My experience owning a African Pygmy hedgehog.

After years of talking James Into it he finally allowed me to get one. After finding a breeder willing to drive to me from a hour away for extra tenner we got our little guy milo. I named him and we got him a few weeks after he was ready to leave so was still a baby. He was a pedigree and sent us his birth certificate (which traced his great great grandparents) alongside some food and bits we might need. We had already gotten him a large cage, heat mat and washable carpet fo protect his little feet and keep the warmth and cut up blankets for him to snuggle in. (Yes adorable)

It took him a while to get used to us and would be very scared around us and Puff into a ball but with some guidance from the breeders we learnt if we tickled his spine gently he would enjoy a massage and sometimes even lick us. Some hedgehogs love to be held but milo didn’t do so we just let him really do his own little thing and handle him with oven gloves till he was comfortable with us.

We brought him cat toys which he loved playing with he’d play noseball pushing a bell ball around and enjoyed play fighting with little toys on a string. He also loved to chew and play with empty toilet rolls. His favourite thing however was his wheel he would run all night long!

He ate dried cat food and ate chicken as a treat which he absolutely loved and would eat so fast. Bathing him was a bit of a task! Despite videos online hedgehogs do not like water and should never be on their back in water and the water should never be too deep they breath water in their noses or they sneeze constantly and could get ill. Also they have to keep warm so baths need to be warm and dried quickly! We started bathing him in our bath but it was to slippery for him so we brought another washing up bowl just for him and bathed him with a toothbrush and baby was to get gently under his bristles and to get his feet we also once a month had to trim his toenails which he hated but needed doing.

Despite him being a part of the family he was very difficult to look after (we also had a hamster to look after too). He would need constant spot cleans of his cage and he would need cleaning every other day as he would stink as his wee and enormous pops would smell horrid. (His cage was disgusting to clean every time as his poo was awful Constance’s and would go hard especially on his wheel).We where constantly having to shake of his mats and blankets for poo then clean them and dry them quickly ready for next day to be changed! He would constantly tip over his water bowl so had to replace it constantly incase he didn’t get enough to drink. He was also quite grumpy so cuddling wasn’t his thing which is cool but hard when your working so hard to look after him!

When I fell pregnant I couldn’t get down on floor to clean him out and he’d always escape his playpen and hedgehogs run bloody fast so my husband had to take over which became tiring and when our baby was born we had to get family to look after him while we where in special care. When our son was a few months old we decided to Rehome him because of the amount of cleaning and care and little attention he was getting because of the baby!

So we decided to go with a friend who I got to prove her knowledge on hedgehogs before he went to her. She still sends me photos now and it’s very cute he is happy and loved. I felt so sad when he left us but it was for the best for all of us. Would I get a hedgehog again? In short no. Although I loved him they are so much work and while it was ok when I didn’t have a child and wash to do having a child and a hedgehog just won’t do and whenever children came to look at him he wasn’t very happy too see him so I decided that he probably wouldn’t like my son when he was interested in him either. Also the electric bill and cleaning products we used to clean him out expense is quite high too and our hamster was so much easier to care for. I’d say this pet is suited for people with children 5 and above!

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