When you hear the word “pet,” you usually think of dogs, cats, or even birds. While these are all wonderful options, sometimes you want to step outside the norm a little bit. If that describes you- you should adopt a hedgehog! They are small, sweet, and might be the perfect pet for you.

1. Personality

A lot of people think that hedgehogs are boring, and that they just sit around all day. That’s definitely not the case! They are shy at first, and it definitely takes time for them to warm up, but they are full of personality once they are comfortable around you. You can hold them, pet them (always front to back), and even snuggle them. They have fuzzy little bellies and like to climb around, smelling all the new smells.

You’ll also want to pay close attention to their quills, as those will tell you how they are feeling. When their quills are relaxed, that means they feel calm and at peace. They’ll straighten up when slightly uncomfortable and spike up when alarmed. Make sure you give them space and time to feel at ease around you.

2. Schedule

Do you like to stay up at all hours of the day, and sleep well into the afternoon? The hedgehog might be your perfect companion! They are naturally nocturnal animals, and should not be forced to change that lifestyle. Part of that reason is that their eyes are sensitive to light. If you do need to move around during the day, make sure you use dim lighting in areas where you keep your hedgehog. If you aren’t a night owl- don’t worry! You can still enjoy a pet hedgehog, as long as you are okay will some shuffling sounds in the middle of the night.

3. Care

If you aren’t quite ready for the responsibility of a dog, you may be in luck getting a hedgehog. They don’t require a whole lot of time or money, and they are pretty solitary animals. You’ll want to provide them with a cozy environment where they can hide and a wheel for exercise. They need mental and physical exercise, so don’t skip out on the toys! You’ll also want to bathe them and deep clean their cage about once a week to keep them happy and healthy.

If you think owning a hedgehog might be the right choice for you, make sure you do your research first. While it’s not as taxing as caring for a dog, you still have to provide the best care possible in order to keep your pet healthy. As long as you follow expert advice and genuinely care for your hedgehog, the two of you can be best pals for a long, long time.

Guest post by Morgan at PawPrintParent.com