Updated: Feb 4
You may have recently purchased a hedgehog and are wondering how to bond with him. He is covered in spikes and in a ball huffing at you in the corner of his cage. Now what?
A hedgehog is an enjoyable pet, but it does come with certain responsibilities. These bonding tips look at some of the things that you can do to ensure that your hedgehog develops a healthy bond with you.
Pick up your hedgehog very carefully, cradling him in the palms of both hands. If you're nervous about his spikes use his blanket to pick him up. Position yourself so that your pet hedgehog feels safe and comfortable at all times. Then wait. Just let him sit on your lap even if he is in a ball. He will come out in time. Maybe not right away, and that's ok.
Your sweetheart hedgehog may be shy at first, but he will show his true colors once he feels comfortable in your home and with you. It can take a little while for hedgehogs to unroll their spines, so give him some time to adjust.
Hedgehogs do not see well and rely on their sense of smell. Therefore they are very good at recognizing the scents of their owner. Make sure your hedgehog has ample opportunity to recognize your scent by spending time with him and by placing a t-shirt you've worn in his cage.
How much time? As much as possible. Yes, the minimum is 30 minutes per day. But that's only 1/48th of an entire day! So start with a minimum of 4 hours per day, but really if you can do 6-12 hours a day, go for it. The more time you spend with him, the better the bond will be, and friendlier he will be with you and others.
Can't sit around on the couch all day to hold him? No problem. Get at least two bonding bags (in case one gets dirty) and take him wherever you need to go. If he doesn't explore too much a hoodie sweatshirt pocket will also work.
Always talk to him when you can. This helps them get used to the sound of your voice. Their sense of hearing is also very good, also due to their lack of good sight.
It's also important to know the personality of your hedgehog so that you can easily get along with him. All hedgehogs are different. some prefer different times of day for handling, for instance.
Bonding with your hedgehog is important and can be a very rewarding experience. Establishing a good bond with your hedgehog can help you to develop a strong connection that lasts forever.