Petting a hedgehog may not be as easy because, unlike other pets, hedgehogs do not like to be petted. You must begin by earning the hedgehog’s trust so that it can be comfortable with you and thus enjoy your touch. If this does not happen, it will view you as an intruder, and thus your touch will be potential harm.
In this article, I will guide you on how best you can pet your hedgehog.
Are Hedgehogs Good Pets?
Many people are confused about whether hedgehogs make suitable pets or not due to their uniqueness.
Some people think they’re demanding and high-maintenance, while others think they’re wonderful cuddling balls that require no work at all to nurture.
The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle. You’re in for a surprise if you believe they’re completely hands-off, but it’s not much more work than keeping a dog (you just spend your time on different things.)
So, are hedgehogs suitable as pets? Absolutely!
Hedgehogs as pets may flourish and be a lot of fun if you know what they require and provide it. Any tamed animal is in the same boat.
However, this does not imply that they are suitable pets for everyone. There are a number of lifestyle elements that may or may not work with your schedule, and you should be aware of them before coming to any conclusion.
What are The Basics of Petting a Hedgehog?
Despite the fact that hedgehogs are “pets,” they may not always love being petted. You must first gain your hedgehog’s trust so that it may relax and appreciate your touch rather than fearing it as a source of danger.
Once your hedgehog is calm and exploring in your hands, you may begin to attempt to pet him.
When your hedgehog pulls its “visor” down over its eyes, it’s an indication that it isn’t completely comfortable with you yet, or that it doesn’t like what you’re doing.
Relax and allow your hedgehog time to relax when he or she huffs or puffs. Don’t try to pet it any longer.
If you continue to pet the hedgehog when it isn’t ready, you are essentially teaching the hedgehog to huff and puff in your hands. Allow it to explore in your hands for a longer period so that it becomes more at ease with you.
Pet your hedgehog whenever you have it in your hand. Never reach inside your hedgehog’s cage to pet him until he is entirely comfortable with you.
How To Pet Your Hedgehog
Like any other animal, Hedgehogs should be petted from front to back. Hedgehogs respond considerably more swiftly to petting if they can see, smell, and feel your hand.
Approaching your hedgehog from the front and below eye level is crucial. The most common mistake with hedgehogs is that most people approach them from behind.
It’s also necessary to employ firm, deliberate strokes across the tops of the spines rather than slight pressure. The light pressure method is comparable to a tickle, while the firmer petting is comparable to a massage.
You will relax when your back is massaged, but when someone runs a single finger down your spine, you tighten up and get goosebumps.
Tips On Handling Your Hedgehog
Hedgehogs can smell you and recognize you. Gloves will just cause your hedgehog to get confused.
Hand lotion and strong scents might also make your hedgehog confused. Placing a t-shirt you’ve worn in their cage could help them get used to your fragrance.
Rather than gloves, a thick towel might be used to pick up a reluctant hedgehog at first. You can slide the t-shirt off more easily than you can remove a glove and continue to grasp the hedgehog with your bare hands.
Do not attempt to catch your hedgehog from above.
Remember that the spines aren’t barbed and don’t come out like porcupine quills, so if you are stabbed, it won’t hurt too much.
Pay Close Attention to The Root
Allowing a hedgehog to do your work is the easiest way to pet one. Your hedgehog will most likely “root” beneath your thumbs once it is moving about in your hands.
Look for opportunities to rub your hedgehog from the tip of its nose to the crown of its head. Your hedgehog’s nose will most likely raise into your hand as if to say, “oh, that feels so great.”
If you’re a right-handed person, keep your hedgehog in your left hand. Move your right hand up and over the hedgehog’s nose, making a “V” with your thumb and pointer finger.
Your hedgehog will be more prepared for your touch if it can see, smell, and feel your hand approaching its face.
Hedgehogs will “tunnel” beneath your hand as you stroke your palm back over its body, laying down their spines, relaxing, and lifting their head and snout up towards your hands.
When caressing your hedgehog, use your entire palm to provide strong pressure to the hedgehog’s spines. A massage is equivalent to firm, purposeful pressure.
Light pressure or a “one finger pet” over the hedgehog’s spines acts like a tickle, causing the hedgehog’s spines to rise rather than relax.
Where To Pet Your Hedgehog
Some hedgehogs enjoy having their spines petted, while others dislike touching or rubbing their spines. Start with mild touches anywhere your hedgehog doesn’t appear to mind while getting to know your pet.
Hedgehogs like having their ears, chins, around the edge of their quill line or skirt, belly hair, and feet scratched. Other hedgehogs may be frightened of being petted near their faces, and they may be very protective of their feet.
Where Not to Pet
To be honest, some hedgehogs detest being touched. Exploring on or around you may be a lot more comfortable way for them to get to know you.
Challenges Of Petting a Hedgehog
Hedgehogs are solitary pets who should be kept in separate cages. They are only sociable in the wild during the mating season.
Because of their solitary nature, these pets may take some time to warm up to you. You may learn to work with your pet and win their trust with time and patience.
Getting a hedgehog from a breeder while it’s young gives you the best chance of training it to tolerate handling; however, there are exceptions to this rule.
Allow time for your hedgehog to adjust to her new environment when you first receive her. Allow her to have a couple of “hands-off” days. Start doing some handling at night when she is awake once she is more established.
The goal of handling should be to accustom the animal to the smells of the hands. Hedgehogs bite if startled, so taking things gently and gradually socializing the animal is critical.
As discussed in the article, hedgehogs can make perfect pets. Petting a hedgehog may not be as easy as petting any other animal because they need time to adjust to a new environment.
You should train your hedgehog to get used to you and once you begin touching it, make sure you do it in the right way. This article is a clear guide on how you can do this. So, make a move and pet that hedgehog!