Are you considering purchasing a hedgehog to be your new pet? If so, there are several things you should look for when selecting your new friend. After all, you want to purchase a hedgehog that is healthy and is likely to be around for a long time. By looking for a few key things, you will significantly increase your chances of making that happen.
Watch Their Movement
The way a hedgehog moves about can give you a good idea of its overall level of health. Unfortunately, judging a hedgehog by its movement can be a difficult task because they have a tendency to roll up and to become defensive when they are around people they do not know. In addition, they are nocturnal creatures, meaning they may be napping when it comes time to pick one out to take home. Nonetheless, once woken up, a hedgehog will generally be active for a short period of time. During this period of activity, watch the hedgehog to see if it appears to be bright and curious. In addition, you shouldn’t notice any wobbly movement or limping.
Determine the Temperament
More than likely, you will want to take your hedgehog home and be able to hold it and play with it from time to time. Therefore, before you purchase your new pet, you should take some steps to determine whether or not it will be willing to be handled. The only way to do this is to actually hold the pet and see how it responds.
Although it is normal for a hedgehog to initially roll up into a ball and become a bit defensive when it first meets you, it shouldn’t take too long for it to realize that you are not a threat and to become friendlier toward you. If the hedgehog continues to show signs of aggression or defensiveness, such as refusal to lay down its quills or making clicking noises, you should probably set your sites on a different hedgehog that will be more easily tamed.
Check Over the Face
There are many areas of the face that can provide you with telltale signs of health issues. The eyes, for example, should be bright and clear. You should not notice any redness or discharge in the eyes, and the fur surrounding the eyes should also be clean and dry. If the eyes are sunken or half-closed, it is a sign of illness and you should consider purchasing your pet from a different store. Similarly, the nose should be free of discharge, though it is normal for it to have a bit of moisture.
While investigating the hedgehog’s nose and eyes, you should also take a look inside its ears. These should also be free of discharge and wax buildup. You should also look for scabs in the ears, which would be a sign that the hedgehog has been bitten by other hedgehogs in the cage.
When it comes down to it, you simply need to look over the hedgehog’s entire body in order to make certain it looks and sounds healthy. If all appears to be well with the health of the pet and if you feel comfortable with handling it, you may have very well found your new best friend!