Hogs can find their way into your yard without you even knowing and they’re very particular about their house location, what may seem like a strange spot to you may be the ideal home for them.
However, sometimes hedgehogs are blissfully unaware that a) there could be potential dangers to them in your yard (a dog/cat) and b) not everyone wants a hedgehog hibernating in their garden for the entire winter.
Unfortunately, relocating or moving a hedgehog is not as simple as it seems and there are many precautions you’ll need to take before deciding to move them at all.
Today we’ll be guiding you through everything you should know if you’re going to relocate a hedgehog.
Can I relocate a hedgehog?
Yes, you can relocate a hedgehog, but the real question here is whether you should relocate a hedgehog. When possible, you should always leave a hedgehog where they are, especially if they’re hibernating in the winter.
If you see a hedgehog out in your garden during the middle of the day, then this will be a cause for concern as hedgehogs are nocturnal and normally sleep throughout the day, so this could mean that they are in trouble, they could be ill or maybe they’re trying to escape from nearby prey.
In the summer months, female hedgehogs come out in the late afternoon to look for food and nesting materials for their young so you may see one out looking spritely, so there’s no need to intervene in this case.
One of the major reasons people want to relocate their hedgehog is that their cat or dog doesn’t like having them in the yard. However, if you try and relocate the hog but don’t hedgehog proof your yard then another one will only come and take its place in its nest.
The best thing to do is to train your pet to leave them alone (this is easier with dogs than with cats).
Keep your dog on a lead with a muzzle on before you walk them out into the yard in the night and before you let them out, make some gentle noises to alert the hedgehog that someone is coming so they can hide. Reassure your dog constantly and don’t let them pull in the direction that they think they can hear the hedgehog.
One of the worst times to move a hedgehog is when they’re hibernating in the middle of winter as if you wake them up they’ll begin to use up the fat stores that they use to get them through the winter. So leave it alone, at least until after spring comes.
If you do happen to wake your hedgehog up in the winter, then cover the nest back up with leaves and retreat slowly. Leave some food and some water nearby to their nest so if they wake up they can fill up on food again to store for when they go back to hibernating.
You can leave the hedgehog some dry dog or cat food, however, make sure that is non-fish based and also doesn’t contain any milk as hogs are lactose intolerant.
If you’re unsure of what you should do, ring your local wildlife center of veterinarians and they should be able to advise you further.
How do you relocate a hedgehog?
If you’ve spotted a lost or scared-looking hedgehog in the middle of the day, then you should take action to protect them.
Approach them slowly and pick them up using thick gloves (preferably gardening gloves) and put them in a secure cardboard box or a shoebox and take them to a local wildlife center as they’ll be able to look after them and then relocate them back into the wild if it is safe to do so.
If you spot any underweight or baby hedgehogs in your yard during wintertime then it may be beneficial to disturb them as they could be too underweight to make it through the entire winter and will need to be taken to a wildlife center for overwintering.
If you need to relocate the hedgehog to a different area in your yard, then you should wait until dusk to do so as they may still be asleep then and then when they wake up shortly it’ll be dark and they won’t be subject to roaming around your yard in the day.
Gently lift the hedgehog up in their house and slowly move them over to the new location. We’d recommend wearing gloves so they can’t smell your scent.
Try to keep them as close to where they had settled originally as hedgehogs can be very fussy.
When possible, if you’re not confident with relocating your hedgehog, try to contact someone from your local wildlife refuge to come out as they’ll be able to relocate them properly without disturbing the hedgehog.