Are Hedgehogs Legal in Pennsylvania?

When it comes to owning exotic pets, the legality of different species varies from state to state. Some states have specific regulations and restrictions on certain animals, while others have more lenient laws. If you’re a resident of Pennsylvania and considering getting a pet hedgehog, you may be wondering about the legalities surrounding these adorable spiky companions.

Pennsylvania has fairly strict regulations when it comes to owning exotic pets. The state classifies animals into two categories: “wild” and “exotic”. Wild animals are generally not permitted as personal pets unless an individual holds a special permit or license issued by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). On the other hand, exotic animals can be kept as pets without any permits or licenses required.

Hedgehogs fall under the category of “exotic” rather than “wild”, which means they can legally be owned as pets in Pennsylvania without needing any additional documentation or permits from PGC.

Now that we’ve established hedgehogs are indeed legal in Pennsylvania let’s discuss how to properly care for them. Hedgehogs make wonderful companions but do require some specific attention and care:

  1. Housing: Provide your hedgehog with a spacious cage that includes hiding spots, bedding materials like paper shreds or fleece liners, as well as a running wheel for exercise.
  2. Diet: Feed your hedgehog high-quality cat food supplemented with occasional treats such as mealworms or fruits. Ensure fresh water is always available.
  3. Grooming: Regularly trim your hedgehog’s nails and bathe them using specially formulated hedgehog shampoos. Be cautious not to over-bathe, as it can dry out their skin.
  4. Temperature: Hedgehogs are sensitive to temperature extremes, so maintain a consistent temperature in their environment between 72-80°F (22-27°C).

Before bringing home any pet, it is important to consider several factors:

  1. Lifestyle: Ensure that the hedgehog’s needs align with your lifestyle. They are nocturnal creatures and require socialization and interaction during evening hours.
  2. Allergies: Make sure no one in your household has allergies or sensitivities to animal dander before getting a hedgehog.
  3. Veterinary Care: Find an exotic animal veterinarian who specializes in caring for hedgehogs. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for maintaining your pet’s health.

If you’re considering getting a hedgehog as a pet in Pennsylvania, you’ll be glad to know that they are legal to own without special permits or licenses. Just remember that while they may seem like low-maintenance pets, they do require specific care and attention. By providing them with proper housing, diet, grooming, and veterinary care, you can ensure your little prickly friend lives a happy and healthy life by your side.