Things to have ready BEFORE your new hedgehog comes home:
When choosing a cage it is best to use a cage that has a solid bottom, never use a bottom that is wire, like a commercial rabbit cage. That would be very hard on their feet and also may cause injuries. Size wise, the larger the better! The cage should be large enough to allow ample room for your pet and their cage accessories (Wheel, Igloo, Food/Water Bowls & Toys). But not so large that it is unmanageable to keep clean. Well ventilated and escape proof is a must also.
There are a few cages we can recommend for size purposes and as a rule for size you should always have at least 2sq feet of free space after all the hedgehogs accessories are inside the cage.
Click the brands to see a photo of the cage!
*If the cage comes with second level shelves/ramps and if you're going to be using them they need to be fully enclosed to prevent falls and injuries also please remove any inner bottom wire grid as they hurt hedgehogs feet and cause injuries
Heavy, ceramic, non tip, crock style, food bowls are ideal.
You can also use the same bowl as the food dish type listed above for water. We do not recommend water bottles due to the fact that they can chip teeth and the drinking position is not natural for a hedgehog.
Either one or a combo of theses are suited for a hedgehog; a hedgie bag, sleeping hat, plastic igloo. It needs to be something for a hedgie to crawl inside of to sleep and feel safe.
There are many exercise wheels to choose from such as Comfort Wheels, Silent Runners and others but they tend to be not suited for hedgehogs and can be quite dangerous. We only recommend a large 12″ diameter or larger, solid surface wheels. No mesh or rungs also none with cross bars as a hedgie can be injured seriously.
We stock the Carolina Storm Wheel and the Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel, which they are by far the safest wheels for your precious hedgehog. These are the only wheels we use here at Hedgehog Grove.
Click Here to go to our page on the Carolina Storm Wheels for more information and photos.
We recommend high quality, high protein (28-35%), low fat (under 20%), age appropriate, dry cat foods such as Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul Lite, Solid Gold Katz n Floken, Now! Lite, Authority Sensitive, Blue Buffalo Spa Select Weight Control and Nutrience (these all are used in our own pre mix that our hedgies are weaned onto). Please take a look at our Care Info page here to see more high qualitly foods we recommend along with a list of safe/unsafe foods for treats.
DO NOT use commercially prepared hedgehog foods or dry cat foods that contains animal by products or corn/corn meal.
Names of some Commercially Prepared Hedgehog Foods Not to Use:
Sunseed Hedgehog food
Brisky's Hedgehog foods
8in1 Ultra Hedgehog food
L'Avian Hedgehog food
Hedgehog Complete by Exotic Nutrition
Pretty Pets Hedgehog food
Brown's Zoo Vital
We only recommend using cloth cage liners made of (fleece, flannel or other fabrics). They are economical, environmentally friendly and cost effective!
Please check out our webstore for all your beding needs for your hedgehog from custom made liners for your cage to sleep sacks, hedgie hats, igloo covers and tunnels or email us directly if there is something else you would like custom made for your hedgehog.
Another option if we don't have any available is to Click on the banner below to go to our recommended place to buy all your hedgehog cage liners, sleeping bags, cuddle blankets and more.
You can also use Kaytee Clean n Cosy, CareFRESH, CareFRESH, ECO Bedding, VitaKraft Eco Bedding and KILN DRIED aspen shavings. (Click each to see a photo of them)
NEVER USE CEDAR shavings or any shavings that have cedar in them.
Try to choose a bedding that is as dust free as possible for the health of your hedgehog, this is why we only recommend cloth liners.
Corn Cob bedding is not safe for hedgies.
An electric space heater or CHE Setup (Ceramic Heat Emitter) for round the clock heating. We have found that a CHE setup is far cheaper to run (generally the same cost as a light bulb) 24/7 than an electric space heater.
For a CHE Setup you will need the following items, the wattage of the bulb depends on the size of your cage and sometimes you will need 2 domes and 2 bulbs for bigger cages. We can recommend an online Canadian Store to get these supplies but we also stock them in our webstore from them. Pets & Ponds tend to be a cheaper than other walk in or online stores so something worth considering. (Each are linked, so just click on the product name to go directly to it in their online store.)
Pets & Ponds
10 inch Dome rated for CHE Bulbs
CHE Bulb 60W
CHE Bulb 100W
Heating mats/pads are not suitable as the only heating system. They only warm the bottom of the cage and do not warm the air inside the cage therefore do not keep the cage temperature in the recommended 75F-80F. We do recommend a heating mat under the sleeping area for drops in room temperature at night though as an addition to the main heating source.
Pet Snuggle safe disks or hand mitten warmers when traveling or trips to the vet.
Any type of accurate digital thermometer to ensure hedgies environment is 75F(24C) and between 75F-80F (24C-27C).
A light nearby that can be left on 12-14 hours a day. It can be a broad spectrum bulb or just a regular light bulb.
A hedgehog knowledgeable vet located before one is needed in an emergency. Listed below are 5 vets in Ontario that specialize in Hedgehogs.
Greenwood Park Animal Hospital
1041 Gerrard St E. Toronto
Dr. Munn & Dr. Julia Hammond
The Links Road Bird and Animal Clinic
541 The Links Road
Dr. Evan Mavromatis & Dr. Hanadie Nur
Amherst Animal Hospital
3206 Eglinton Ave E
Dr. Robin Lane
Burloak Animal Clinic
3060 Lakeshore Rd. West
Dr. Wolfgang Zenker & Dr Lisa McKinnen
LaSalle Animal Clinic
560 Lasalle Blvd, Unit B
Dr. Janice Vannevel
Stainless steel nail clippers are perfect for trimming your hedgehog's nails.
We now stock 2 wonderful bath products especially made for our dear hedgehogs. All natural, ultra moisturizing, non-foaming, chemical free shampoo and after bath moisturizer for hedgehogs. They can be purchased through our Webstore as a duo or in a complete bath package!
A soft toothbrush for cleaning the quills gently and getting any stubborn debris.
All natural, pet shampoos are fairly inexpensive & safe. Oatmeal and Aveeno are recommend. DO NOT use products containing Tea Tree Oils as it is lethal to hedgehogs.
It is advisable to have a plastic pet carrier for travelling with your pet. The carrier should be equipped with food and water utensils, heating device and fleece to snuggle/hide in.
A shallow pan or tray large enough to fit under the wheel with about 4" protruding in front of the wheel.
Choose a litter that is as dust free as possible. Yesterday's News, paper towel, Carefresh, Kiln Dried aspen shavings are all fine. We personally have found Carefresh and aspen shavings to be too dusty.
No corncob, No clumping cat litter, No clay cat litter - These litters can get stuck in sensitive areas.
Toilet paper tubes cut lengthwise, with edges rounded so hedgie does not get stuck or poked as well as ping pong balls, small stuffed toys (no loose woven fabrics, no loose threads or loops), cardboard boxes filled with fleece stripes for digging and playing in, plastic plumbing tubes or ferret tubes and elbows (Must be 4" diameter). Of course there's always you, a hedgehog's favorite jungle gym.
Bugs, mealworms, crickets & silkworms purchased from a pet store, we also have many types of insects available in our Webstore. DO NOT collect bugs from outside as they can have nasty parasites, infections, and pesticides which will harm and even kill your new hedgehog.
Hedgehogs are very good at hiding illness and often the first sign of illness is loss of weight. Keeping track of your hedgehog's weight may alert you to an illness in its earliest stages. The best and most accurate type of scale is a digital scale often sold for weighing mail.