Bathing Your Hedgehog

Total Guide To Bathing Your Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are known to be clean pets. Still, there will be times when they really need a batch. For many owners, this might seem like a big challenge at first. In this article, we’ll go over all the questions regarding hedgehogs’ bathtime. After reading this post, you’ll know when and how to bathe your hedgehogs. Also, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how to keep their bathtime as safe as possible.

How do I bathe my hedgehog?

Start by putting a non-slip bath mat on the bottom of a sink or tub. Use a comfortable water temperature. What works for babies, works for hedgehogs too! Keep the water level under three inches. Then go through all the practical steps laid out below in this article. Don’t forget that bathtime is a perfect moment for trimming the nails as well. Your hedgehog might love or hate bathing, but one thing is for sure: using common sense and all the cautionary steps described in this blog post makes bath time a safe activity for your hedgie.

How often should I bathe my hedgehog?

Unfortunately, there’s no golden rule when it comes to your hedgehog’s bathing schedule. The particular frequency depends on how quickly they manage to get dirty. However, it’s advised not to organize the bath time more than once a month. Hedgehogs’ skin is prone to dryness. When you bathe them too often, skin can get so dry it causes discomfort and medical issues. One of the ways to ensure that your hedgie gets less dirty is to clean the cage on a regular basis. Stepping into their own poo is a typical way to become really dirty in a short period of time.

What if my hedgehog gets too dirty very often?

Definitely try to figure out the reason for this. Maybe there’s something in the cage’s layout that’s making your hedgehog easily get dirty. Still, if you need to temporarily bathe your hedgie more often than once a month, then consider using oatmeal shampoo. Of course, the oatmeal shampoo needs to be created specifically for pets. The oatmeal extract is the best option for your hedgehog because it provides extra moisture and is generally soothing for the skin. Even using oatmeal shampoo means that you shouldn’t go overboard with the bathing frequency, though.

What kind of shampoos can I use for my hedgehog?

As we mentioned, oatmeal pet shampoos are a great choice because these products are moisturizing and gentle on the skin. Still, there are more options available. You may go for the tearless baby shampoo. Your hedgehog’s skin is very gentle and these baby products have been designed keeping a baby’s sensitive skin in mind. As a third option, you may go for the general pet shampoo. In any case, many vets recommend using only warm water for washing your hedgehog. They claim that any shampoo could have an irritating and drying effect on the hedgehog’s skin.

What are the practical steps of hedgehog bathing?

In the following paragraphs, we’ll go over all the necessary steps you need to take in order to bathe your hedgehog.

Step 1

First of all, you should start by setting up the area for bathing. You don’t want to discover that you forgot something important when your hedgehog is already in the tub. Hedgehogs tend to slip when standing in a sink or tub. That’s why you should put a bath mat with a non-slip cover on the bottom. Some hedgehog bathing guides recommend using a baking mat made from silicone. However, you should keep in mind that some of these might be difficult to keep free of all the bacteria and accumulated dirt.

Step 2

Make sure that the water temperature is comfortable for your hedgie. It shouldn’t be too hot nor too cold. Warm water that works for babies works just fine for the hedgehogs. The tub or sink should have a water level that doesn’t exceed three inches. Keeping the water level is very important because you don’t want your hedgie getting submerged in the sink. They should be able to easily stand in the water.

Step 3

When you’re on a mission to get your hedgehog all cleaned up, it pays to have all your supplies laid out before the actual bathing time. Since your spiky friend might start to fidget or squirm, you are better off having all your attention concentrated on your pet. The supplies depend on what kind of a bath routine you’ll have. Still, you should definitely have the softest toothbrush, comfortable nail clippers, tearless shampoo for babies, and a smooth towel ready for the action.

Step 4

Gently place your hedgehog in the sink or tub. Start by taking a little shampoo in your hand and rub until it’s all lathered up. Apply the lather on the hedgie’s legs, underside, and back. Definitely keep any shampoo from reaching the hedgehog’s face, especially the eyes. Be extra careful when working the quills as these might be dangerous to yourself. After covering the hedgehog with shampoo foam, use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub their feet and quills. Take it slowly. Acting too fast might make your hedgehog nervous. Brush in the growth direction of the spines, never against it. Make sure to keep the shampoo from reaching your hedgie’s face even while doing the actual scrubbing.

Step 5

Now it’s time to rinse off your spiny buddy. Use a cup of warm water to pour over the hedgehog. Repeat this until the draining water looks clean. Take extra care to ensure that no shampoo is left to linger in their fur. This exposure could easily cause skin irritation. The next step is to dry your hedgehog using a towel. Take her out of the water and carefully go over your hedgehog’s body with the towel. Proceed to dry until both the fur and quills are dry. Ideally, the towel is warmed up before drying. For example, if you have any extra hands around, just ask them to use a hair dryer for the warming.

What else can I do during the bathtime?

Many owners use the bathtime to cover other necessities as well. Bathtime is a great moment to check your hedgie’s feet. The tiny legs are notorious for acquiring loose hair and threads that have wrapped around the skin. Not taking care of this problem may result in serious injuries. Additionally, it’s much easier to clip your hedgie’s toenails straight after having a bath.

Do note that you should only conduct the manicure if the nails have grown long enough. Trimming the nails is essential. Otherwise, your hedgie could easily get the nails stuck on the running wheel. These accidents may end up with the hedgehog pulling one or more of her nails out. For the trimming, please use the smallest nail clippers or well-maintained manicure scissors. Also, it’s important only to cut the nail ends. Cutting too close to the nail beds may end up in bleeding. The best way to ensure safety during nail trimming is to avoid cutting into the darker part of the nail. You are able to clearly see the color distinction when looking at the nails closely.

Can I just use a hairdryer after washing?

Most hedgehog owners don’t use a hairdryer, but some do. The latter start using the hairdryer from a very early age. Doing this allows the hedgehog to get used to the sensations. Using the hairdryer out of the blue may easily startle your hedgehog enough to make her scared and stressed out. Furthermore, using a hairdryer on your hedgehog is nothing like drying your hair. You need to keep a long distance and use as low temperature as possible. And this has to be done after towel-drying. It’s just an extra step to take for getting all the excess moisture out. Keep an eye out for designated pet dryers that have lower noise and heat levels.

I’ll just take my hedgie outside after bathing. Is that OK?

Definitely not! At first, taking your hedgehog outside to air-dry seems like a nice idea. Especially, when the sun is shining and the weather feels warm. Hedgehogs are really sensitive to temperatures and even seemingly slight fluctuations in the ambient temperature. When your hedgie’s wet, any gust of wind or other atmospheric irregularity will feel much more intense. They can catch a cold very easily. That’s why you should never take your hedgehog outside after bathing even when the weather seems really nice.

Will my hedgehog enjoy the bath time?

This really depends on the particular hedgehog’s personality. Some of them absolutely love the bathing time as they happily splash around in the water. Others might not be so inclined to spend the time in the water or they might downright hate it. That said, just the fact that your hedgehog doesn’t like bathing won’t mean it’s unnecessary. Unlike some other animals, hedgehogs aren’t that big on self-grooming. When they get dirty, you just can’t wait until they react and it will ‘naturally’ get better. It won’t.

Is there any danger in bathing your hedgehog?

Some hedgehog owners claim that bathing your hedgie is dangerous. Actually, if you do all the things in the right way and have properly prepared for the procedure, you won’t experience any hazards. The fear of risks regarding hedgehog bathing results from hearing about bad experiences. In most cases, these situations gone wrong are grounded in negligence of the basic safety rules. For example, the water in the sink or tub needs to be under three inches. Otherwise, there’s a great chance of submerging, inhaling some of the bathing water, and drowning. And when it comes to irritations, then it’s just very important to use appropriate shampoos and care products. It’s always possible to use no products at all, relying just on warm water to do the job.

What if I have many hedgehogs?

Not all hedgehog owners have only one spiky friend. If you have multiple hedgehogs, then please don’t wash them all at once. It’s essential to wash each hedgie separately. The reason for this is simple. When you have many hedgehogs in the tub or sink, they could start causing trouble. Biting, climbing, and generally rambling around can get more dangerous when there’s water and potentially slippery surfaces involved. Your best bet is to organize individual bath times. Most owners with many hedgehogs prefer to wash hedgies in a row. In this way, you won’t have to start organizing things from scratch on separate days.

The bottom line: what’s the hedgehog bathing ABC?

Always follow the basic steps necessary to bathe your hedgehog in a safe way. These are outlined in the first part of this article. Keep in mind that hedgehogs don’t clean themselves like some other pets. Hence, you need to take care of it on a regular basis. It’s not good to bathe your hedgehog too often. Frequent bathing dries the hedgehog’s skin that’s already prone to giving away too much moisture. Whether your hedgehog enjoys the bathtime depends entirely on their personality and other variables. Following proper caring instructions ensures that you have done everything in your power to make the whole process as smooth as possible. And finally, you are able to use the bathtime to trim your hedgie’s nails and check whether something is stuck to their feet.