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Ways To Bond With Hedgehogs

Follow these tips to bond with a new pet hedgehog.

By Audrey Pavia

To get the most out of your relationship with your hedgehog, you need to bond with your small pet. You can begin the bonding process by first letting your small pet get used to its new surroundings. Give your hedgehog about a week to feel comfortable in its new home before you start interacting with it. In the meantime, talk to it when you reach into the cage to give food and water, letting it know that you are friend and not foe.

Begin the bonding process by offering your hedgehog a small treat with your fingers. (Unseasoned chicken or tuna are particular hedgehog favorites.) Let your hedgehog take the treat from your hand. If it won’t take if from your hand, put it down in the cage and let the hedgehog eat it as you watch. Try getting your small pet to take it from your hand the next day.

Once the hedgehog is comfortably taking the treat from your hand, try placing the treat on the palm of your open hand. Your hedgehog will have to touch you in order to get to the treat. Because it will be the one making the contact (instead of you just grabbing it), the hedgehog will learn that approaching you and touching you reaps yummy rewards.

Once your hedgehog is regularly crawling into your hand, go to the next step — picking it up. If the hedgehog becomes frightened when you do this, it’s not ready. Go back to placing a treat on the palm of your hand and allowing it to make contact on its own terms.


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Reader Comments
I got my male hedgehog when he was 17 weeks old and have had him for a few months now. Before I reach into his cage I always talk to him in a quiet "baby talk" voice and he is still huffing and curling up in a ball. He also likes to sleep in his litter box so I keep it very clean. My problem is I have been bitten at least 4 times. The first time he appeared to be walking right into my hand and he bit me. He also bites me when I have him on the sofa with me and he will curl up next to me and I think he is trying to chew on my clothes but he bites me. Now I am afraid for him to approach me. He has also bitten my foot when I let him walk up to me. He has also pulled my hair if I lay on the floor with him. He pulls hard! Will I ever get this little boy to like me. I think he's adorable and would love to be able to pick him up with my hands. But it doesn't look like it will ever happen. I have tried everything I have found on the internet including putting one of my old tank tops that I wore then didn't wash so he could get my scent.
Vicky, Lancaster
Posted: 12/10/2014 1:02:35 PM
fish is really bad for hedgehogs, tuna is not a good idea
J, chesterfield, AL
Posted: 3/12/2014 9:12:53 AM
I'll try this. Our new hedgie seems much huffier than Our first one. He is okay, but not as relaxed as I would like. :) Thanks!
Hannah, Gallatin, TN
Posted: 9/16/2013 8:46:15 AM
my favorite way to bond with my hedgie is to have her curl up in my shirt and watch a movie
Mackenzie, Newton, NJ
Posted: 5/29/2012 6:44:50 PM
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