7 Reasons Not To Have a Pet Hedgehog [Before You Get]


Hedgehogs are more than just adorable, spiky mammals; they’re a unique pet choice that’s captured the hearts of many.

But owning a hedgehog isn’t all fun and games, as there are many downsides to having a hedgehog.

In this guide, you’ll find reliable and accurate reasons not to get a hedgehog.

From understanding the biggest problem for hedgehogs to uncovering if hedgehogs are high maintenance, this blog post will provide insights for potential pet owners.

Reasons Not To Get A Pet HedgeHog

Here are the seven (7) reasons why;

Reason 1: Unique Health Concerns

Hedgehogs may seem robust with their prickly exterior, but they are actually susceptible to several unique health concerns that require specialized care and attention.

Unlike common pets like dogs or cats, hedgehogs can encounter health issues that aren’t as well-known or easily treated.

Specialized Veterinary Care

Finding a vet who specializes in hedgehog care might be challenging. They require unique treatments and diagnostics that not all veterinary practices can handle. This could lead to higher healthcare costs, mentioned in USD, and potential travel to find a suitable healthcare provider.

Common Illnesses

Hedgehogs are prone to diseases such as Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome, respiratory infections, and parasites. Treatment for these can be complicated and requires an understanding of hedgehog-specific care.

Are pet hedgehogs high maintenance?

Absolutely. These unique health concerns make hedgehogs a high-maintenance pet, needing regular check-ups, specific diets, and careful monitoring.

Certainly! Let’s delve into the second reason:

Reason 2: Complicated Care Requirements

A hedgehog might look cute and manageable, but caring for one is more intricate than it seems. Unlike a typical pet, a hedgehog requires a customized care regimen that could be overwhelming for some.

Diet and Nutrition

Feeding a hedgehog is not as simple as opening a pet food can. They require a specific blend of proteins, fats, and nutrients. Insects, fruits, and specially formulated hedgehog food must be part of their daily diet.

Avoiding certain human foods is crucial, as they can cause serious health problems.

Habitat and Environmental Needs

Hedgehogs need a carefully controlled environment. Temperature (stated in both Fahrenheit and Celsius), humidity, lighting, and bedding are just some of the factors that need constant monitoring.

Speaking of bedding, you may wonder, do hedgehogs need bedding? They do, and choosing the right type is essential for their comfort and well-being. Learn more about their bedding needs here.

What are the downsides to having a hedgehog?

One clear downside is the complex care requirements. A hedgehog is not a pet that you can feed and forget. They require consistent attention to their dietary needs and living conditions, making them less suitable for a casual pet owner.

Reason 3: Legality and Regulations

When considering getting a hedgehog, you may not immediately consider legal aspects. However, this is critical to understand, as laws and regulations can vary widely by location.

Here’s why legality and regulations make the list of reasons not to get a hedgehog:

State and Local Laws

In some areas, owning a hedgehog is outright illegal. States, provinces, and even cities may have specific regulations about keeping hedgehogs as pets. Penalties for violations can include fines and even confiscation of the animal.

Permits and Restrictions

Even if it is legal to own a hedgehog in your area, restrictions and permits may be required. This can include limitations on the number of hedgehogs you can own, mandatory veterinary checks, and specific care requirements.

What is the biggest problem for hedgehogs?

In some regions, the legal challenges and red tape surrounding hedgehog ownership can be one of the most significant obstacles for potential owners.

Do hedgehogs cause problems? They don’t necessarily cause problems, but the regulations around their ownership can create legal headaches for unaware or unprepared owners.

Reason 4: High Costs

When considering bringing a hedgehog into your home, it’s crucial to understand the financial commitments involved. Hedgehogs can be surprisingly costly to care for, and here’s why:

Initial Investment

Buying a hedgehog from a reputable breeder can range from $100 to $300 USD. Add to that the necessary equipment like a proper cage, wheel (yes, hedgehogs need a wheel), heating system, and initial food supply, and the costs can quickly add up.

If you’re interested in the wheel aspect, find out more details about it here.

Ongoing Expenses

The ongoing costs include regular veterinary care (especially those specializing in hedgehogs). This varied diet often includes fresh insects and specialized hedgehog food, bedding, and energy costs for maintaining a climate-controlled habitat.

These expenses can be significant, often exceeding those for more common pets.

Are pet hedgehogs high maintenance in terms of cost?

The high costs involved in caring for a hedgehog can make them a high-maintenance pet financially.

Reason 5: Specialized Handling and Behavior

Hedgehogs are undeniably charming, but their handling and behavior are anything but conventional. They require specialized knowledge and patience, making them unsuitable for everyone. Here’s why:

Handling Challenges

Hedgehogs are known for their spiky quills, which can make handling them tricky and potentially painful. They require gentle and confident handling to feel safe and secure. Inappropriate handling can cause stress and health issues.

Nocturnal Lifestyle

Hedgehogs are primarily active at night. This nocturnal lifestyle may conflict with the routines of many potential owners. If you’re expecting daytime play and interaction, you might be disappointed.

Potential Behavior Problems

Like all animals, hedgehogs can develop behavioral problems, especially if they feel threatened or neglected. These issues might include biting, hiding, or refusing to eat. Understanding hedgehog behavior is essential to prevent and address these problems.

Do hedgehogs cause problems?

They don’t inherently cause problems, but misunderstandings of their unique behavior can lead to issues.

Reason 6: Health Concerns

Hedgehogs are adorable, but they also come with unique health concerns that potential owners should be aware of. Caring for a hedgehog’s health requires vigilance and specialized knowledge. Here’s what you should consider:

Prone to Specific Diseases

Hedgehogs are susceptible to various diseases and health conditions such as obesity, dental problems, and even cancer. Regular check-ups with a vet who specializes in hedgehog care are essential.

Difficult to Diagnose

Due to their small size and unique physiology, diagnosing health issues in hedgehogs can be complex. Early detection is crucial, and symptoms can be subtle.

Potential to Spread Disease

Some hedgehogs, such as salmonella, can carry and spread diseases to humans. Proper hygiene and care are vital to prevent these diseases from affecting you and your family.

Costly Medical Care

Treating hedgehogs often requires specialized veterinary care, which can be expensive. From routine check-ups to dealing with emergencies, the costs can quickly accumulate, and these expenses are typically in USD.

What are the downsides to having a hedgehog?

One major downside is the array of potential health concerns and the necessity for specialized and often costly medical care.

Reason 7: Limited Social Interaction

While some pets thrive on social interaction and bonding with their human family, hedgehogs typically don’t. Their solitary nature might be a disappointing factor for those looking for a more interactive and responsive pet. Let’s delve into why:

Solitary Creatures

Hedgehogs are naturally solitary animals and usually prefer to be alone. While some may enjoy limited interaction with humans, others might not be interested.

Limited Emotional Connection

Unlike dogs or cats, hedgehogs might not form strong emotional connections with their owners. A hedgehog might not be the right choice if you’re looking for a pet that actively seeks your affection and attention.

No Playmates

Contrary to what some might think, hedgehogs typically don’t enjoy the company of other hedgehogs. Trying to house them together could lead to fighting and stress, except under specific circumstances.

If you’re interested in housing conditions for hedgehogs, check out this article on whether male and female hedgehogs can live together.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

In this part of the blog, we’ll address some common questions and concerns that potential hedgehog owners might have. This section can be a treasure trove of information, answering some of the burning questions readers may have about hedgehogs.

Q1. What do hedgehogs eat?

Hedgehogs enjoy a diet that includes insects, fruits, vegetables, and specialized hedgehog food. It’s essential to provide a balanced diet for optimal health.

Q2. Are hedgehogs legal to own everywhere?

No, hedgehogs are not legal to own in every location. Some states and cities have specific regulations regarding hedgehog ownership. It’s vital to check local laws before purchasing one.

Q3. How long do hedgehogs live?

With proper care, hedgehogs can live between 3 to 8 years. Their lifespan can vary based on diet, care, genetics, and overall health.

Q4. Do hedgehogs need a specific environment?

Yes, hedgehogs require a controlled environment, including proper temperature, humidity, and bedding. More information on hedgehog bedding needs can be found here.

Q5. What is the biggest problem for hedgehogs?

The biggest problem for hedgehogs varies but often includes health issues, improper care, and difficulty forming a social bond with humans.


Owning a hedgehog as a pet can be a unique and rewarding experience for the right person. Their distinctive appearance and behavior can bring joy and fascination to those who understand and appreciate their needs.

However, the seven reasons outlined in this blog post highlight that hedgehogs are unsuitable for everyone.

From their specific care requirements to their solitary nature and potential health concerns, there are several factors to consider carefully.

Ensuring you’re fully aware of what owning a hedgehog entails is vital before committing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top