Are Hedgehogs Legal in Missouri?

Hedgehogs have become popular pets due to their cute appearance and unique personalities. However, before considering getting a hedgehog as a pet, it’s essential to ensure that you comply with the laws and regulations of your state or region. In this blog post, we will discuss the legality of owning hedgehogs in Missouri.

In Missouri, hedgehogs are legal to own as pets without any restrictions or permits required. Unlike some other states where certain exotic animals are prohibited or require specific licenses, Missouri has no such limitations on keeping hedgehogs.

The decision to allow hedgehog ownership may be attributed to several factors:

  1. Lack of Environmental Impact: Hedgehogs are not considered invasive species nor do they pose significant threats to local flora and fauna if they were accidentally released into the wild.
  2. No Agricultural Concerns: Unlike rodents or other small mammals that can cause damage to crops or spread diseases harmful to livestock, hedgehogs do not present substantial agricultural risks.
  3. Pet-Friendly Nature: Hedgehogs make great companion animals due to their relatively low maintenance requirements and friendly temperaments, making them suitable for families or individuals looking for an alternative pet option.

If you decide to bring a hedgehog into your home in Missouri, it’s important to provide them with proper care and attention:

1. Housing

A suitable cage should be provided for your hedgehog with ample space for exercise and exploration. The enclosure must have secure walls (as they are excellent climbers) and a solid floor to prevent any injuries or escapes. Make sure to include hiding spots, tunnels, and a running wheel for enrichment.

2. Diet

Hedgehogs have specific dietary requirements that need to be met. A balanced diet includes high-quality commercial hedgehog food, supplemented with insects (such as mealworms), fruits, and vegetables. Consult with a veterinarian specializing in exotic animals for expert advice on your hedgehog’s nutritional needs.

3. Temperature Regulation

Hedgehogs are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and prefer warmer environments between 72-80°F (22-27°C). Providing them with an appropriate heat source like a ceramic heat emitter or heating pad is crucial for their well-being.

While it is generally legal to own hedgehogs in Missouri, it’s always advisable to double-check the regulations with local authorities before bringing one home. Municipalities within the state may have specific bylaws or restrictions regarding pet ownership that could differ from the statewide regulations.

If you’re interested in owning a hedgehog as a pet and reside in Missouri, you’re fortunate! Hedgehogs are legal to keep without any special permits or restrictions statewide. Remember, responsible ownership entails providing proper care and attention while also respecting local laws concerning animal welfare.