Hedgehogs are no more alien creatures to us. Previously, they have always been associated with wild animals, but they are not. Now, people admire them and love to have them as pets. They are not associated with wildness now and are even trained for litter as well.
Despite that, you must know about the creature which I have been telling you guys in my previous articles as well. When you are thinking of having a pet, you should be well aware of the facts for how long do hedgehogs live.
This is the main reason we are delivering this article to you because we don’t want your efforts to go in the trash. The pet will be of no use if you get that too expensive, and in turn, he has a shorter life span.
So, if you are planning on having a hedgehog, then you may be pondering that for how long these creatures live. That’s why we are writing this article, How long do hedgehogs live?.
The lifespan of any animal matters a lot. Yes, we don’t want to have any pet that dies spontaneously and is more prone to different diseases.
Hedgehogs are known to be amazing creatures for many years. They are mainly found in Africa and are also found in some parts of America as well. Though they are mainly insectivores but prefer to eat only selected items of plants and animals when they have excess amounts of food available.
They are of nocturnal nature. That means they will be active at night and will sleep during the day. I have described the sleeping habits of hedgehogs in my previous article: Hedgehogs as pets. Therefore if you are planning to have a hedgehog, you have to respect their nocturnal nature. To solve all the queries, our primary focus is on how long do hedgehogs live.
What is the most obvious thing about a hedgehog? Yes, you got me right, their quills. Quills are the most prominent part of their whole body. Bursting your myth, hedgehog’s feathers are not as poisonous as porcupines. Their quills are hollow, but they also use them for protection. When they are threatened, they roll themselves up in the form of a ball.
The quills have a white base, and they are dark on the edges. Mostly they are shaded with black, brown, grey color. Some hedgehogs are albinos as well as they have full white quills.
Let’s get to the point now these few points will tell you all about the lifespan of hedgehogs and how long do hedgehogs live.
- Species of the hedgehog
- The environment in which they live
- Already existing problems
The lifespan of a hedgehog in the wild:
When they are in the wild, they have several factors that push their life at stake. They are not as secure when they are captivated and when you take complete care of them. In the wild, they are exposed to several kinds of predators.
Also, depending upon the species, they are exposed to the harshness of weather as well. They also get injured once in a while in their natural habitat. Due to these reasons, they have a very low lifespan as compared to the captivated ones.
Usually, their life span ranges from 2-3 years. But they can also live for 6-7 years.
The Lifespan of the hedgehog in captivation:
Among various hedgehogs, the one which people like the most is African Pygmy. They are much handier as compared to the other wild hedgehogs, which are much larger.
Hence they live under your eye, and you provide them with all they need, so they live much longer than wild hedgehogs. Also, they are far away from predators, so no danger at all!! The biggest advantage.
Usually, the pet hedgehog’s life can range from 3-6 years, but some are also found to live for eight years. Thi proves that you can make your hedgie live long by taking those necessary measures.
Key ingredients to a longer life of hedgehogs:
Your hedgie can live long if you provide them with necessary checkups by a specialized vet. Ideal foods that contain the right nutrients that a specific breed of hedgehog requires is also essential. So, this will help you in a better understanding of how long do hedgehogs live?
Bathing them correctly and frequently also ensures a healthy life. Don’t make your hedgie obese. Get them moving. Provide a wheel in their enclosure to make sure that they are exercising enough.
Factors that affect the lifespan of the hedgehog
Several things that put influence on the life of the hedgehog. Some of these are natural or sometimes genetic. It also depends on various external factors like environment etc.
If you are thinking of having a hedgehog, know deeply about them and take some time to think about the things that affect their life and overall health. It will be crucial for you. After all, no one wants their pet to die sooner.
All owners want to make their hedgehogs live their fullest lives. But they also say that some things are beyond their control like genetics and natural elements. But now they are not.
Your breeder from which you get your pet plays a central role in describing their genetic makeup. If he has the right genetic makeup, then that means a longer and fuller life. If you get it from a professional breeder then your hedgehog will be least prone to any health problems. Keeping good health and maintaining the diet of your pets results in an increased life span. So, how long do hedgehogs live, now we have a better answer to it?
But also keep in mind that it does not guarantee anything. It depends on several other factors as well. However, getting from a reputable breeder makes a probability to have a longer life.
As what we eat ultimately shows up the same works for the hedgehog. If you are not providing your hedgehog with food and nutrients which it needs, their lifespan is affected by their diet very much.
A poor diet can lead to several problems like :
- Issues in growth
- An immune system which is prone to diseases
- Getting gut issues
As it is not a prescribed theory that what you should be giving to your hedgehog. Following the diet plan which the hedgehog community has been following is the best option.
Don’t experiment with the diet of your hedgehog. Try to be as simple as possible and just follow the things which turn out best for them in terms of food.
Hedgehogs Activities :
Naturally, hedgehogs are very Olympic creatures. In the day, they may appear shy and sluggish. But as they are nocturnal, they gather most of their energy into the night. Therefore they are most active during the night. To utilize their power into productive activities, you must take your hedgehog to move up a bit.
It just not keeps them physically fit but mentally as well. Exercise also helps them to manage their stress levels as well.
The quality of bedding in the enclosure :
Most people ignore this factor, but this plays a major significance in determining the health and, ultimately the life span of the hedgehogs. The reason why I am saying this because most of the time they spend with you in your home is in their bedding. Unhygienic and poor quality bedding can have long term effects because exposure is just too much with it.
Avoid softwood beddings because it can harm the respiratory system of the hedgehogs.
This is the characteristic of the hedgehogs, which they share with us. If there is no proper check and balance on the stress levels of the hedgehogs, they can be fatal.
If your hedgehog is always scared, make a thick frost on their quills, get angry, or remain nervous all the time. Then it is up to you to keep an eye on the hedgehog. If they are unhappy with something, it is your job to find the source and delete it from the environment.
Questions and Answers
How long do hedgehogs live for as pets?
Hedgehogs as pets have quite a long life span when compared to, hedgehogs which live in the wild environment. The thing is in the wild hedgehogs are exposed to several threats including, predators, harsh environment, lack of resources of food, etc. However, in captivation, they enjoy all the necessary things they need. Hence they can live for 3-6 years.
How long do hedgehogs live in captivation?
As I have mentioned earlier that hedgehogs in captivation enjoy all the things that are necessary for their proper growth. A hedgehog owner normally ensures that it’s pet has all the necessary diet, exposure, and routine checkups. Therefore in captivation hedgehogs are found to be living for as long as 6-8 years.
How long do hedgehogs live in the wild?
In the wild, they have difficulties regarding searching for food, a harsh environment, and injuries, etc. Therefore in the wild, they can’t live much longer. The average age in the wild environment is 2 – 3 years.