hedgehog

It’s a Prickly Situation: Buying a Hedgehog as a Pet

People are looking for exotic animals to buy as pets and hedgehogs fit the bill. They’re prickly, they’re poky but they’re definitely a far cry from the run of the mill pets like fishes, dogs and cats. If you’re looking to have a slice of the thorny life here’s a few helpful tips that could get you started.

  • First, before you decide it’s a great idea and start your hunt for your prickly pet, make sure that it is legal to have a pet hedgehog in your region. Many jurisdictions will have certain restrictions or not even allow ownership of a hedgehog. So before you really set your heart out on a hedgehog, check out if it’s legal.
  • Read up about it. They are different for dogs and cats and will have different behaviors and will need different care methods. Reading up about hedgehogs will help you identify which types you are looking for as well inform you on the type of question you need to be asking. Not only that, this process will help you in deciding whether a hedgehog is actually the pet for you.

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  • Don’t try to get a bargain deal from a place like Craig’s List. Even more, be wary about heading to your local pet store. As you can imagine, a hedgehog is very different from the cat, dogs and other animals that are usually available at pet stores and the people in charge may not be knowledgeable enough. Find a reputable breeder who is known for the quality and the expertise he/ she may have on hedgehogs. Avoid purchasing from backyard breeders as this will most likely be for profit and not have the overall hedgehog’s health in mind. When you purchase a hedgehog from a reputable breeder, you will get a hedgie from a young age which will help it bond better with you. There are certain questions you must ask before purchasing a hedgie.
  • Ensure of the pedigreed parentage. This will ensure that you have an animal that is clear of WHS (Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome).
  • Does the breeder use good breeding ethics?
  • Is your breeder licensed to breed and sell hedgehogs?
  • Is your breeder part of a hedgehog breeding community?
  • Ask about their care and cleaning processes to judge if the hedgehog has received good care.
  • Ask about return policies if things don’t work out.
  • Are there any lifetime guarantees or in the least a 6 month genetic guarantee on your hedgehog by the breeder?
  • If you’re a first time hedgehog owner or you are thinking of purchasing one, you could even purchase an older hedgehog from a private owner. This however, is not recommended as older hedgehogs take longer to get used to you and could come with possible behavioral problems due to poor socialization. The owner should know:

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  • The age of the hedgehog
  • What they have been feeding it
  • What cage/ bedding and toys it uses
  • The pedigree
  • Last vet visit
  • Healthy hedgehogs have clear, bright eyes. Hedgehogs with droopy, half closed eyes will be unhealthy. Also, ensure that it has a clean nose and be wary of raspy breathing which could be an indication of a respiratory infection. Check the ears, underbelly and watch its gait. Check for its responsiveness and if the quills are healthy – those are a very good indication of the hedgehog’s health.

Just with any animal, hedgehogs need care and attention. If you cannot commit to owning one for at least 5 years of your life (which is normally the life span, give or take a few years) then you should not purchase one. A tame hedgehog cannot survive in the wild and re-homing one could lead to several behavioral problems.

sugargliders

Sugar Gliders: A Flying Sweet Squirrel in Disguise

If you ask a person off the street what a sugar glider is, they may mistakenly inform you that they assume it would be a sort of sweet confectionary or something on those lines. They couldn’t be more mistaken. A Sugar Glider is a small omnivorous nocturnal gliding possum and the name is derived from its liking for sugary foods and its ability to glide through the air, much like a flying squirrel. It has grown in popularity all around the world as an exotic pet but has also become one of the most commonly traded wild animals in the illegal pet trade.

You are allowed to keep the Sugar Glider as a pet depending upon your location. In some US States it is legal to keep them as pets, while certain states like California, Hawaii and Alaska forbid them to be kept as pets. Other states may require certain permits and licenses.

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If you are planning to buy a Sugar Glider as a pet, you should make sure of the following:

  • Look at their eyes and check if they are bright and clear, if the tail and fur is clean and fluffy and if their breathing is clear. These are sigs and indications of good health.
  • If a breeder or seller has to put on gloves to handle the gliders, be a little wary – this means that the gliders are not used to human contact and may be aggressive.
  • If you are planning to buy remotely from a website, make sure you do your research on the breeder to check for the authenticity and experience they have. Ask certain questions like how long they have been doing this and what their guarantee is.

With the proper care and nutrition, sugar gliders grow to be healthy and will enjoy a long life.

 

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If you are looking to sell your Sugar Glider, here are a couple of pointers to ensure that your gliders get a good home.

  • If possible, meet the interested buyers face to face so you can judge if they will be good owners for your Glider.
  • Let them hold the glider babies to see how they would handle them.
  • Write out a sheet that details the care routine and the type of diet your gliders are following so it becomes easier for the new owners to step into their role.
  • Make sure that the interested parties have read up and researched on gliders. Many people purchase gliders thinking they will look nice as exotic pets not realizing that the sugar gliders need a lot of attention too. They should read up about the glider’s diet, play time, interaction, proper environment to bring them up in, the proper care and handling of the gliders etc – basically they should familiarize themselves with every aspect of glider ownership so they know what they’re getting into.
  • Ensure that they are financially stable to take care of the glider. They should be able to take it to the vet should something occur or in case of emergencies. If they do not have sufficient funds to buy the necessary food, toys etc that a glider will need to remain happy, then you should avoid selling your glider to them.
  • Last but not least, be careful when you meet the person you are selling your glider babes to. Always meet in a public area or with a friend. If you are posting them to the new owners, this won’t be relevant.

Basically, do your research on your new owners and ensure that your glider goes to a loving home.