The Cost Of Owning A Hedgehog

Hedgehog April 30, 2020
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The Cost Of Owning A Hedgehog

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Though they may look like a prickly little pin cushion, hedgehogs are actually energetic and entertaining little pets.

The hedgehog might not be the most cuddly or affectionate pet you’ll ever own, but they each have their own unique personality and a special appeal you’ll come to love.

Getting to know your hedgehog’s personality is part of the challenge, but so is providing him with the optimal environment.

Hedgehogs are native to central and eastern Africa where their wild cousins travel miles each day. In captivity, hedgehogs still need plenty of exercise and a high-quality insectivorous diet to maintain their health and happiness.

Here’s what you need to know about meeting your new pet’s basic needs and how much it costs to keep a hedgehog.

Bringing Home A New Hedgehog – One-Time Costs

If you’re thinking about adding a hedgehog to your family, you’ve probably already done a little bit of research into the cost. The average price for a pet hedgehog is $150 to $300.

What you need to remember, however, is that the purchase price of your new pet is just one of many costs you’ll have to cover. It’s also important to consider additional costs like an initial vet visit, vaccinations, and spay/neuter surgery.

These costs aren’t required for every pet, but it’s worth thinking about them as part of your decision.

Here’s what you need to know about one-time costs for pet hedgehogs:

Buying A Hedgehog

Before buying a hedgehog, it’s a good idea to do a little research to compare prices. You’re unlikely to find hedgehogs in large chain stores, but local pet stores may have them. You can also try asking around at local pet stores or vet clinics to see if you can find a local breeder.

If you’re looking to adopt a hedgehog, talk to your local animal rescue. Even if they don’t currently have any hedgehogs available, you can put your name on a list to get a call if one is surrendered.

When shopping around for hedgehogs, you may find a difference in pricing. Hedgehogs come in dozens of different colors and some breeders price them differently.

The most common coloration, salt & pepper, sells for $100 to $200 while rare colors like albino or all-black may sell for $300.

Compare the costs of different pet shops and breeders and decide whether you care about getting a particular color before you decide where to purchase your hedgehog.

Hedgehog Cost by Color

Color Average Cost (Low) Average Cost (High)
Salt & Pepper or Cinnamon $100 $200
Apricot $200 $225
Champagne $200 $225
Pinto or Algerian $175 $250
Snowflake $200 $275
White $250 $275
Albino $250 $300
Black $250 $300

Supplies And Setup

Hedgehogs are small pets, but they do need a decent amount of space. Your hedgehog cage should provide at least 2.5 to 4 square feet with a solid bottom rather than a wire floor.

These pets require an exercise wheel as well as places to hide – they are primarily nocturnal animals, so they will spend the majority of their day sleeping.

When shopping for a hedgehog cage, you need to consider the materials. Wire-bottom cages are not recommended because they can hurt your pet’s feet. A cage with a plastic bottom and a wire top is a good option because it will provide plenty of ventilation.

In addition to choosing your hedgehog’s cage, you also need to think about additional supplies. Your pet will need a food bowl, water bottle, and bedding in the cage as well as an assortment of toys.

When you bring your new pet home, you’ll also need a supply of high-quality hedgehog food and bedding.

Once you have all of your supplies and you’ve set up your cage, you can bring your hedgehog home. Within a week or two, it’s a good idea to have him checked out by a veterinarian.

Hedgehogs don’t need vaccines, but they need annual vet visits with fecal exams and bloodwork to monitor their health. Spaying or neutering your pet is recommended as well if you plan to keep more than one hedgehog together.

Hedgehog Supplies and Setup

Cost Type Average Cost (Low) Average Cost (High)
Cage $50 $150
Cage Supplies $30 $50
Initial Food and Bedding $15 $30
Spay/Neuter Cost $250 $400
Initial Vet Visit/Vaccinations $30 $60
Total = $375 to $690

Cost Of Hedgehog Ownership – Annual Expense Breakdown

After you’ve assembled your hedgehog’s cage and the remaining supplies, it’s a good idea to set it all up before you purchase your new pet. You’ll want to have his home ready for him so he can settle in and start getting used to his new environment.

Before you head to the pet store or contact your breeder, review the monthly and annual costs for keeping a pet hedgehog just to be sure you can handle the financial responsibility.

You’ll need to factor in recurring costs like food and bedding on a monthly basis as well as more occasional expenses like vet visits, medications, and replacement toys.

Here’s what you need to know about annual costs for pet hedgehogs:

Annual Medical Expenses

When properly cared for, you can expect a pet hedgehog to live an average of 5 years. A healthy, high-quality diet plays a key role in keeping your hedgehog healthy. You’ll also need to keep up with annual veterinary visits as well as fecal exams and bloodwork.

Here are some of the common health problems known to affect hedgehogs:

  • Dental problems
  • Ectoparasites (like mites)
  • Uterine cancer
  • Neurological diseases
  • Eye problems
  • Urinary tract disease
  • Obesity
  • Respiratory infection

Before you bring your new hedgehog home, it’s a good idea to find a local vet who takes care of exotics and small animals. You may have to pay a little more for an exam, but it’s important to know who to call if your hedgehog becomes sick or injured.

Because emergency veterinary services can be very expensive, you might consider pet insurance. The problem is many pet insurance companies don’t offer policies specifically for hedgehogs, though you may be able to find one that covers small pets as a category.

Just be sure to double-check the coverage and see whether it’s worth the cost. You may be better off simply setting aside the money you’d pay for your premium each month into an emergency fund for your hedgehog.

Estimated Medical Costs for Hedgehogs

Cost Type Frequency Average Cost
Veterinary Checkup Annual $45
Fecal Exam and Bloodwork Annual $100
Vaccinations N/A N/A
Dental Cleaning Occasional $100
Flea, Tick, and Worm Treatments Occasional $15
Emergency Expenses Occasional $100 or more

Food And Supplies

Hedgehogs are insectivores, which means that insects make up the majority of their diet. Insects don’t just provide protein, however, they also provide chitin – this is the most important part of your hedgehog’s diet.

Because your hedgehog has unique nutritional needs, it’s a good idea to feed him a nutritionally balanced commercial hedgehog food. He’ll only need a tablespoon or two of pellets per day, so a large bag should last you a month or more.

You’ll need to supplement your hedgehog’s commercial diet with live or dried insects as well as small amounts of cooked meat and the occasional treat like boiled egg or a pinky mouse.

Because hedgehogs are fairly small, your monthly food costs shouldn’t be significant – about $15 per month.

In addition to your hedgehog’s diet, you’ll need to be mindful of keeping his cage clean. Change the bedding weekly and replace broken toys as needed. You may want to set aside a few dollars each month for replacement toys and additional supplies like cleaning supplies.

Also Read: What Do Hedgehogs Eat?

Food and Supply Costs for Hedgehogs

Cost Type Frequency Average Cost
Food and Treats Monthly $15
Bedding Monthly $10
Toys Monthly $10
Additional Supplies Monthly $5
Total = $40

Total Annual Cost Of Owning A Hedgehog

The cost to keep a hedgehog is much less than the cost of keeping a dog or cat, but it isn’t insignificant.

When you become a pet owner, your pet becomes your responsibility and it’s your job to make sure you can cover all the necessary costs to keep your pet safe, healthy, and fed.

Here’s a quick summary of the estimated annual cost for keeping a hedgehog:

  • Purchase/Adoption = $100 to $300
  • Cage and Setup = $375 to $690
  • Annual Veterinary Costs = $145 ($100 extra for dental cleanings)
  • Monthly Food and Supplies = $40

Remember, all of these figures are rough estimates. The actual cost to purchase and keep a hedgehog may differ depending where you live, how many hedgehogs you keep, and how much veterinary care each of them require on an annual basis.

Even if you’re able to comfortably cover these costs, it doesn’t hurt to set aside a little extra as an emergency fund just in case your pet gets hurt or sick.

FAQ

How much does a hedgehog cost?

Hedgehogs come in a wide variety of different colors that may have different prices. On average, a hedgehog costs about $100 to $200 but some varieties cost closer to $300. Prices may vary as well depending whether you purchase from a local pet store or directly from a breeder.

How much does it cost to neuter/spay a hedgehog?

If you keep a single hedgehog or a same-sex pair, you may not have to worry about spaying or neutering your pet. If you do, however, you can expect to spend $250 to $400. There may be additional costs for medication and treatments during your pet’s recovery.

How much does a hedgehog vet checkup cost?

You may not be able to take your hedgehog to the local vet clinic – you’ll need to find a veterinarian that sees exotics and small animals. You can expect to spend $30 to $60, or an average of $45 per vet visit. Remember as well that hedgehogs need annual fecal exams and blood work in addition to their exam. These cost an average of $50 each, making your estimated annual spending about $145.

How much does it cost to microchip a hedgehog?

The average cost to have a pet microchipped is about $45 and it is a one-time fee. There’s little point in having a hedgehog microchipped, however.

How much does hedgehog food cost?

You can purchase a 1-to-2-pound bag of hedgehog pellets for under $15 that will last you over a month. You may need to purchase dried or live insects as well, so your expected monthly cost is about $15.

How much does a hedgehog cage cost?

The cost to purchase a hedgehog cage varies widely depending on the size and materials. If you purchase a large cage with a solid plastic bottom and wire topper, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to over $150 for the cage alone.

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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