Have you been looking into pet hedgehogs as of late? You might think that these little animals are some of the cutest pets that you’ve ever seen.
Many people are interested in them simply because they seem fun. Kids often want pet hedgehogs due to being big fans of a certain video game hedgehog, too.
Is it legal to own these pets, though? Are hedgehogs legal in some places and illegal in others?
Continue reading to explore the legality of pet hedgehog ownership. This will help you out when you’re trying to determine whether it’s practical to get one of these pets for your home.
Pet Hedgehogs Are Illegal in Certain Places
Certain places have made it illegal to own pet hedgehogs. So if you want to get one of these pets, it’s important to check the local laws first.
It might not be possible to buy a pet hedgehog in your area. Some states have outright banned hedgehogs.
Even if it isn’t illegal to own hedgehogs in your state, there might be rules in your city about hedgehog ownership. There are situations where hedgehogs will be legal to own in one town and illegal one city over.
So you have to check to see if it’s okay for you to own these pets. Otherwise, you could wind up breaking the law, and you’ll get in trouble.
Why Are They Illegal in Some States?
This is a topic that’s more complicated than you might think. Hedgehogs are illegal in certain states because they may carry foot and mouth disease.
This is a contagious disease that can be carried by various animals that have cloven hooves. Foot and mouth disease is potentially dangerous to humans.
You should also know that hedgehogs are considered to be an invasive species in many places. They might cause harm to local insect populations if they escape into the wild.
So there are a few reasons why some places have chosen to ban hedgehogs as pets. They might have a negative impact on the ecosystem and they could be carriers of foot and mouth disease.
Is Foot and Mouth Disease Dangerous?
After learning about foot and mouth disease and the fact that hedgehogs are potential carriers, you might be concerned. Is foot and mouth disease dangerous?
This isn’t considered to be a serious disease, but it is a highly contagious one. When one person gets the disease, it can spread fast.
It’s common for this condition to spread in daycares, preschools, and elementary schools. The symptoms of the disease can be quite uncomfortable, but they’re not serious.
Children (or adults) who get this disease will experience rashes and mouth sores. It can be an annoyance, but it’s treatable, and it will go away over time.
Some Think Keeping Pet Hedgehogs Is Cruel
There are people out there who think that it’s cruel to keep hedgehogs as pets. Many activists say that these animals suffer in captivity.
They note that being kept in captivity can be a stressful experience for hedgehogs. It forces the hedgehogs to live in somewhat unnatural ways.
Not everyone feels this way, though. Many people note that hedgehogs can be very affectionate pets that aren’t that tough to care for.
Of course, you need to understand the care needs of a hedgehog if you’re going to buy one as a pet. If you’re not committed to meeting the care needs of the animal, it’d be better not to buy one.
It’s Legal to Own Hedgehogs in Most Places in the United States
It should be noted that it’s legal to own hedgehogs in most places in the United States. The majority of states haven’t made hedgehogs illegal to own.
At the time of writing, the states that have made hedgehogs illegal are Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Georgia, and California. Then there are also cities that have made hedgehogs illegal, such as New York City.
You should look at the rules in your city just to make sure that it’s okay to own hedgehogs. It’d be a shame to buy a pet hedgehog only to be told later that it’s not legal for you to own it.
Different cities might have different rules about hedgehog ownership. There are even some cities that require people to get special permits when they wish to own hedgehogs.
Do Hedgehogs Make Good Pets?
Hedgehogs can be good pets, but they’re not the best pets for some people. You might not like pet hedgehogs if you aren’t awake during the right times of the day.
People who work the third shift might not see their hedgehogs very often. These pets sleep during the day, and they’re awake at night.
So if you sleep during the day as well, you’re not going to see your pet because you’ll be at work. So this can be a bit inconvenient.
You should also know that hedgehogs require a fair bit of care. It’s not something that you should expect a young child to be able to do.
Children are often interested in pet hedgehogs, but when they are too young, they won’t do a good job of caring for them more often than not. It’s best to wait until your child is old enough to understand responsibility.
You need to be able to teach your child how to properly handle and care for the pet. Otherwise, it’s a better pet for adults than it is for children.
How Long Do Pet Hedgehogs Live?
Pet hedgehogs have the potential to live for many years. If you care for the pet well, it will live for at least five years unless it gets sick.
It’s common for pet hedgehogs to live for up to five years or a little longer. They have the potential to live up to eight years with truly excellent care.
So it comes down to how committed you are to caring for the pet. If you focus on meeting all of the hedgehog’s needs, it’s likely going to thrive in your home.
Hedgehog care can be a bit challenging at times, but it can also be rewarding. Proceed in buying a pet hedgehog only if you’re committed to caring for the pet and it’s legal in your area to own one.
What Do Hedgehogs Eat?
Hedgehogs like eating various types of bugs and veggies. You’ll likely be giving them many different types of bugs as meals.
It’s normal for them to eat mealworms since they’re so readily available. Waxworms and crickets can also make perfect snacks for these pets.
They also love eating veggies such as fresh green beans and tomatoes. Just don’t give them starch-based veggies since those are bad for them.
Fruits such as apples and bananas can be given as snacks. This should be done only in moderation.
Hedgehogs can also eat cooked eggs. So you can make your hedgehog some eggs with no spices or seasonings.
Kibble is what you’ll give hedgehogs all the time. You can buy hedgehog kibble from the pet store, and it’ll have the right blend of nutrients for the pet.
Some states have made it illegal to own hedgehogs due to concerns about foot and mouth disease. There are also potential concerns due to hedgehogs being an invasive species.
It’s legal to own these pets in most of the United States, though. You just need to look up local laws to see if it’s fine to own them in your city.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. I have a wife and two children and love taking them to the zoo to see all the animals. I grew up with dogs and fish and now have two dogs and two cats. I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.