African Pygmy Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular as pets, so we thought we’d share some information about how to care for them.
African Pygmy Hedgehogs are a cross between white bellied hedgehogs and Algerian hedgehogs. Their average lifespan is 3-4 years and they generally weigh between 250g-350g.
African Pygmy Hedgehogs should be kept in vivariums between 21°c and 24°c, with plenty of ventilation (this can be done by using mesh doors). The smallest recommended enclosure is 100cm x 50cm. All hedgehogs should be provided with somewhere to hide, generally a wooden or fabric house. They will also need food and water bowls, which should be cleaned out daily. Ceramic bowls are the best as they are harder to knock over. Never use water bottles as these can damage their teeth.
The enclosure should have a liner; these come in a range of different materials. Some hedgehogs have been trained to use a litter tray containing ripped up kitchen roll or chinchilla sand. The enclosure should be disinfected weekly with a non-smell disinfectant. We recommend also giving your hedgehog a toy. Most of them love wheels; these need to be solid and at least 12″ in diameter.
African Pygmy Hedgehogs should be fed a staple diet of dry cat food, with a fat content of no higher than 10% and a protein content of at least 30%. They can have cooked minced beef, lamb, turkey or chicken. They can also have boiled egg and scrambled egg with no butter and no milk. They can also have cooked vegetables like carrots, potatoes, sweetcorn, swede, peas, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower. Some of them may life fruits like strawberry, banana, melon, pear, apple, mango, pumpkin and blueberries. Rice and pasta should only ever be given in small amounts. Live foods like meal worms, mario worms, wax worms, crickets and roaches can be given as a treat.
Fish shouldn’t be given as it causes digestion issues in hedgehogs. You should also never feed your hedgehog grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, citrus fruits, dried fruit, dairy, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, alcohol, avocado, bones, caffeine or garlic.
We would like to express thanks to Happy Hogs for providing us with information about the care of Pygmy Hedgehogs. Their website provides more information, including bathing and socialising hedgehogs.
If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at www.tiptreevets.co.uk or www.willows-vets.co.uk