Do Hedgehogs Make Good Pets for Kids?

Hedgehogs can make good pets for kids. Here are four main points to help you decide if a hedgehog will be a good pet for your child:

1) The child is not afraid of the hedgehog. If the child is afraid, more than likely the hedgehog will sense the nervousness and will act nervous or aggressive, making the child more afraid. This isn't good for the child or the hedgehog. It's okay if your child needs canvas gloves or a hedgebag to have confidence to pick the hedgehog up because eventually, both hedgehog and child will get more comfortable and they will both relax.

 2) The child knows how to take care of the hedgehog and has adult backup support. If the child has not done their research, they won't know how to take good care of it. Hedgehogs are pretty easy to care for, but they do still have some specific needs that most other small animals do not have, like needing to stay warm. Hedgehogs are also not rodents and have very different care requirements that standard small animal pets like rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. The adult backup support is needed because kids are kids and no matter how responsible they are, life happens. If your kid gets a pet,  you are getting a pet, because you as the adult are going to need to step in if your child is sick, goes on vacation, or forgets.

3) Your child has shown the maturity needed to respect and care for an animal. Kids will promise you the world because everything tends to be so right now to them. Kids may have the most absolute earnest intention of follow through. The important thing is that they have the track record for following through. I have had many children purchase hedgehogs from me whose parents made them earn some to all of the money to  buy the hedgehog. Those parents are  very wise because the same kind of stick-to-it skill that is needed to raise that large of a sum of money is the same kind of stick-to-it skill that will help the child to stick with caring for and respecting the hedgehog once it is home.




4) Your child has done their research about hedgehog care. This one is really important and might be harder than you think. There is a lot of information out there on the Internet and some of it is really bad! Once I saw a website where the writer recommended using lettuce for bedding "so your hedgehog can eat it, too!" Seriously not a good plan!!

Make sure your child has read multiple sources and has written down (with your help if they are very young) questions to ask the person that you are getting the hedgehog from. You can also have your child contact us with questions as we are really happy to help prospective hedgehog parents get good information. This can help clarify anything that might be confusing. 




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