Buying any pet is a big commitment, so you should always figure out how much it will cost to buy and take care of. Even with small animals like hedgehogs, there are still a lot of costs that need to be weighed up.
If you get a pet without considering the costs, you can neglect the animal by avoiding certain purchases or maintenance costs.
Here we’ve created a summary of the costs of keeping a hedgehog. You’ll find out how much they typically sell for as well as the equipment you need and other recurring costs related to keeping the pet.
It’s best to weigh up the costs before you get a hedgehog so you don’t become emotionally attached to them.
The Cost Of Buying
Though adopting wild animals for free is always a possibility, it’s not advised since wild animals retain diseases and are much more skittish and unpredictable around humans.
If you want the most out of a hedgehog pet, you’re better off getting them from a breeder who rears their pets to be comfortable with human contact.
The average cost of a hedgehog is between $100 and $300, though they may sell for slightly less or slightly more because of different circumstances. Also note that some pet stores will sell hedgehogs where they are legal to own, so you may be able to get good deals from your local pet store.
When buying from a breeder, they set the price determined by many different factors. One of the main factors is the breed of hedgehog, which is typically expressed in their coat color.
Here’s a quick, general list of the prices that come with coat colors, from most expensive to least expensive.
- Salt & Pepper
Animal shelters and rescue groups may also offer hedgehogs for very low pricing. These may have been pets in the past and so they are well-reared and will make a good pet for you in the future.
The Cost Of Keeping
After you’ve bought the hedgehog, there will then be a cost associated with housing, feeding, and otherwise taking care of the animal.
The best way to figure out these costs is to consider all of the little things that need taking care of. They may cost small amounts individually but they can stack up and sneak up on you if you don’t create a budget list.
Here are some general costs related to the equipment you’ll need:
- Where food is concerned, keep in mind that 5-pound bags of food will last for five to six weeks. They typically cost $20 to $25. Along with the standard feed, you may buy things like fruit, green vegetables, chopped meats, or even insects for your hedgehog. Prices will differ but let’s call that an extra $5 to $10.
- Remember that they’ll need a food bowl and an exercise wheel to stay fit, which can come to $20.
- As for water, you’ll need to get a refillable water bottle. You can use tap water, so there won’t be recurring costs for supplying water to your hedgehog.
- They need somewhere to rest. A cage will be anywhere from $50 to $200 depending on how large and sophisticated it is. Hedgehogs like areas where they can hide away, so try and have a small area or a pipe where they can sit and feel secure.
- In that cage, you’ll likely want to place bedding down. You can make your own out of scrap soft materials but buying bedding made from cotton or fleece cage liners is best, which adds more costs. Other toys and entertaining items in that cage will also need to be bought individually.
- A thermometer is ideal to monitor the temperature while heating pads can help regulate that temperature if you’re in a cold area. Expect these to set you back $30 to $50.
- Lastly, hedgehogs need to be cleaned too. Regular bathing can typically be completed with water but there are products out there that advertise themselves based on hedgehog-friendliness. Their nails will also need to be trimmed, so you may need to buy nail trimmers that aren’t too harsh for the animal.
The Cost Of Care
When you’re responsible for another living being, you’ll be liable for costs related to caring for them. You will accrue medical costs from your veterinarian for both general checkups and treatments for when things go wrong.
You should take your hedgehog to be checked by veterinarians often, especially if you suspect there is something wrong with them, but each time you do this you’ll get a bill.
Meeting your pet’s medical needs is the bare minimum to keep your pet alive, healthy, and happy. This means you should reconsider getting a hedgehog, or other animals if you cannot afford the costs of vet bills.
Fortunately, there are insurance and payment plan options that many medical businesses take for those who need financial assistance.
So, what will it look like when something goes wrong with your hedgehog? Let’s go with a common example. Respiratory issues plague a lot of hedgehogs, even domesticated ones that are kept well.
There are so many bacteria and viruses that cause them, so a respiratory issue could be as mild as a slight nuisance or a serious, life-threatening infection like pneumonia.
The treatment for those issues typically includes specialized equipment and a cycle of antibiotics, if not multiple cycles. They will be administered across multiple checkups and, if the hedgehog refuses to take its medicine, then it may be kept at the vet for a period so it can get the care it needs.
That doesn’t come for free, so you’ll be liable for veterinarian bills if your hedgehog ever needs such treatments. The cost of those treatments will differ but you should be able to fund complete treatments if you need to.