And in some states, such as Maine, you are required to have a permit
The laws change all the time, so it is best to check to make sure they're legal in your state before purchasing one.
Are they good with children?
Short answer, they are best with older children. If your kid is younger but will be content to sitting quietly on the couch holding the hedgehog and won't throw it, then it should be fine. You are the best judge of if your child is ready.
PLEASE NOTE: If you're getting a hedgehog for a child, YOU as the parent are ultimately responsible for making sure the cage is cleaned and it is fed and watered daily. If you're going to return it because they lost interest, don't get one. They don't handle change well, so getting tossed around in different homes is really hard on them and make them harder to rehome because they become huffy balls of hate.
Will a hedgehog fit into my schedule?
As long as you have at least 30 minutes a day to bond with them (can be done even while you're watching tv), then they will fit into your schedule. They will likely be more social at night or early evening since they're nocturnal, but I get them out when it fits into my schedule.
Do they need a friend?
No, they don't NEED a friend. Most prefer to live alone. Males will definitely kill each other. Females can potentially kill each other. VERY seldom do I find females that have to live together, or they grieve for one another. I have one female that kept escaping into another girl's bin until I broke down and allowed them to stay together.
If you want to try to cohab, keep this in mind... They will need a cage large enough to have two of everything. A 2x3 C&C cage is good. You'll need two wheels, two food dishes, two water dishes/bottles, and two warm places to sleep, which means two hides and two heat set ups. Usually a mother and daughter or two sisters is your best bet if you want two. But you have to be ready and willing to separate them immediately if they start fighting or if one is looking thinner like she isn't getting enough to eat.
Do the quills hurt?
The quills are sharpest when they're babies because they're smaller and more needle like. The older they get, they get larger quills in that don't poke as much. Also, the more you hold them, their quills actually dull down. I DO NOT recommend using gloves to hold them. This doesn't allow them to get used to your scent and they won't bond with you as well.
Why is my hedgehog baby losing quills/teeth?
Hedgehogs up to 6 months go through several bouts of quilling where they lose their baby quills and get in larger ones. They will likely become pissy during this time because it is painful, much like a teething baby. It is best to hold them in a pouch during this time so you aren't directly applying pressure to the quills, but you definitely still want to hold them. I sell oatmeal bath bombs that help soften the skin which allows the quills to come in more easily.
They also lose their baby teeth, so if they're young and you find teeth, this is why.
Are they cuddly? If you are wondering if they will let you snuggle them like a cat or dog, the answer is no. The ones you see on TikTok and YouTube that are being cute and snuggly are the result of MANY, MANY HOURS of bonding time. They trust their owners fully. It will take time and DAILY BONDING for them to maybe possibly get like that. Many of them the best you can hope for is they'll unball and walk around on you but lower their visor quills if you move or try to touch them. If you want something snuggly, I also sell rabbits.
Why do they poop everywhere??
As babies, they will defecate frequently. It does get better as they get older. I have some older ones (1 year+) that when they start getting restless, I know they have to potty. You can try to prevent getting pooped on by sticking them in a couple inches warm water before you hold them and letting them poop there. It usually stimulates them. If poop bothers you, this isn't the pet for you.
Do they bite?
Can they bite? Well, they have teeth, so yes, they can. In almost 15 years I have only truly been bitten by one hedgehog and it was a pregnant female. She latched on for a couple minutes yet didn't even break skin. In the unlikely event that you do get bitten, DO NOT YANK AWAY. That is what will cause it to break skin.
Keep in mind that hedgehogs don't have hands, so especially as babies when everything is new to them, they investigate with their mouths. If they like the smell of something, they will lick it, create a spit ball, and rub it on their backs (it is called anointing.) If they really like it, they may chomp on it to get a bigger spit ball. So, if they start licking your hands, I just recommend slowly pulling your hands away.
Always wash your hands before you handle them. They're used to the smell of hand sanitizer because I use it every time I hold them when they're babies, so I would apply it after you wash your hands. If you vape, they will never leave your hands alone regardless of how many times you wash them. In your case, I would wear gloves if they become infatuated with your hands. It's the only time I ever recommend gloves.
Why am I breaking out in hives?
When you hold a hedgehog, its quills will cause microscopic pricks in your skin. Not enough to notice, but it introduces saliva from them anointing and other irritants into the first layer of skin which can cause hives in some people. If you're getting hives, bathe your hedgehog in Chlorehexidine shampoo. I use Curaseb brand. This will eliminate the irritant. You don't want to use medicated shampoo all the time because it can ruin their skin, but when Aveeno isn't taking care of them causing hives, it is time for a medicated bath.
What is hibernation and how do I know if my hedgehog is trying to hibernate? Hibernation happens when a hedgehog gets too cold. A hedgehog that is trying to hibernate will be curled into a tight ball with all of its quills up. It'll be cold to the touch and likely not even pop or hiss if you pick it up. If there's no response from it, try to stay calm. The best thing to do is skin to quill contact. Put him or her under your shirt and put a blanket on top. If you can't handle the quills on your skin, just put your hog on your chest and put the blanket over you. It is always a good idea to keep hand warmers (Hot Hands) on hand, mainly for power outages, but this would also be a good time to have them. NEVER DUNK THE HIBERNATING HEDGEHOG IN HOT WATER. A sudden change in temp like that is extremely dangerous. Usually it should only take 20 minutes or so to bring him or her around, but I've heard of some taking almost an hour. Just try to stay calm. And as always, when in doubt, the vet is always the best option.
NOTE: If a hedgehog goes into hibernation, it is likely to have another hibernation attempt within 48 hours of the first one. Keep the cage temp bumped up and keep an eye on them. They might have to have the cage temp higher from then on.