Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How to uncurl a hedgehog


To handle a hedgehog, place your hand on each side of him and gently cup him in your hand. Use great caution not to place your fingers in the middle. They can ball up quickly and your finger can get caught in the middle of a bunch of quills being squeezed together by very strong muscles. If this happens, you will need to gently uncurl him to ease his anxiety. First pick him up, and turn him over on his back to identify where the nose is located. Hold the hedgehog by his back with the head under your fingers. Gently rock forwards and backwards, and when the nose starts to show the front legs will also emerge. As the legs reach for the ground, gently put the hedgehog down.

Bonding with a hedgehog is quite different than bonding with other animals. The hedgehog has very poor eyesight, and their hearing isn't much better, so they bond using their sense of smell, which is highly developed. Don't use gloves when handling a hedgehog or he won’t know who you are. If you want him to learn to identify your smell as being that of a friend, don't change your odor each day by wearing different perfumes. Spend a great deal of time with your new friend. It is better to spend small amounts of time frequently than large amounts of time infrequently, so that he gets used to having you around. Find an old article of clothing that has no loose threads or holes, wear it for a day, and then place it in his cage so he can adjust to your smell.

A hedgehog can be a special pet for the right person, but they aren’t as cuddly and cute as they look. Many hedgehogs have suffered because of people purchasing them as a fad item and then losing interest, so be sure to do your research first to be sure you are really interested in taking care of a hedgehog. If you are a responsible pet owner, a hedgehog can make a wonderful little pet for you, especially if you have a busy lifestyle or cramped quarters. They can be interesting and entertaining, and best of all, you won’t have to take them for a walk when it’s raining outside!

By Buzzle Staff and Agencies
Published: 3/1/2005

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