A lot of potential hedgehog owners need to understand what they need to make the right decisions. Questions related to this have been asked to me dozens of times. Hence, after researching a lot, I am writing this guide to grasp this topic myself and help viewers like you.
So, Where to adopt a hedgehog?
You can adopt a hedgehog from various places – exotic pet stores, big pet stores like Petland, and private breeders. They are also individual sellers selling them at sites like Craigslist and Kijiji.
In short, you can get a hedgehog from:
- Pet stores
- Pet breeders
- Petland (Canada)
- Classified sites
- Exotic rescue centers
Besides that, there is a lot to know before taking your drive and visiting the breeder nearby. Not understanding things can lead to bad decisions, and who wants that? So, keep reading on.
Is it legal to own a hedgehog?
Hedgehogs are not legal everywhere. States like California, Pennsylvania, and others do not allow a hedgehog to be owned. At the same time, other states like New Jersey require a permit for you to legally own a hedgie.
List of states that do not allow hedgehogs:
- The Five Boroughs of New York City
List of states that need a permit/permits to keep hedgehogs:
- New Jersey
Can you keep a hedgehog even if it is not allowed in your state?
Likely, you can. I am not advising you to break any law, but hypothetically it is possible, and lots of Californians keep hedgehogs. The exotic vets would also likely treat them without any problems. Unless you are advertising too much, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Are hedgehogs allowed everywhere?
Besides the usual state laws and federal laws, major societies and apartment owners can make their own laws. Dorms and colleges also have strict laws against exotic pets. We will discuss them in the next few sentences.
Are hedgehogs allowed in apartments?
To allow or not to allow residents to have hedgehogs is a decision made by the apartment owner. Most apartments do not have problems with hedgehogs as long as they do not disturb other residents. Many apartment owners can have a problem with them as they are not familiar with them like cats or dogs.
You can suggest to them that these are harmless pets and are kept only in their cages. That should satisfy their needs. Still, if they do not allow the hedgie to remain, you can hide them in your purse or the wardrobe cabinet until the inspection is over.
We do not support hiding hedgehogs from apartment owners as things could get troublesome if they found out. Better to discuss terms before renting a new apartment.
Are hedgehogs allowed in dorms/colleges?
Most of the dormitories and colleges do not allow pets except small fish. So, hedgehogs are not likely allowed in colleges.
In case you still keep a hedgehog, you could be fined or even served a notice for the pet’s expulsion.
You have two choices here – 1) either you can buy an apartment nearby and keep the hedgie there or 2) leave him with your parents or relatives while you finish your studies.
Now, let’s talk about the perspective choices. Is there only one type of hedgehog?
Best hedgehog breeds for pets
There are many hedgehog species, including African pygmies, Europeans, and long-eared Asians, but only African pygmy hedgehogs are allowed in the states. If you live in a country that is not the United States (like Canada/Australia/United Kingdom), check with your local laws on owning one.
You may find breeders advertising their hedgehogs with different names like albinos, but they are merely colors of the African pygmy and not different breeds. They will also be likely to be costlier than the general ones.
How much do hedgehogs cost
The cost of a hedgehog can vary a lot. The prices can go anywhere from $75 to $300. If you live in a remote place and the breeder is not nearby or is the only breeder in town, the costs could go up.
The costs are similar in Canada, where they can range from $100 to $250.
How much do baby hedgehogs cost
Baby hedgehogs can cost anywhere between $ 80 to $ 160 depending on the location. The cost can also depend on their looks, conditions, and pedigree (their lineage).
How much do hedgehogs cost at Petco
Petco does not sell hedgehogs, so there are no costs available for them. Many big brands consider hedgehogs to be nonconventional pets, and therefore, they avoid selling them.
Petco does supply hedgehog supplies, though. They also ship for free.
How much do hedgehogs cost at Petsmart
As with Petco, PetSmart also does not sell hedgehogs. They do sell supplies for them, though, including cages, toys, and food.
How much do hedgehogs cost at Petland
Petland is known for selling hedgehogs in canada.
A hedgehog at a Petland outlet can cost anywhere between $ 100-$ 200. Petland acquires their pets from private breeders, and if you follow the steps written in this article, you shouldn’t be having a problem buying with them.
You shouldn’t purchase other items from Petland like wheels etc. They are of low quality.
How much do hedgehogs cost at pet stores
Hedgehogs available at exotic pet stores can cost anywhere between $ 80 to $ 150. Females would usually cost more as they can breed and provide offspring.
How much do hedgehogs cost at private breeders
Hedgehog prices at private breeders can vary a lot. It could go as low as $ 100 to as high as $ 350. Some private breeders also provide initial accessories with them.
Can you get a hedgehog for free?
Sometimes, you can get hedgehogs for free on classified sites like craigslist/Kijiji.
But, there are strings attached to everything that’s free.
In some cases, the hedgies are battered/not cared for properly and they remain in trauma for long. Such hedgehogs will not suit any new owner as they will take years to bond with.
The hedgehog might also be given away due to some serious disease.
In other cases, the seller might be baiting you and might disclose his “re-homing” fee when you visit the place.
Still, there are gems in these and if you are careful, you can get yourself a nice new friend with accessories for free.
Be careful and who knows, you might get lucky like this fellow?
Anyways, let’s get back to the traditional places.
Best place to buy a hedgehog
The best place to buy hedgehog would be from private breeders. Private breeders know a lot about hedgehogs compared to exotic pet stores.
They also take care of hedgehogs much better, so you would likely get fewer problems after acquiring the hedgie.
However, pet stores are not always bad. You have to pick and choose between them. If a private breeder is available in your area with a reliable reputation and provides hedgehogs at affordable prices, go with them first.
To check out the complete list of hedgehog breeders near you, visit this page.
After buying a hedgehog, you need the accessories, and the initial costs can range from $ 300 to $ 450.
- You would need a cage – $ 140-$160. I recommend the Ferret nation cage. You can check it out here.
- Dishes for eating and water: $10-$12 each
- Running wheel: $40-$60
- Heating lamp, bulb, and space heater: $60-$80
- Litter box: Use an Amazon box. So, free!
- Fleece liner bedding: $12-$20
- Transportation carrier (optional) $35-$55
- Food (Mixture of top cat kibbles): $100 for 1 to 1.5 years
- Total: $400 to $500 Approx.
Besides the initial, there are monthly costs.
The monthly costs of owning a hedgehog can vary from $ 60-$ 80. There are other bills, like vet visits, emergency issues. But, we haven’t included them right here because it is for a basic monthly cost idea.
- Food: $15-$25. It would last you for 2 to 3 months.
- Worms/Mealworms: $5-10
- Shampoo: $5 to $7
- A brush: Free or $1
- Bedding: $15. It should last you for 2 to 3 months.
- Laundry – $10 to $15
- Heating costs: $20 more to your current electricity bill.
There are also regular vet visits and emergency visits.
How much do hedgehog vet bills cost?
A general visit to a vet would cost you anywhere between $ 30-$ 65 depending on your vet and area they serve. Besides that, if you have additional requests, then the costs can go a lot higher.
These are not common for all hedgehogs, and you don’t have to do them all the time.
- General Appointment: $30-$65
- Mite treatment (Revolution): $12-$15
- X-ray Examination: $100-$130
- Blood work: $75-$100
- Skin treatment (scrapping): $25-$35
- Blood Work (Basic) : $75 to $100
- Blood Work (Advanced) : $115- $150
- Nail clipping: $10-$15
- Antibiotics : $12-$35
- Anesthesia : $35-$60
Keep $500 away as a deposit for each hedgehog as they could have emergency issues.
How to choose a hedgehog
Choosing a hedgehog is a complicated process. First, you need to find a good breeder, and then you have to select your hedgehog. So, first, let’s start by talking about the breeder.
How to choose a good breeder for your hedgehog
There are lots of tidbits that must be known before going to the breeder. If you don’t understand these, anyone could hand you anything. Hence, be prepared to ask questions. You will invest a lot of money and time, and thus getting this right one is important.
Things to remember about good breeders
- A good breeder would have lots of experience. Buying from anyone is not a good idea. So make sure the breeder has at least 3 to 5 years of experience in this field.
- Make sure that they have a record of the complete lineage (pedigree). This would help you understand whether any hedgehog in the paternal, maternal families have diseases like WHS. This is highly important as some breeders would not give you a lifetime guarantee on WHS.
- A good breeder would have a nice enough website, don’t expect too much from the site, but a website that lists details about the hog/hoglet would be an excellent indicator of authenticity.
- Ask questions like what they are providing their hedgehogs, at what age are they allowing them to mate, and how many times do the females mate in a year. If they are producing many babies from a single hedgehog mother (more than 2/3 times per year), the female could get really stressed out. In case they provide low-quality kibble or allow mating of young hedgies (anywhere close to 8 weeks), all of these sign points to a non-reliable breeder.
- If many people want to buy from them and they have a waiting list, that’s a good sign.
- If they are marking-up their products slightly, that’s no big deal, but if they are charging 100 to 200% over similar products in pet stores/Petco, then they are not likely a good dealer to work with.
- Ask them about the age that you should bring the hedgie home. If they say anything earlier than six weeks, then they should be avoided.
How to pick your hedgehog
Once you’ve selected the breeder, it’s time to choose the hedgie.
- Make sure the hedgehog doesn’t have snot coming out of his nose. His nose should be clean and moist.
- The eyes should be clear and completely open.
- He/she should have no drainage coming out of ears.
- The hedgehog should be taking normal breaths.
- Their skin should not be dry and flaky.
- A female should not have been housed with a lot of males. If that is the case, the female would likely be pregnant, which could be a problem for you.
- Make sure the hedgie is eating and pooping correctly. Whatever they eat should come out and represent the color of the eaten food. If the party is to green or of your colors, that’s a bad sign.