Why Is Your Hedgehog Sneezing and What to Do About It?


Today, we are delving into an intriguing topic about these adorable creatures: “Can hedgehogs sneeze?

An unexpected question, sure, but one that might hold more relevance than you might initially think, especially if you’re a hedgehog owner or are considering becoming one.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the curious world of hedgehogs and their intriguing behaviors, including whether they sneeze, why they would, and what it means for their health.

Quick Answer

Absolutely, hedgehogs can sneeze! Much like humans and many other mammals, these spiky little critters sneeze to expel irritants from their nasal passages.

It’s a completely natural behavior and often no cause for alarm. But, as in humans, frequent or chronic sneezing can indicate underlying issues, such as allergies or respiratory infections.

Why Would a Hedgehog Sneeze?

Just like us, hedgehogs sneeze for a variety of reasons. Let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of hedgehog sneezing and understand what can cause this phenomenon.

Common Causes of Hedgehog Sneezing

  • Allergies: Hedgehogs, like many mammals, can have allergies. They may sneeze due to exposure to certain foods, bedding materials, or even household products that we humans use daily. Are you aware that hedgehogs might even have food restrictions, like certain human foods, such as chocolate? If you’re unsure, we’ve got a comprehensive guide on “Can Hedgehogs Eat Chocolate?” to help you understand what’s safe for your spiky companion.

  • Exposure to Dust or Strong Smells: A dusty environment or strong smells, like perfumes or cleaning products, can irritate a hedgehog’s sensitive nasal passages, leading to sneezing.

  • Respiratory Infections: Like any pet, hedgehogs can fall prey to respiratory infections. These infections often present symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, and lethargy.

Is Sneezing Normal for Hedgehogs?

Yes, occasional sneezing is normal for hedgehogs. After all, they share our susceptibility to irritants like dust, pollen, and strong odors. Just like we sneeze to expel these irritants from our noses, hedgehogs do the same.

However, frequent sneezing, or sneezing accompanied by other symptoms, might be a red flag. If your hedgehog sneezes regularly, it could be a sign of allergies, a cold, or a more serious respiratory infection.

Just like you’d take a human’s persistent cough seriously, you should also pay attention to your hedgehog’s excessive sneezing.

An interesting point to note is that while hedgehogs can’t express their feelings like humans or some pets do, they display their health and comfort levels through behaviors and physical signs.

So, understanding your hedgehog’s behaviors, whether it’s recognizing their name or knowing if they’re affectionate, can be essential to ensure their well-being.

When to Be Concerned About Your Hedgehog’s Sneezing

While the occasional sneeze from your hedgehog is normal, frequent or excessive sneezing can cause concern. Observing your hedgehog closely is crucial and identifying when a vet trip might be necessary.

Frequency of Sneezing

One-off or occasional sneezes throughout the day shouldn’t be a cause for worry.

However, if your hedgehog begins sneezing frequently or constantly, it may signify something more serious. It could be due to allergies or, in some cases, a respiratory infection.

Other Symptoms Accompanying Sneezing

If your hedgehog’s sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, lethargy, or loss of appetite, these could be signs of illness.

A good example would be if you notice your hedgehog wheezing along with sneezing. The combination of these symptoms might suggest a respiratory issue and should prompt a visit to the vet.

Importance of Veterinary Care

Just like humans, hedgehogs need professional medical care when they’re unwell. If your hedgehog’s behavior changes significantly, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice.

After all, a vet can offer diagnostic tests and treatments that aren’t available to the average hedgehog owner.

How to Help a Sneezing Hedgehog

So, you’ve noticed your hedgehog sneezing and wondering how to help. Don’t worry; there are several things you can do to ensure your hedgehog stays healthy and comfortable. Here are some essential tips:

Ensuring a Clean Habitat

One of the best ways to prevent sneezing caused by irritants is to maintain a clean living environment for your hedgehog. This means regular cleaning of their enclosure, replacing bedding often, and avoiding using products with strong scents around the habitat.

A clean environment not only minimizes the potential allergens your hedgehog is exposed to, but also reduces the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.

Caring for a Sick Hedgehog

If your hedgehog is unwell and sneezing excessively, getting them to a vet is crucial. The vet can diagnose the issue and recommend a course of treatment.

This may involve medication, changes in diet, or modifications to your hedgehog’s habitat.

Additionally, extra TLC can go a long way if your hedgehog is feeling under the weather. Keep them comfortable, offer their favorite foods, and ensure they drink enough water.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Hedgehogs Sneeze?

Absolutely! Just like humans, hedgehogs can sneeze when irritants enter their nasal passages. It’s a normal physiological response. However, frequent or excessive sneezing could indicate problems like allergies or respiratory infections.

How Do I Know If My Hedgehog Has a Cold?

Symptoms of a cold in hedgehogs can be similar to those in humans. This includes sneezing, a runny nose, lethargy, or loss of appetite.

However, these symptoms can also suggest more serious illnesses, so it’s important to consult a vet if you notice these changes in your hedgehog.

Why Is My Hedgehog Wheezing?

Wheezing in hedgehogs can indicate a respiratory issue, such as a respiratory infection or asthma. Other symptoms may accompany wheezing, including coughing, rapid breathing, and lethargy. It’s best to consult a vet if you notice your hedgehog wheezing.

Do Hedgehogs Have Ears?

Yes, hedgehogs do have ears! They’re usually hidden beneath their quills and fur, making them less visible. If you want to learn more about hedgehogs and their fascinating features, we’ve got a guide on “Do Hedgehogs Have Ears?” that you can check out!


Hedgehogs sneezing – it’s an adorable sight, isn’t it? While it’s normal for your hedgehog to sneeze occasionally, it’s important to watch for abnormal or excessive sneezing.

Frequent sneezing, especially with other symptoms, could indicate an underlying issue such as allergies or a respiratory infection.

As a responsible hedgehog owner, ensuring a clean and comfortable habitat, being mindful of potential irritants, and seeking professional help can all contribute to your little friend’s overall health and happiness.

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