Yes, you can take your hedgehog to the family cabin, camping or even pet-friendly hotels.
Ginger went on her first weekend road trip before she was even fully grown. After the trip, I noticed she was more used to me and huffed and puffed less. Taking your hedgehog on a road trip can help your hedgehog bond with you.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the adventure as stress-free as possible:
Travel bag: Bring your hedgehog in the car in a portable travel bag. I use a small bag with a ventilation hole that I buckle into the back seat. Remember, put your ball of quills in the back seat, not up front where an air bag could damage their little body. Hedgehogs are content to burrow in these bags for hours without making a peep. I also put her favorite snuggle sack in the bag to make it even comfier.
Baby wipes: You will want these along to clean up your hedgehog after they take a pit stop. Yes, when you get out of the car to stretch and go to the bathroom you should also let your hedgehog run around on the grass. They will likely go to the bathroom, too. If it is during the day time, make sure to let them out every few hours as hedgehogs often get up during the day at some point to go to the bathroom and have a snack in their cage. Be patient as they may need to get used to the surroundings before going to the bathroom or eating.
Food, snacks, water: Bring along a sufficient supply of food and water for the trip and keep a small amount accessible in the car to offer to your hedgehog along the way.
Portable cage: You’ll want to have a cage that is not too small and not too big; at least about 18 inches wide and long for weekend road trips and larger for week-long trips. You will also want it to be tall enough to fit your hedgehog’s wheel if you are going for more than one night. Collapsible kennels for dogs or cats work well. Make sure you can completely secure the opening or sew on snaps like I did to this cat tent. Have your hedgehog test out the kennel or tent for at least one day a few days before your trip so they can get used to it and so you know there are no issues with the cage.
Wheel: When Ginger went on her first road trip, she was not fully grown so she could still use her smaller baby wheel on the trip. Once your hedgehog is fully grown, you should bring their wheel along if at all possible to help them keep their energy up. Hedgehogs will not die without a wheel for a week, however. I had a hedgehog in the ‘90s when no one knew about wheels for hedgehogs. Hokey Pokey lived a full hedgehog life although I am sure he would have been more fit and happy with a wheel.
Sleeping hut: Don’t forget to bring their favorite sleeping hut or pouch to put in their cage at night so they can burrow in it and feel like they are at home.
Food and water bowls: If you only use a water bottle, you will have to find a portable cage it can be attached to. But now might be a good time to train your hedgehog to also drink from a water dish. I personally use both in her cage at home in case she spills her dish or the water bottle leaks. Side note: If you do use a water bottle, make sure the ball and spout are large enough so that your hedgehog can get enough water out and also not get its tongue stuck in the spout. Hedgehogs love water. Try one with a 16mm diameter.
Small litter tray: I abandoned the litter tray after the first night on our road trip because her weekend cage was just too small for her not to create a litter trail to her food and water bowls. I think she enjoyed just going on her wheel. 🙂
Thermometer, emergency blanket, hand warmers: Bring along the thermometer you use to monitor your hedgehog’s room temperature at home. If you don’t have one, get one that tells you the high and low temperature over 24 hours. If the temperature drops below 72 degrees and your hedgehog’s face or tummy feels chilled, you will need to cuddle them or wrap them in a blanket surrounded by an emergency blanket or hand warmers until they are again fully warm to the touch. When a hedgehog’s tummy turns cold, they could be attempting to hibernate, which is dangerous for their health. Before you travel, check the weather to determine whether it is wise to bring your hedgehog along if you are not able to control the temperature of your lodging.
When I brought Ginger camping at my parent’s farm for one day she slept in her little tent during the day (her night) when it was warm but I put it in the cabin overnight (her day) because the temperature was going to drop too low.
Camera: You’ll want to capture lots of memories with your ball of quills on your road trip! Take shots at scenic areas and don’t be afraid to pull over just for a photo shoot break.
One more thing: Enjoy the journey!
Sara Marie Moore is a journalist and happy hedgehog owner. She had her first hedgehog in fourth grade long before the current hedgehog craze.