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Hedgehog Handling Tips

Avoid injury and learn to correctly handle hedgehogs.

By Audrey Pavia

Handling hedgehogs can sometimes be tricky because of their sharp quills. It’s important to handle them correctly to avoid getting accidentally poked.

While you learn to handle your hedgehog safely, you may want to wear gloves to avoid getting pricked. Gardening gloves can help protect your hands. You can also pick up your small pet with bare hands. If you get pricked with a quill, wash your hands to minimize irritation to your skin.

Talk to a hedgehog in a soft voice before you lift it up to let it know you mean no harm. Move your hand toward the hedgehog slowly and slide your fingers under its stomach. Lift slowly and place your other hand underneath it, cupping both hands to provide support. Place the hedgehog against your body and hold it there. (Don’t press it against you too firmly or you’ll get poked with quills.)

Before you handle a new hedgehog for the first time, make sure you allow it at least a week to get used to its new surroundings before you take it out of the cage. Spend time bonding with the hedgehog before you pick it up. If your new hedgehog rolls into a ball, makes a hissing or clicking noise or struggles to get away, it’s nervous about being held. Put it in the cage and try again after it has calmed down.

If someone else wants to handle your hedgehog, make certain the person is comfortable with the idea of holding a small pet with sharp quills. Offer to let him or her wear gloves. Also ask the person to sit on the floor before you let him or her pick up or hold your hedgehog. You don’t want your hedgehog to fall far if the person accidentally drops your small pet.

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Reader Comments
Yes, as I got to know my hedgehog I got used to picking him up so it became completely harmless to not even own gloves. You should use gloves the first time, although use them as little as possible because a hedgehog is much more relaxed in a bare hand then a gloved one. He will be more likely to relax in your own warm hand.
Hannah, Gallatin, TN
Posted: 9/24/2013 9:16:24 AM
I am almost positive that the writer of this article meant by the us of gloves that the gloves where for the owner to get used to the pet not the other way around. So once the owner becomes comfortable with the animal they should it would make since to stop using the gloves and use there hands. I hope this makes since.
Aaron, Dallas, TX
Posted: 12/15/2011 7:39:07 PM
Gloves are the worst idea you could use when handling a hedgehog. They have poor eyesight and associate their surroundings more so by scent and sound. This is why you should speak to it in a calming tone, so as not to scare it, and letting it smell you (not using gloves!!) will let it come to associate how you handled it with what you smell/ sound like.
Courtnie, Tampa, FL
Posted: 4/25/2010 6:57:12 PM
never wear gloves they need to get used to YOUR sent
sdfdf, toronto
Posted: 1/2/2010 6:40:50 PM
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