Selecting the very best hedgehog cage: eight elements to contemplate
There has been a lot of discussion in the animal community about the suitable habitat for a hedgehog. This is mainly triggered by the products being marketed to new owners who do not meet the necessary requirements for a safe, healthy hedgehog. There are 8 important factors to consider when choosing the best hedgehog cage.
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Bringing home a new pet is always an exciting experience, whether it's your first time owning a pet or adding something to your family.
However, there are many things to keep in mind when preparing for your new pet.
Some of the biggest decisions you will make as a hedgehog owner relate to the habitat your new pet will live in.
This includes the bedding, the dishes, the litter box and of course the cage!
It may be tempting to buy the cheapest cage that says “hedgehog” in the product description. However, this can cause major problems throughout your hedgehog's life.
NOTE: A product marketed to a specific pet does NOT mean that it is the best choice available.
Betta tanks are a well-known example and often offer far less space than the fish needs to thrive. This also occurs with small animal cages.
Always take the time to do your research, ask questions, and rate products yourself.
While there are many GREAT There are companies in the pet industry that really care, there are also companies that are primarily focused on making money.
Do your due diligence!
If you want to raise a happy, healthy hedgehog (and I'm sure you do), there are a few specific considerations you should consider when purchasing the best hedgehog cage.
The following points address potential safety concerns, ease of use, basic needs, and much more.
If at any time you have any concerns about the health and safety of your hedgehog, speak to your veterinarian.
8 important factors to consider when choosing the best hedgehog cage
Hedgehogs take up a lot more space than most pet owners first think.
There are different opinions about the minimum required size of the cage. However, most of the veterinarians and experienced hedgehog owners I've spoken to state that the cage should be at least 4 feet by 2 feet.
This provides the space needed for everything your hedgehog needs, while also providing space to place and explore.
Obesity is a common hedgehog fight.
To prevent this from happening, you need to provide daily exercise outside of the pen, as well as space for your hedgehog to explore and exercise when he's in his cage.
This may seem obvious, but I cannot list the requirements for a safe habitat for your hedgehog without mentioning it.
Check all doors to make sure they click securely into place and will not open.
Take into account the clearance on the sides of a wire cage.
Larger wire cages can be constructed for a larger animal, which means your hedgehog can slip out between the bars.
Bars on a wire cage should be no more than 1 inch (or less, preferably) apart.
If there is an open top on any or all of the pen or case, make sure the walls are high enough to prevent your pet from climbing out.
Hedgehogs are experienced climbers!
Related: "6 Phone Numbers Every Pet Owner Should Have On Hand"
Your hedgehog's habitat should provide adequate airflow.
This will help prevent potentially dangerous odors like ammonia from building up and keep the humidity in check.
If you buy or build a wood or plastic enclosure yourself, you want to make sure it has plenty of holes for ventilation purposes.
However, be careful with holes large enough for your hedgehog's head to get stuck.
Wired enclosures are often recommended (especially for newer owners) as they are the best option for ventilation.
Take a close look at the construction of the floor of your hedgehog's new habitat.
Wire mesh floors are a common cause of injury as your pet can get their feet or legs stuck while moving.
Instead, they should have a flat surface so that they can move around safely.
Plastic surfaces are preferred to metal because metal requires additional considerations to control the temperature of the living space.
Metal surfaces often keep the cold in the cooler months and require additional heating. However, if they are exposed to heat, they can also overheat in the warmer months.
Many professionals advise against using second tier cages or ramps because of the risk of falling.
However, if your hedgehog's cage has a ramp, make sure the surface doesn't get slippery as you use it.
Another important safety aspect would be sticking to closed ramps.
To stay healthy, hedgehogs need to stay relatively warm.
Your pet's habitat shouldn't be less than 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The optimal temperature is 75 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
If a hedgehog's body temperature is too low, it can lead to hibernation.
This may not seem alarming as we have heard of many different animals that hibernate successfully in the wild.
Unfortunately, hibernation can be fatal for a hedgehog.
Consider adding a heating source specifically designed for small animals such as hedgehogs such as hedgehogs heating pad or ceramic radiant heater.
Note: Heat lamps that emit light and are heating pads for humans or reptiles NOT safe for use in your hedgehog enclosure.
To create a living space that promotes good physical and mental wellbeing, your hedgehog's room must be well lit.
Most experts recommend around 12 to 14 hours of uniform light for your pet each day.
Shorter light in the cooler months can also contribute to a hibernation attempt.
Consider adding a lamp or ceiling light to the light near the cage.
If you are concerned about power consumption, you can a timer So that you can control when the lights are on, even when you are not at home.
Access to your hedgehog
As mentioned earlier, your hedgehog should be given the opportunity to exercise outside of its cage every day.
Additionally, it is recommended that your hedgehog have at least 30 to 60 minutes to touch each day so that you can bond and develop a relationship with your pet.
Because of this, you want to choose a cage that is easy to access and house your hedgehog.
This may mean choosing a cage with multiple doors or access points.
Related: "What's the Best Pet to Live in an Apartment?"
Your hedgehog's cage needs to be cleaned on site every day, not only to remove litter from the litter box and cage floor, but also to remove any leftover food.
Once a week the entire cabinet needs to be cleaned, with all beds removed and replaced.
To keep this up, you'll want to choose a cage that you can clean and maintain yourself.
An overly heavy cage or one that is difficult to move can discourage you by making cleaning up a difficult process.
Instead, the best hamster cage for you and your hedgehog is one that you can easily maintain.
Hedgehog owners, what factors did YOU consider when choosing the best hedgehog cage? Did I miss something that you think is important?