It’s the height of summer and it’s time to take your hedgehog on a bona fide adventure on the town or maybe a jaunt to the countryside!
Follow these tips and tricks to help you and your hedgehog have a great time.
Bring the backpack
An out and about bag is essential for taking your hedgehog downtown or on a country drive. You can use a small bag or backpack outfitted for your ball of quills. Just make sure it isn’t air-tight. Use a bonding sack to line the bag so your hedgehog has something familiar to snuggle in. Pack food for snacks and baby wipes for cleaning up messes in a separate pouch.
You can wear your hedgehog on your back as you travel out and about. No one will even know until you bring her out; they might become suspicious if you have a hedgehog patch, however.
Take a pic real quick
If you want pictures, they are best to take right away when you take your hedgehog out of its bag. Your hedgehog will be in a slight ball and be sniffing the air to get used to its surroundings before it uncurls and wants to either go back into its bag, crawl all over your arms or explore the great outdoors. You will have a short window to take a picture of your ball of quills before it uncurls and strangers start noticing its cuteness.
Manage the strangers
Inevitably, when you take your hedgehog out of its bag, strangers around you will ooo, aww and ask questions. They will ask to pet your hedgehog. It is good to socialize your hedgehog, so let people know they can pet your hedgehog on the bottom of its back but to avoid the face area. Too many strange people poking at the forehead is a sure way to get your hedgehog to curl into a tight ball. Make sure you talk sweetly to your hedgehog as it meets new people to let it know you are still there. Make sure you tell strangers they should wash their hands afterward.
Let em have their way
If your hedgehog is scrambling a lot, let them down to the ground to go to the bathroom. Sometimes hedgehogs need to go soon after they wake up. Or maybe they want to explore. Or go back in their bag because there are too many exuberant strangers. It’s your job to discern when your hedgehog has had enough and say sorry, but you can’t pet my hedgehog today to the next stranger you see along the way.
Sara Marie Moore is a journalist and happy hedgehog owner. She had her first hedgehog in fourth grade long before the current hedgehog craze.