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.
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Hedgehogs are small animals that can be affected by rises in temperatures quite severely. So, it is essential that you know how to cool down your hedgehog if it gets too hot in the summer to ensure they do not suffer some serious health risks.
But how do you keep hedgehogs cool in summer?
To cool your hedgehog down in summer, you can buy a ceramic tile and place it in your hedgehog’s cage for them to lay on. You could buy a cooling mat or a clay pot and place this in its cage for them to lay on or place an ice pack on the top of its cage, but always ensure it has cool, clean water.
What are some signs that your hedgehog is beginning to get too hot? What can happen if your hedgehog gets too hot? Can hedgehogs overheat? Let us find out!
Can Hedgehogs Over Heat?
As a hedgehog owner, you know that your little hedgehog prefers warmer temperatures to colder ones, but is there a temperature too high for your little friend? Can your hedgehog overheat and suffer negatively in the hot summer months?
Your hedgehog’s enclosure needs to be kept at a temperature between 72- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit, as this is the temperature range your hedgehog will be comfortable in.
If the temperature of your hedgehog’s cage goes lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, this can negatively impact your hedgehog’s health. And if the temperature of the enclosure goes above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, then your hedgehog is at risk of overheating.
If you reside in a location with a hot climate, then during the hot summer months, you need to closely watch the temperature of your hedgehog’s enclosure. It is best to keep a thermometer in your hedgehog’s cage to ensure the temperature reading is exact, so you will know what changes you need to make.
If your hedgehog’s enclosure gets too hot and you do not cool it down fast, then your hedgehog can begin going into distress. This can severely affect your hedgehog’s health, and it can happen if the temperatures go higher than 80 degrees by as little as 3 degrees Fahrenheit.
Suppose you see your hedgehog’s enclosure’s temperature heading towards 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In that case, you need to begin implementing a cool-down plan for your little hedgehog to try and stop it from rising any higher.
Let us have a look at how you can cool your hedgehogs down during the hot summer months to ensure they stay happy and healthy.
How to Cool Down Hedgehogs in Summer
If your hedgehog gets too hot during the summer months, this can cause some serious health risks for your hedgehog. If you reside in a location with a climate that has extremely hot summers, you need to have a cool-down plan for your little spikey friend, or there could be dire consequences.
Here are several ways you can help cool down your hedgehog and keep it cool during hot summer temperatures:
- Assess the location of your hedgehog’s enclosure. Ensure your hedgehog’s enclosure is not sitting in direct sunlight coming through a window. You may need to relocate your hedgehog for the summer months to ensure they are not in direct sun and not getting drafts from air conditioners.
- Ensure your hedgehog has clean and cool water available to it at all times in its enclosure.
- Purchase a ceramic tile and place it in your hedgehog’s enclosure to give it a cool place to lay down.
- Purchase a clay pot that is large enough for your hedgehog to lay in and place this on its side in your hedgehog’s enclosure to give it a cool place to curl up and sleep in.
- You could also buy a cooling mat for your hedgehog to lay on, but this can be slightly expensive.
- You can wrap an ice pack with a light cloth and place this on top of your hedgehog’s cage to help cool the enclosure down.
- You can keep a frozen water bottle that is wrapped in a small towel in your hedgehog’s enclosure to help cool it down.
All of these methods to help cool down your hedgehog during the summer are easy to implement and do not cost a fortune. You need to ensure you are ready for any spike in temperature, so ensure you keep an eye on the weather report.
What Will Happen If Hedgehogs Get Too Hot?
If your hedgehog gets too hot during the summer, there can be some serious health risks for your little friend.
If your hedgehog gets too hot, the heat can be deadly; this is why it is so important to monitor your hedgehog’s temperature and behavior to ensure they are not suffering. Let us go through what can happen to your hedgehog if it overheats.
Hedgehogs Can Get Heatstroke When They Overheat
If your hedgehog’s enclosure gets too hot and stays hot for a long time, this can result in your hedgehog suffering from heatstroke. Heatstroke commonly occurs when the temperature of the enclosure reaches 82 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
If the humidity levels in your home are above 70%, this can increase the chances of your hedgehog suffering from heatstroke.
Other factors that can contribute to the likelihood of your hedgehog suffering heatstroke include inadequate shade and ventilation, stress, and overcrowding of your hedgehog enclosure. If you do not treat it right away, your hedgehog will die.
Hedgehogs Can Go into Aestivation When They Overheat
If hedgehogs are kept in an environment that suddenly reaches over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, they can start going into aestivation. This is a kind of hibernation state that your hedgehog will go into when they are too hot.
Hedgehogs do not cope well with sudden temperature changes, so you need to keep them in a temperature-controlled environment as much as you can in hot climates to help prevent aestivation.
This can pose serious risks to your hedgehog health. Hedgehogs that live in captivity cannot recover from aestivation and have the potential to die from it.
If you notice your hedgehog becoming “lifeless” as they do not have the energy to move, and they keep their spines erect, or they may even curl up into a ball when it’s hot, then you need to help your hedgehog immediately, as these are all signs of aestivation.
Signs Your Hedgehog Is Too Hot
There are a number of signs you can watch for that may tell you when or if your hedgehog is getting too hot. You must be aware of these symptoms so that you can act quickly when they appear, or your hedgehog will begin to suffer greatly if they are left in this condition.
Here are some signs that your hedgehog is getting too hot and needs your help:
- Loss of appetite
- Hedgehog is unsteady or shaky when it walks
- Your hedgehog may splat – lay with their stomachs to the floor, and their legs played out
- Your hedgehog may seem lethargic
If your hedgehog shows one or more of these signs, you need to help them and cool them down to ensure they do not suffer heat stroke or aestivation.
Hedgehogs can easily overheat in the summer months as they cannot cope with drastic changes in temperatures. You need to ensure you keep your hedgehog at the lower end of its preferred temperature range to keep them happy and healthy, and there are plenty of ways you can help keep them cool. Good luck with your hedgehog!