Do Hedgehogs Hurt to Hold?

If you’re considering getting a pet hedgehog or have recently acquired one, it’s natural to wonder about the handling process. One of the common concerns among potential hedgehog owners is whether these adorable little creatures can cause any harm when picked up and held. In this blog post, we will address this question and provide some insights into handling hedgehogs.

The primary reason why people might worry about being hurt by a hedgehog is due to their quills. Hedgehogs are covered in thousands of sharp spines or quills, which act as their defense mechanism in the wild. When feeling threatened or scared, they roll themselves into a tight ball with all their quills sticking outwards as a means of protection.

While it may seem intimidating at first glance, the truth is that holding a properly socialized and accustomed hedgehog should not result in pain or discomfort for you. Domesticated hedgehogs are typically bred to have softer quills compared to those found on wild ones.

The key factor in ensuring that your hedgie doesn’t hurt while being held lies in proper socialization and trust-building techniques. By spending time regularly with your pet and handling them gently from an early age, you can accustom them to human touch and minimize any potential discomfort during interaction.

If adopting an older hedgehog who hasn’t been properly handled before, patience becomes even more crucial. Take things slow and allow your new pet time to adjust to its new environment before attempting any handling sessions. Gradually introduce touch by offering treats from your hand until they feel comfortable taking food directly from you.

When picking up a hedgehog, it’s essential to use the right technique. Firstly, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly or wear gloves to prevent any scents that might upset or confuse them.

Next, approach your pet gently and place one hand under its belly while allowing its front legs to rest on top of your fingers. This supports their weight properly and gives them a sense of security. Avoid squeezing too tightly or applying pressure on their quills as this can cause discomfort.

To avoid causing distress during handling, it’s important to understand hedgehog body language cues. If your pet starts huffing (making puffing noises), hissing, or curling into a ball during interaction, it may indicate they’re feeling anxious or defensive. In these cases, respect their boundaries and give them space until they calm down before attempting further handling.

Pet hedgehogs do not inherently hurt when held if they are socialized properly and handled with care. By building trust through regular interaction and using correct holding techniques designed for their comfort, you can enjoy bonding time with your adorable spikey friend without any pain or harm involved!