Hedgehogs, sometimes referred to as hedgies, are becoming increasingly popular as pets in the United States. They’re small, cute, and don’t require daily walks – what more could you ask for? Just as with any pet, however, there are certain considerations to make before bringing one of these prickly little creatures into your home.
First of all, they’re not legal in every state and municipality. California, Georgia, Maine, Hawaii, and New York City have all made owning a hedgehog illegal and the animal will be confiscated if found. Those who oppose hedgehog ownership consider them wild animals and unsuitable for the home. The Centers for Disease Control states that even domesticated hedgehogs can carry a rare strain of salmonella that poses a danger to people.
If you do decide on a hedgehog as a new pet, know that they require care for the entirety of their lives. Hedgehogs that have been bred in captivity will not be able to fend for themselves if released into the wild. Hedgehogs tend to do well in homes without small children since they can be sensitive to loud, sudden noises. It’s also important to know that wild hedgehogs are nocturnal, so their domesticated counterparts may also be up much of the night.
With all that being said, many hedgehog owners vouch for how wonderful these animals are as pets. They don’t spread dander, so these cute little animals may make a good match for those who are allergic to cats or dogs. They’re also relatively easy to care for and downright adorable.