Hedgehogs are cute little pets that many people have taken a liking to. They’re rather popular among children, but adults also like keeping pet hedgehogs.
Perhaps you’re on the fence about bringing a hedgehog into your home right now. Are you worried that the hedgehog won’t be an appropriate pet for your child?
Do hedgehogs bite, or is that something you don’t need to worry about? Continue reading to learn about hedgehogs and whether they’re known to bite people or not.
You’ll also get important information about handling hedgehogs. This should help you to decide if a hedgehog is right for your household or not.
Do Hedgehogs Have Teeth?
Yes, hedgehogs do indeed have teeth. These little animals can have up to 44 teeth.
It’s also true that hedgehogs are capable of biting. So you will want to be careful when handling these little pets.
Hedgehogs Will Sometimes Bite People
It isn’t unheard of for hedgehogs to bite people. However, you should know that hedgehogs aren’t known to bite all the time.
Typically, hedgehogs will bite more often when they’re very young. If you’re caring for a baby hedgehog, it might bite your fingers.
The animal does this because it thinks that you’re trying to feed it. This is very common among young hedgehogs that were fed via syringes.
So don’t assume that hedgehogs are mean animals that are going to bite their owners for no reason. This simply isn’t the case.
How Bad Does a Hedgehog Bite Hurt?
You’ll be happy to hear that hedgehog bites don’t hurt too badly. If your hedgehog bites you, it won’t feel pleasant, though.
Most hedgehog owners describe hedgehog bites as feeling like a slightly painful nibble. These bites rate pretty low on the pain scale, and some people might not even be bothered by them at all.
Note that there are different types of hedgehog bites, too. An angry hedgehog bite will hurt the most, but that’s still not likely going to cause you any real harm.
If the hedgehog just gives you a nibble, that might feel mildly uncomfortable. Either way, you don’t need to be too fearful of hedgehog bites.
Why Does My Hedgehog Bite Me?
There are many different reasons why hedgehogs might choose to bite people. It might be hard to determine what that reason is without further context.
Some hedgehogs simply bite because they have an oral fixation. They like putting things in their mouths and will sometimes bite people’s fingers.
You can give hedgehogs chew toys that they can enjoy so they won’t be as likely to bite or try to chew on you. People give hedgehogs soft toys to chew on, and they also sometimes enjoy chewing on simple pieces of fabric.
As hedgehogs grow, they will often stop doing this. So this is more common for juvenile hedgehogs.
Biting is also a way that these little animals communicate. Sometimes a hedgehog will bite you as a way to try to tell you something.
For instance, a hedgehog might bite you if you do something that makes it uncomfortable. It’s telling you to stop doing what you’re doing.
Hedgehogs will also bite when they become irritated. It’s common for them to get irritated when they’re being groomed.
Many owners say that hedgehogs will bite when they’re frustrated or jealous. For example, there have been hedgehog owners that have been bitten for holding other hedgehogs first.
Another example involves owners being away for a few days. The hedgehog might be unhappy that you were away for so long and will bite you to let you know that it doesn’t approve.
Along with these examples, hedgehogs might also bite when they’re experiencing pain or discomfort. There could be something causing the hedgehog to feel stressed that is making it want to bite.
Why Does My Hedgehog Bite My Clothes?
Have you noticed that your hedgehog is biting your clothes lately? When this happens, it’s usually because they’re attracted to something on your clothes.
It could be that you’re wearing cologne or perfume that makes the hedgehogs curious. Otherwise, it might be the smell of the laundry detergent that the hedgehogs find intriguing.
If you find this to be annoying, you might want to try switching things up. Maybe using a different laundry detergent or fabric softener will keep the hedgehogs from wanting to bite your clothes.
You could also try to avoid using perfume or cologne around the pet. This might get it to stop biting your clothes.
Consider that some hedgehogs have oral fixations. Young hedgehogs seem to really like putting things into their mouths.
So your little pet might simply need a chew toy. Look into buying the hedgehog some chew toys if you know that it’s still fairly young.
Can You Teach Hedgehogs Not to Bite?
It is possible to teach hedgehogs not to bite. You can try several things to get your hedgehog to realize that biting isn’t appropriate.
One idea is to try misting the hedgehog in the face with water when it bites you. Firmly say “no” while misting the hedgehog as it starts to bite.
Over time, the hedgehog will learn that this action is something that gets it in trouble. It might take a bit of conditioning, but you can make biting a very rare thing.
Adult hedgehogs don’t bite very often under normal circumstances. They usually only do so when you do something to agitate them or make them scared.
So keep this in mind, and you should be able to keep yourself from getting bitten too much. You might be able to train the hedgehog well enough that it won’t bite you any longer unless there is a real reason to do so.
Don’t Overreact When a Hedgehog Bites You
Never overreact when a hedgehog bites you. Even if the bite hurts a little bit, you’re not going to want to react too strongly.
Remember that hedgehogs are fairly small animals, and they can get hurt while you’re handling them. It would be bad if you dropped the hedgehog while handling it just because it bit you.
Keep in mind that overreacting has the potential to make the hedgehog even more frightened. Often, these pets will only bite people when they’re uncomfortable or scared.
Try to take it as a sign that you need to alter how you’re doing things. You might have been handling the hedgehog in a way that made it feel uncomfortable.
When you’ve been bitten, try not to react much at all. Yelling or making loud noises can be detrimental.
This will usually scare the hedgehog, and that will make it learn to fear you. Also, you don’t want to physically hurt the hedgehog in any way.
Some hedgehog owners have made the mistake of flicking the pet as a punishment. This harms the hedgehog and makes it afraid of you.
If you want to teach the hedgehog not to bite, it’s better to use the water misting method. Conversely, you could simply blow air in the hedgehog’s face as a harmless way of reprimanding it.
Don’t put the hedgehog back in its cage after it bites you. This will only teach it that biting is a way that it will get to go back to its little environment.
You have to be careful to send the right message to the hedgehog without overreacting or hurting it. Keep this in mind, and you should easily be able to make good decisions.
Do Hedgehogs Make Good Pets?
Yes, hedgehogs can make good pets, but you need to be prepared for the responsibility. They aren’t overly hard to care for, but you have to give them the right environment so they can thrive.
Make sure that you have the time and money to invest in caring for a hedgehog. You’ll need to buy a good cage, high-quality food, and hedgehog toys to keep the little pet happy.
When the pet is happy it’ll learn to trust you over time. Eventually, your hedgehog should become a bit affectionate toward you.
Remember that these pets are less likely to bite when you treat them right. Learn how to handle hedgehogs safely.
Always remember that these pets are small and vulnerable. They rely on you for care, and you have to take that responsibility seriously so they can stay healthy in your home.
After learning more about hedgehogs and why they bite, it should be easier to move forward. You know that hedgehogs have teeth and that they can bite you now.
Hedgehog bites don’t hurt that badly, but it’s still not something you want to encourage. Young hedgehogs will sometimes bite due to having an oral fixation, but they will grow out of this behavior as time passes.
Normally, hedgehogs will only bite you when they’re irritated or stressed. They might bite when you do something wrong while handling them.
Never overreact to a hedgehog bite because you might frighten the pet or harm it accidentally. You don’t want to drop the animal or make it become afraid of you due to yelling.
These animals can be trained not to bite, but it’ll take a bit of effort. Just do your best to treat the hedgehog right, and you should have an easy enough time avoiding bites.