21 Pros & Cons of Having a Pet Hedgehog [Beginner’s Guide]


Hedgehogs are among those fascinating creatures that have captivated the interest of pet enthusiasts across the US, UK, and Canada.

Whether it’s their unique appearance or their curious behavior, something about hedgehogs can make them an appealing choice for a pet.

But before you decide, it’s essential to understand what owning a hedgehog entails.

Background of Hedgehogs as Pets

The domestication of hedgehogs began in the late 20th century. With their distinctive appearance and independent nature, they became popular pets, especially for those looking for a unique companion.

Why People Consider Owning a Hedgehog

The appeal of having a hedgehog as a pet lies in their manageable size, quirky characteristics, and the chance to have a bit of wilderness right in your living room. But, are they really suited for household life?

Fun Fact: Ever caught a hedgehog squeaking in its sleep? Those cute little snores might actually be linked to their dreams. Just imagine, tiny hedgehogs having bedtime chats with the dream world!

What Are The Pros and Cons of Having a Pet Hedgehod?

Here are the twenty-one (21) reasons you should understand before getting one;

Pros of Having a Pet Hedgehog

1. Low Allergy Risks

Unlike cats and dogs, hedgehogs rarely cause allergies. A great option if you have sensitive family members!

2. Easy Maintenance

While they need love and attention, hedgehogs require minimal grooming, making them low-maintenance pets.

3. Independent Nature

These little critters enjoy their alone time. You don’t need to play with them all day.

4. Small Living Space Requirement

A small cage or pen is enough, making them suitable for apartment living.

5. Unique Personality

Every hedgehog has its character. Discovering it can be a joy.

6. Low Noise Levels

No loud barking or meowing here. Hedgehogs are relatively quiet, ideal for those who prefer tranquility.

7. Lifespan

They live 4-6 years, a commitment that’s long enough to bond but not overwhelming.

8. Diet Flexibility

They’re omnivorous. From insects to vegetables, their diet is versatile and easy to manage.

9. Educational Experience

Teaching kids about wildlife? A hedgehog can be a fun and educational family member.

10. Legal in Many Places

Although you should check local laws, they’re legal pets in many areas.

Cons of Having a Pet Hedgehog

11. Special Care Needs

Temperature control (73-80°F or 22.5-26.5°C) and specific housing needs can be demanding.

12. Potentially High Startup Costs

From the cage to food, initial setup can range from 200-300 USD.

13. Nocturnal Habits

They are night creatures. Not ideal if you want a daytime companion.

14. Potential Legal Restrictions

Always check if hedgehogs are legal in your state or province.

15. Limited Veterinary Options

Finding a vet specializing in hedgehogs might be tough.

16. Sharp Quills

Handling requires care; those quills can prick!

17. Difficult Bonding Process

Bonding takes patience and consistent handling.

18. Potential Odor

Without regular cleaning, they can be a bit smelly.

19. Breeding Control Needed

If not spayed or neutered, accidental breeding can occur.

20. Not Suitable for Young Children

Their quills might be too sharp for little hands.

21. Potential Health Issues

Hedgehogs can suffer from various health problems, such as obesity, dental issues, and skin conditions. These ailments might require specialized veterinary care, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Fun Fact: Good news for hedgehog snack enthusiasts – blueberries are a hit with these spiky creatures! These tiny berries aren't just a tasty delight, they're a safe and healthy treat option for hedgehogs. It's like a natural snack that's both delicious and nutritious!


Having a pet hedgehog can be a rewarding and unique experience, offering companionship that stands out from the more conventional pet choices.

They’re creatures full of character, with distinctive features that make them a fascinating addition to any home.

However, a hedgehog is not a pet that suits everyone. Their specific needs, nocturnal habits, and unique characteristics mean they require an owner willing to invest time, effort, and understanding into their care.

If you’re someone who’s drawn to unconventional pets, and you appreciate the individuality that a hedgehog brings, then this prickly little friend might be a perfect match.

But, do take into account the potential challenges, costs, and legal considerations before making a commitment.

By understanding the pros and cons of having a pet hedgehog, you can make an informed decision that ensures the welfare of your potential new pet and aligns with your lifestyle.

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