Posted: January 13, 2011, 5 a.m. EST
Q: I own two hedgehogs and travel from the north to the south with them. I read that hedgehogs get carsick, but mine seem to travel fine. My concern is how to keep them warm enough in the car when outdoor temps are often in the teens. My male went into hibernation once in our house where we keep the temps around 60 to 65 degrees. I warmed him out of it and have now added a small space heater in their room, which seems to work. I am concerned that the travel may place him back in hibernation. I have been cranking my car heater on high, but it can get overwhelming for the people in the front seat. I keep them in their own cage with a blanket over it. Any other ideas?
A: Hedgehogs should be kept at a temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a small digital thermometer in their cage or nest box to monitor temperature. If you are traveling in a car and are unable to keep the car temperature to at least 75 degrees, you must keep the area warm where the hedgehogs sleep.
A pocket made of fleece or a sleeve from an old jacket placed in the nest box makes a nice warm place for the hedgehogs to sleep. I also suggest using some hand warmers, such as the kind used for skiing. Once activated, you can wrap fleece around them, making sure the hedgehogs can’t get to them, and place them in the nest box. Hand warmers can stay warm for up to seven hours.
Always frequently monitor the temperature in the nest box during your trip. Temperatures above 85 degrees are potentially harmful.
Hedgehogs should never hibernate, which is very dangerous to their health. Hibernation causes a lot of stress, making the hedgehog more susceptible to infections and disease. Hand warmers and fleece should make the journey more comfortable for you and your hedgehogs.
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