Can You Walk Your Hedgehog? [Dos and Don’ts – GUIDE]


Did you know that hedgehogs, despite being such small creatures, can run up to 6 miles per night? These adorable little pets are known for their distinctive spiky coats and cute button noses.

But did you know they also need their share of exercise and stimulation, just like any other pet?

Speaking of exercise, have you ever wondered, can you take hedgehogs outside on walks?

Some hedgehog owners might want to offer their spiky pals a taste of the great outdoors. But is it safe or even beneficial to do so?

This blog post will delve into these aspects, ensuring your hedgehog’s outdoor adventures are fun, safe, and healthy.

Quick Answer

Yes, you certainly can take your hedgehog on a walk outside. It can be a delightful way for your little friend to explore the world, sniff out some new scents, and get a good amount of exercise.

However, you should never pop a leash on your hedgehog and hit the road.

Hedgehogs are small and vulnerable creatures, so taking precautions is important to keep them safe.

They need a special kind of harness or leash designed for their body shape, and you should always stay vigilant for potential dangers like dogs, birds, or harmful substances they might ingest.

Walking a hedgehog also needs to be done at appropriate times – since most hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal or crepuscular (active at dusk or dawn), it’s best to take them out during these cooler parts of the day.

You should also ensure the outdoor temperature is within a safe range for your hedgehog, ideally between 75-85°F (24-29°C).

Fun Fact: Hedgehogs are easily scared due to their small size and many predators in the wild. When threatened, they curl up into a tight ball, using their spiky armor as a defense mechanism to stay safe.

Why Would You Want to Walk Your Hedgehog?

Now that we’ve confirmed that you can walk your hedgehog, you might be wondering why you would want to. Here are a few compelling reasons:

  • Exercise: Hedgehogs are naturally active creatures. In the wild, they cover several miles each night in search of food. Regular exercise can help your pet hedgehog maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity, a common problem in pet hedgehogs. A walk can be a fun and exciting form of exercise for them.

  • Enrichment: Taking your hedgehog outside can provide a wealth of sensory experiences. They’ll encounter a variety of scents, textures, and sounds, which can help stimulate their mind and keep them engaged. It’s a great way to provide mental stimulation, beyond what they get in their cage.

  • Bonding Time: Walks can be an excellent way for you to bond with your pet hedgehog. They’ll associate the fun of exploring outside with spending time with you, which can strengthen your bond.

Just as cats and hedgehogs can sometimes get along with proper introduction and supervision, your hedgehog can also become comfortable and even enjoy being outdoors, with the right preparation and care.

Fun Fact: Hedgehogs have a defense mechanism called "aerobic rolling." When threatened, they curl up into a tight ball, exposing their spiky exterior. They control their breathing to stay still and inconspicuous to avoid drawing attention, like a well-camouflaged fortress.

Walking a Hedgehog: The Dos and Don’ts

Walking a hedgehog is not the same as walking a dog, and it’s crucial to understand the differences. Here are some dos and don’ts to guide you through the process:


  • Use a Harness: Always use a hedgehog harness and leash while walking your hedgehog. It provides control and safety, preventing them from darting off into potentially dangerous areas. These are specifically designed to fit their unique body shape.
  • Monitor the Weather: Hedgehogs are sensitive to temperature changes. Aim for outdoor excursions when the temperature is between 75-85°F (24-29°C).
  • Check the Ground: Before setting your hedgehog down, check the ground for any hazardous materials or objects. Sharp items, toxic substances, or even small insects can pose a risk to your hedgehog.


  • Force It: If your hedgehog seems stressed or scared, don’t force them to walk. Some hedgehogs may never enjoy being outside, and that’s okay. Always prioritize their comfort and well-being.
  • Lose Sight of Them: Hedgehogs are quick and curious and might wander off if given the chance. Always keep a close eye on your hedgehog when you’re outside.
  • Ignore Their Behavior: Pay attention to your hedgehog’s behavior and body language. It might be best to take them back inside if they seem distressed or start to self-anoint excessively.
Fun Fact: To safely wake up a hibernating hedgehog, mimicking a natural temperature increase is essential. Gradually bring the hedgehog to a slightly warmer environment, allowing it to wake up naturally from its deep slumber without any abrupt disturbances.

Best Harnesses and Leashes for Hedgehogs

So, you’ve decided to take your hedgehog for a walk. Fantastic! But you’re going to need the right equipment. A hedgehog harness and leash is a must-have for any hedgehog owner who wants to venture outside with their spiky buddy.

These are designed to fit a hedgehog’s unique body shape and provide control during your outdoor excursions. Here are some recommended options:

  • Comfort Soft Adjustable Harness with Stretchy Leash: This harness is specifically designed for small animals like hedgehogs. It’s made of a soft, breathable material that ensures comfort for your pet. The adjustable straps make it easy to get the perfect fit.

  • Small Animal Harness and Leash Set: This set comes with a harness and leash designed for small animals. It’s lightweight and adjustable to fit hedgehogs of different sizes. It also has a quick-release buckle for easy use.

  • Stretchy Mesh Small Pet Harness with Leash: This harness is made from a stretchy mesh material that allows your hedgehog to move freely without feeling restricted. It’s adjustable and comes with a matching leash.

Remember, the most important thing when choosing a harness is your hedgehog’s comfort and safety. Always choose a harness that fits your hedgehog well, isn’t too tight, and allows them to move freely.

You can easily find these harnesses in pet stores or online marketplaces, and the cost typically ranges from $10-$20 USD.

Fun Fact: Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active during the night and sleep during the day. They naturally tend to sleep for extended periods, sometimes up to 18 hours a day, to conserve energy for their nighttime adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. Can hedgehogs go outside during the day?

Yes, but remember that hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal or crepuscular, so they’re most active during the night or at dusk and dawn. During the day, they might be more inclined to sleep than to explore. Make sure to provide them with a shady and comfortable spot if you do take them out in daylight.

Q2. Can you take a hedgehog on a road trip?

Yes, you can, but it requires careful planning. Ensure your hedgehog has a secure and comfortable carrier, access to food and water, and opportunities for rest stops to stretch their legs and use the bathroom.

Q3. Can you carry hedgehogs around with you?

Yes, many hedgehogs enjoy being held and carried around. It can be a great way to bond with your pet. However, always be aware of their body language and put them down if they show signs of stress or discomfort.

Q4. Are hedgehogs nocturnal or diurnal?

Most hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal, meaning they’re most active during the night. However, they can also be crepuscular, which means they’re active during the twilight hours of dusk and dawn.


Taking your hedgehog for a walk can be a rewarding experience for both of you. It allows your pet to get much-needed exercise and enrichment and is a wonderful bonding opportunity.

However, safety and comfort should always be your top priorities. Choose a comfortable harness, monitor the weather, and always keep a close eye on your hedgehog during your outdoor adventures.

And remember, every hedgehog is different – what works for one may not work for another. Enjoy this unique experience with your pet, and remember, patience and care are key when introducing them to new experiences.

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