Hedgehog Lifespans: This Will Surprise you

If you have a pet hedgehog you will likely be curious to know how long it is going to live for. We have provided you with the answer in our guide below – it may even surprise you. 

Hedgehogs have a fairly long lifespan compared to many other small mammals. The average life expectancy of a hedgehog is around 3 to 7 years for those that are domesticated as pets and less for those that live in the wild.

In fact, wild hedgehogs typically live for a maximum of 3 years. This is because wild hedgehogs are exposed to a lot more dangers than those that are kept as pets.

For example, they face threats from predators and are also more likely to suffer from diseases or become injured. A hedgehog that is kept as a pet is given more care and is protected from these threats. 

In some rare cases, hedgehogs that have been kept as pets have lived for around 8 to 10 years, however, this doesn’t tend to be that common and you are more likely to find that your hedgehog lives for a maximum of 7 years.

How to tell the age of your hedgehog?

It is going to be difficult to determine the lifespan of your hedgehog if you don’t know how old it is currently.

Now you may be wondering how you go about identifying the age of your pet hedgehog, after all, you aren’t given a birth certificate that provides you with all of this information.

There aren’t many physical signs that will help you to identify the age of your hedgehog. There are some suggestions that a hedgehog’s eyes will change as it ages.

For example, in some cases, they may turn a slightly gingery color. This isn’t a hugely accurate way of finding out the age of your hedgehog because it still will not give you a definitive figure. 

If you got your hedgehog from a breeder and have owned it since it was very young, then it will be easier to keep track of its age as it grows, as you simply need to tally up the years that you have owned it for. 

Factors that can influence the lifespan of your hedgehog

Several factors can influence the lifespan of a hedgehog, some of which are caused by genetics and clothes which may occur as a result of the environment that they occupy and how they are cared for. If you don’t pay enough attention and care for your hedgehog then, of course, it isn’t going to live for as long. 

The genetic composition of your hedgehog is one of the main factors that is going to affect its life expectancy.

If your hedgehog is not bought from a reputable breeder, it is going to be more susceptible to health problems, especially if the parents have been poorly bred.

For this reason, it is important to make sure that you get your hedgehog from a reputable breeder. This doesn’t completely eliminate the risk, but it doesn’t narrow the chances of illness. 

Stress and quality of life are also factors that can influence your hedgehog’s lifespan. If your hedgehog is nervous and often feels overwhelmed and surrounded by noise, it is more likely to feel stressed and this can reduce its life expectancy.

Again, if your hedgehog has a poor quality of life, it isn’t going to live for as long as you may expect. Before deciding to get a hedgehog, you must ensure that you have plenty of time to dedicate to it.

This doesn’t mean that you have to spend every minute of the day petting your hedgehog, but you should make sure that you spend time regularly interacting with it as this is going to keep your hedgehog stimulated. 

Your hedgehog’s diet is also going to determine how long it lives. A hedgehog that isn’t accessing all of the nutrients and vitamins that it needs to thrive is more likely to encounter several health-related issues.

As such, you must make sure that your hedgehog is fed the highest quality foods. If you are unsure what foods are best for your hedgehog you may wish to consult a professional for advice. 

Just like many other animals, some hedgehogs are prone to suffering from medical problems. Properly caring for your hedgehog and responding to any changes in its health is going to be paramount in enhancing its lifespan.

Also, if you suspect that your hedgehog is suffering from a minor health issue, you should take it to a vet before it escalates to a more severe issue. 

What causes hedgehogs to die?

As your hedgehog gets older, there is a chance that it may die from old age. However, many other issues can lead to its demise.

For example, a drop in the temperature and coldness can often force a hedgehog into hibernation, but this can be fatal. In fact, it is thought that hedgehogs that do not hibernate live for significantly longer than those that do. 

For wild hedgehogs, one of the main causes of death is threat from predators. As they are small mammals, they tend to be preyed upon by larger animals. 

Unfortunately, it can also be the result of inexperience. Though hedgehogs may be small they still have certain care requirements that need to be met. Before getting a hedgehog make sure that you are properly educated on their needs. 

Final Thoughts

Hedgehogs have a relatively long lifespan, especially when compared to the lifespan of other animals that are of a similar size. Most hedgehogs are likely to live for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 7.

If you have not owned your hedgehog from a young age it is going to be more difficult to find out how old it is currently to then figure out how much longer it is going to live for. The lifespan of a hedgehog living in the wild is significantly shorter.