog isn’t scared of your touch anymore. This is important to strengthen your bond with the pet.
Hedgehogs have weak eyesight. They do not recognize things or people simply by looking at them. Instead, they use their sense of smell to identify people and things around them.
This is why it is important to let the animal understand and get used to your smell.
- Be very patient as it can take about a month for your hedgehog to be comfortable with you. Once your hedgehog begins to smell you, you can also keep it in your lap.
Things You Need To Give Hedgehog A Bath
Here’s a list of things that you will need to give your hedgehog a cozy and safe bath:
- Warm Water: Do not use cold water to give a bath to a hedgehog because they are sensitive to cold. Use mild warm water instead. You can put the hedgehog in a tub of warm water for a minute to see if it likes the temperature or not.
You can also check the water on your own. If it’s too hot for you then it’s too hot for your pet as well.
- Soap Options: You may be able to find hedgehog shampoos out there, but if that’s not possible you may choose other reliable products including:
- Baby Shampoo: Hedgehog skin is as sensitive as the skin of a baby. Therefore, you cannot use conventional shampoo or soap to clean them.
Hence, it is best to use a tear-free baby shampoo to ensure the hedgehog does not feel uncomfortable.
- Pet Shampoo: If baby shampoo is not available, you can use pet shampoo for sensitive skin. Since hedgehog shampoo is not very common, you may opt for cat or dog shampoo as well. Just make sure it is not very rich in chemicals.
- Oatmeal Shampoo: Oatmeal shampoo contains oat extracts, which can be beneficial for hedgehogs. Regular use of oatmeal shampoo can moisturize the skin, soothe it, and make it look fresh.
You can choose from a variety of options when it comes to oatmeal shampoos. Some of the most common products includeJohn Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo, Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo.
- Tub Or Sink: Arrange a small tub to give a bath to the hedgehog. It doesn’t need to be a large tub, a small one will suffice.
If a tub is not available, you may also give the pet a bath in the sink. However, make sure to use a clean sink.
Place a non-slippery mat inside the tub or sink to ensure the animal remains in its place and does not slip. They have a slippery skin and would face a hard time standing when you apply soap or shampoo on their skin.
Make sure to disinfect the tub/sink so that no bacteria or microorganism is left behind once you are done bathing the animal.
Note: Fill the tub with no more than 2-4 inches of water and only about an inch when using a sink.
Toothbrush: Pick a toothbrush that has soft bristles to rub the quills of the pet.
Steps To Give Hedgehog A Bath
- Take a dime size of shampoo and apply onto the hedgehog’s skin very gently. Be very careful with their pointy quills as they could poke and hurt you. Create a lather and rub it on their belly, underside, back, and legs. Do not let the shampoo get into their eyes as it might irritate them.
- You also have the option to add the shampoo in water and use this soapy water to give a bath to your pet.
- Pick a toothbrush and start rubbing the skin and quills of your pet. Make sure to not apply a lot of pressure. Always scrub their quills in the direction of the quills to ensure they sustain no damage.
- Take a cup and fill it with warm water. Start pouring it on your hedgehog’s back. Repeat until the soap and lather disappear. Do not pour water on its face.
- If you feel that your hedgehog’s skin is still dry, pour one tablespoon of olive oil or flaxseed oil into the water and mix it. Now give a bath to your pet with this mixture.
- You must make sure to leave no trace of shampoo or soap on their skin as it may trigger a reaction.
- When done, wrap the pet in a towel and dry their skin slowly. It can be a bit time consuming as it can take a while for the quills to dry. It may be a good option to keep the animal under a light bulb to ensure it does not get cold.
Can Hedgehogs Bath On Their Own?
Hedgehogs are known to take a dip on their own but that may not be enough, hence it is important to give the pet a bath as suggested.
Do Hedgehogs Love To Take A Bath?
They do. Hedgehogs are playful little creatures and they love to have fun. However, make sure not to give them too many baths as it may dry their skin and cause them to fall sick.
Once a month is okay but you may also consider giving the animal a bath if it looks dirty.
How to Give Hedgehog a Bath:The Bottomline
Bathing is important as it does not only clean the pet but also kills bacteria and ensures it remains safe and healthy.