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Hamster vs. Hedgehog: Comparing the Two as Pets

Hamster vs. Hedgehog: Comparing the Two as Pets
The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

There are many different types of pets that you can get that will be fantastic additions to your family. If you’d like to get a fun small animal as a pet, then you could be considering going with either a hamster or a hedgehog.

Both hamsters and hedgehogs have the potential to be great pets, but which one is going to work out better for you? These two animals are similar in certain ways, but there are differences.

Keep reading to learn about hamsters and hedgehogs so that you can decide which one will make a better pet for you. Comparing the two as pets will give you a chance to have a good understanding of what each animal brings to the table.

Why Hamsters Make Such Great Pets

Hamsters make great pets because they’re so fun, timid, and inexpensive. If you want to purchase a hamster as a pet, then you can do so for a very low price.

Many pet shops will sell hamsters for $10 or $20 because of how common they are, but keep in mind that prices might vary in your area. Regardless, you can expect to be able to find a hamster that won’t cost you a lot of money to adopt.

Hamster equipment and supplies won’t be overly expensive either, but you will need to invest in the right stuff. You’re going to need to buy a habitat for your new animal friend as well as important supplies.

Buying a hamster cage is going to cost you the most money in all likelihood, but you should come out okay. If you want to buy a pet that isn’t incredibly costly, then getting a hamster might be your best bet overall.

Aside from this, it’s good to know that hamsters are very kid-friendly pets overall. They are extremely docile creatures that will be playful as well.

Kids that are quite young can get enjoyment out of having hamsters as pets, and it can help to teach them about responsibility by taking care of hamsters. It’s also great that hamsters generally don’t cause problems with allergies, and this gives you a chance to enjoy pets even if you can’t keep something such as a dog or a cat.

Having a hamster could be a very good experience, but one potentially sad thing is that they have short lifespans. A pet hamster is likely only going to be able to remain a member of your family for around two years.

Keeping a Hedgehog as a Pet

Hedgehogs are a good bit different than hamsters because they require more attention than hamsters do. If you want to keep your hedgehog happy and friendly, then you’re going to need to socialize with it for a few hours each day.

This can be a bit complicated sometimes because hedgehogs are actually nocturnal creatures. Even so, you need to put in the effort to handle your hedgehog so that it will like you and want to play around.

You’ll find that hedgehogs are very playful little creatures that want to have fun in their little homes. You’re going to need to provide them with enough space to move around as well as toys that they can play with.

Even something as simple as an empty toilet paper roll can make for a good toy for a hedgehog, though. They like to roll things around and have fun, but they also love to dig around.

Many hedgehog owners choose to create little digging areas in their cages so that the hedgehogs can dig when they want to. This isn’t too hard to set up, but you will have to ensure that you can provide a nice digging space for your hedgehog.

You need to know that hedgehogs have warmth requirements as well. This means that you will need a little heater for your hedgehog for when it gets too cold. On the other hand, hamsters like to stay cool.

Failure to provide a warm environment for your hedgehog could lead to serious problems and even death. They’re more difficult to care for than hamsters, but it shouldn’t be too hard to remember that hedgehogs need heat.

Thankfully, most varieties of hedgehogs that are used as pets are not going to cause you allergy problems. In this way, they’re similar to keeping hamsters as pets.

It’s important to note that hedgehogs are actually going to be a fair bit more expensive to own than hamsters. You can get a hamster for a very low price of $10 or $20 in many places, but that will not be possible if you want to buy a hedgehog.

Hedgehogs will cost you hundreds of dollars to purchase, and the price will likely vary depending on what area you live in. To add to this, the things that you will need to purchase for a hedgehog to get started will cost several hundred more dollars.

You could easily spend $600 or more to get ready to keep a hedgehog in your home. You might be able to find a good deal on a cage to bring the costs down a bit, but don’t expect to spend only $100 or anything like that.

This means that if you want to get a hedgehog instead of a hamster, you’re going to have to possess more money. They aren’t impossible to afford by any means, but they aren’t as inexpensive to care for as hamsters are.

Which Should You Choose?

For most people, it’s going to be a lot more practical to pick a hamster as a pet rather than a hedgehog. Hedgehogs can be excellent small animal companions, but the overall cost of getting a hamster is drastically lower.

If cost is a factor for you, then you should definitely go the route of getting a hamster. Hamsters are very fun to keep as pets, they require less work than taking care of hedgehogs, and it’ll be a good experience overall.

Those who aren’t too concerned about spending extra cash might be perfectly fine with getting a hedgehog. They’re different enough from hamsters to make them cool if you want something a bit exotic, but they aren’t incredibly hard to care for.

You also might like the idea of having a pet that will live a bit longer than a hamster does. It’s no secret that a pet hamster will often only live for around two years, but a hedgehog can be a member of your household for around five years.

Take the time to consider the pros and cons of hamsters and hedgehogs before moving forward. Both pet options are going to be quite good for your household, but one might work out better than the other.

It could come down to the financial burden and whether you’re willing to put in that little bit of extra effort to care for a hedgehog. If you want completely low-maintenance pets, then hamsters will win out every single time.

Hopefully, this little guide about hamsters and hedgehogs will help you to make up your mind. You now know a lot more about hamsters and hedgehogs so that you can make an informed decision.

Remember that no matter what you choose, it’s important to show your new pet lots of love. Be sure to care for your new pet properly so that you can enjoy your time with it and properly welcome it into your home.