If you have any questions about Loki or hedgehogs in general, please read the FAQ below. If your question isn’t answered here, feel free to message me!
General hedgehog care
# WHAT IS AN ‘AFRICAN PYGMY HEDGEHOG’?
African pygmy hedgehogs have been bred as pets for years and are in fact a hybrid between two species from Africa (the Four-toed hedgehog and the Algerian hedgehog). They come in a lot of different colours. Hedgehogs aren’t rodents; in the wild they eat insects, small animals, carrion, fruit, eggs and mushrooms.
# I WANT ONE. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THEM AND DO THEY MAKE GOOD PETS?
I would say they do - BUT they’re not for everyone. They look cute, but they have special needs and special characters. Make sure you have the resources and are willing to give your hedgehog the right care.
They are nocturnal, so your hedgehog will come out when you sleep and you won’t really see him during the day. They have special needs, such as a varied diet made of high-quality cat food, living insects and more. They need an heated environment to live in; something between 73-80 F/23-26 C.
Not all hedgehogs are cuddly and out-going. Don’t expect your hedgehog to be; don’t expect much interaction or affection. If you do want that, a hedgehog might not be the right pet for you, so don’t get disappointed if your hedgehog turns out to be not really interested in you - that’s normal. They are very independent animals and nothing like a cat or a dog.
It can take a lot of time and patience to get your hedgehog used to handling - this can take up months, depending on the hedgehog. Some hedgehogs will never like handling that much. But when you spent more time together your hedgehog will eventually grow on you. Every hedgehog has its own special character and its own little quirks, and I find that with hedgehogs it’s the small things (like watching a movie together) that make it so much fun and rewarding to own one.
If you’re still interested, you can download a free e-book here with all the information you’ll need. There are also some forums on the internet like Hedgehog Central where you can ask questions or read articles about hedgehog care.
# HOW DO I MAKE MY HEDGEHOG FRIENDLIER/GET HIM MORE USED TO ME?
Please read this post: BEHAVIOUR EXPECTATIONS AND CHARACTER
Time and patience is the key when it comes to owning a hedgehog. In order to get your hedgie to feel comfortable around you, you need to spend a lot of time together. Try at least half an hour every day, but more is always better. I tend to spend a couple of hours with Loki in the evening. It can be very simple; let your hedgehog sleep in your lap while watching a movie if he likes to cuddle. Or set up a play pen/safe area for him to play in and watch him play if he’s more of an explorer.
Keep in mind hedgehogs are usually quite shy animals, and while some of them enjoy handling, some others might never like it that much. Try to find out what your own hedgehog likes most; maybe he likes to sleep on your lap, or maybe he likes to explores your room while you watch over him.
If you just got your hedgehog and you are still new for him, you can put an old worn t-shirt in his cage to cuddle with. That way he can get used to your scent.
# HOW MUCH DOES A HEDGEHOG COST AND ARE THEY EXPENSIVE TO TAKE CARE OF?
In my country hedgehogs are a lot less common and cheaper compared to the US for example. The price for a hedgehog in the US seems to be somewhere between $100-$300.
And of course you need all the other things (cage, wheel, food, heating stuff like lamps and thermometers etc.) which can be quite expensive.
Putting some money aside for vet visits is a good idea as well (a couple of hundreds) in case your hedgehog gets sick. I put some money aside for vet care every month. But the things you need to buy more often, like food, aren’t that expensive. Although they need high-quality food, they don’t eat much.
# HOW LONG DO HEDGEHOGS LIVE?
Up to 6-8 years at its highest, but around 4 seems to be the average.
# WHAT IS ‘ANOINTING’?
When hedgehogs encounter something, usually things with a strong smell - food, clothes, hair that smells like shampoo etc. they sometimes lick and bite it and their saliva gets all foamy and they smear it onto themselves (kinda looks like they just went nuts and got rabies). No one knows exactly why they do it, but there are some theories. It could be they smear the scent of their surroundings onto themselves as some sort of camouflage; or they smear toxic bacteria from their saliva onto their quills which gives predators infections or rashes when the quills pierce the skin.
It looks a bit weird though, and they are surprisingly flexible! Sometimes they get so into it they fall over on their sides or backs.
# WHAT COLOUR IS LOKI?
Loki is a white-bellied dark grey pinto with a pinto face and mismatched ears.
# HOW OLD IS LOKI?
Loki was born on the 7th of March, 2012.
# WHERE DID YOU GET LOKI?
I got him from a breeder. Since I live in Europe and I get this question mostly from people from the USA; there’s a website with a list of breeders on it (not only for the USA but also Canada and some European countries). Here it is: http://www.hedgehogbreeders.org And of course you can always look up breeders in your area on Google.
If you want to buy a hedgehog, try to find a proper breeder instead of buying one in a pet shop. Most pet shops don’t know much about hedgehog care and often the animals they sell are sick (mites), injured, or even pregnant because they are often being kept together. Besides that, most breeders give their babies more attention which can be a big difference when it comes to handling your hedgehog.
# HOW DO YOU KEEP LOKI’S CAGE WARM?
I use a heat lamp (ceramic heat emitter).
# WHAT KIND OF TOYS DOES LOKI HAVE?
Of course he has his wheel (I use a Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel, it is great!), which is by far his favourite. He runs on it every night. Another favourite is his dig box. Besides that he has a couple of toys like small stuffed animals, cat toys and PVC pipes.
# DOES IT HURT TO HOLD/PET HIM?
No, usually it doesn’t. When he has his quills down you can pet him and they are surprisingly soft, but when he’s grumpy he raises them and they become a bit prickly. And when he is really angry he balls up fully and just raises them in every direction so you can’t touch him without hurting yourself at least a little bit. But he is rarely that grumpy (it only happened a couple of times), so most of the time I can handle him without any problems. And of course the fur parts are really soft!
# WHAT TYPE OF CAMERA DO YOU USE AND WHAT DO YOU USE TO EDIT/MAKE GIFS?
I mainly use my DSLR, an Olympus E-510. Besides that I also use a compact camera (Canon Ixus 750) for the video’s and some of the pictures. I edit my pictures/gifs in Adobe Photoshop CS4.
# WHAT COUNTRY DO YOU COME FROM?
I live in the Netherlands (Holland). English isn’t my first language, so if you see any (grammar) mistakes in my writing that’s most likely the reason why. And if you hear some weird talking in my video’s; that’s Dutch - not German, as some people have asked me before, although it sounds a bit similar since the Germans are our neighbours!
I receive a lot of questions from people from the US, but even though I wish I could I can’t always answer your questions (especially those regarding hedgehogs and laws or products/brands in the US) since I don’t live there.
# LIST OF HEDGEHOG BLOGS
Here is a list that features some hedgehog blogs about hedgehogs in general or dedicated to one hedgehog like Loki’s. If you want to be on the list, sent me a message with the link to your blog and I’ll put you on it!
http://sayhedgehog.tumblr.com (hedgehog and other things)
http://h3dgies.tumblr.com (about Oliver and other hedgehogs)
http://hedgehogwithablog.tumblr.com (about a little hedgehog who is also named Loki)
http://hedgesnow.tumblr.com (about Snowball and Miss Pig)
http://ether-the-hedgehog.tumblr.com (Ether the hedgehog)
http://pricklebottom.tumblr.com (the Pricklebottom hedgehogs)
http://hedgiehenley.tumblr.com (Hedgie Henley)
http://mylittlehedgehog.tumblr.com (about Bacon van W’n’B)
http://olivethehedgehog.tumblr.com (about Olive the hedgehog)
http://alicethehedgehog.tumblr.com (Alice the hedgehog)
http://quillyquarters.tumblr.com (hedgehog breeder)
http://quotablequills.tumblr.com (articles about hedgehog care)
http://dailyprickle.tumblr.com (Tadeusz the hedgehog)
http://katandhogs.tumblr.com (hedgehogs and other things)
http://storybook-hedgehogs.tumblr.com (hedgehog breeder)
http://pippinthehedgie.tumblr.com (the adventures of Pippin)
http://valentinethehedgog.tumblr.com (Valentine the hedgehog)
http://teddythehedgie.tumblr.com (hedgehogs and other things)
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