As cute as hedgehogs may be, they are first and foremost wild animals, so you should consider all options carefully before deciding to take one in as a pet.

If you have come across a hedgehog in need of help in your garden, and you believe it would be better in your care, here are some steps to consider whether it’s the best option and how to go about it.

Orphaned Hedgehog

Sometimes baby hedgehogs are found without their parents, perhaps wandering around looking distressed during the day when they are usually asleep. If your best efforts of finding the parents come up empty, you will need to take the baby in to treat it and make sure it is free of insects and in good health. At this point, it is quite possible to take in the hedgehog as a pet.

Contact Your Local Centre

Before deciding on this, contact your local wildlife or hedgehog rescue centre to assess the health of the hedgehog and seek advice about what it means to have one as a pet. They can tell you everything it will entail; it’s more than just a cute pet!

Equipment

You’ll need a few things just to initially take care of the baby before domestication even comes in. Handling gloves, a deep box, a towel, food and water are all essentials to keep it healthy in the beginning. Don’t forget they are nocturnal creatures, so try not to keep them awake during daylight hours, and give them plenty of space to run around at night. This is often one fallback which occurs when people take hedgehogs as pets, and they can quickly become bored with an animal that likes to do nothing but sleep during the day.

If you have considered all of the above, and it still seems right, take a look at the next page on tips to look after your new pet.