Swimming does not come to our mind when we think about a Hedgehog’s favorite things to do. Hedgehogs, whether wild or domesticated, are widely considered to be ground-dwellers. One of the most common questions among new owners is, can Hedgehogs swim? Let’s find out!
Hedgehogs can surely swim but under the proper conditions. You need to make sure you provide your pet with lukewarm water that isn’t exceptionally deep and is free from harmful additives. Also, it would be best if you never left your Hedgehog unsupervised during a swimming session.
If your Hedgehog does enjoy swimming, there are health benefits to this activity. Just ensure that the watery adventure was your pet’s choice.
If your pet falls into water unexpectedly, it may suffer from shock or cardiac arrest.
Let’s see Hedgehogs and swimming habits in detail and what is good for our pets and what is not recommended.
Can Hedgehogs Swim?
Hedgehogs are excellent swimmers, and they love to swim. The quills of the Hedgehogs help them float in the water.
Even though these quills are tough and strong, they contain a network of air chambers that help to keep the hedgehog buoyant in the water.
This allows the hedgehog to swim with relative ease with no bodyweight to carry.
Do Hedgehogs Like To Swim?
Each Hedgehog has a different personality. However, most Hedgehogs love to swim.
It is important to monitor your Hedgehog’s reaction carefully and never force them if they show any signs of stress.
Some Hedgehogs never enjoy swimming. This is completely normal. If the same is the case with your Hedgehog, then you don’t want to force swimming on them. Sticking to their regular bath is fine.
If you ever force your pet into swimming, you will stress them. Remember, the idea behind Hedgehogs swimming is relaxation and mental stimulation. Not horror and panic.
Are There Any Benefits to Letting My Hedgehog Swim?
Swimming can provide our Hedgehogs with several benefits. However, there are two main benefits.
Firstly, swimming is an excellent exercise to keep our Hedgehogs fit and healthy. Most domesticated Hedgehogs are known to suffer from obesity.
Domesticated Hedgehogs do not get an ideal diet. Besides this, they are often fed too much fatty food.
In the wild, Hedgehogs naturally get a lot of exercises. But on the other hand, domesticated Hedgehogs don’t get anywhere near this kind of exercise, affecting their weight.
Besides keeping our Hedgehogs mentally fit, swimming sessions are also important for their mental stimulation.
In the wild, Hedgehogs have to constantly forage for their next meal while keeping an eye out for predators at the same time.
These two things alone are enough to keep them mentally stimulated.
In captivity, it’s great that they are fed daily, and there are no predators to worry about, but this also Hedgehogs with nothing to focus on.
This, in turn, can leave Hedgehogs with a lack of mental stimulation and therefore becoming bored.
How Often Should My Hedgehog Swim?
Once you find your Hedgehogs love to swim, it is tempting to break out of the pool.
Even though the number of swimming sessions must be limited, you do not want to change the frequency of your Hedgehog’s baths.
Baths are essential for your Hedgehog’s hygiene. However, it would help if you remembered that a bath and a swim are different.
You can add a swim into your Hedgehog’s routine every other week.
How Long Can A Hedgehog Swim For?
The ideal time duration to let your Hedgehog swim is just 10-15 minutes at a time. However, it is important to keep the time duration within the limit to prevent exhaustion.
Even if your Hedgehog floats all the time, do not go over 15 minutes.
Adequate swimming sessions allow the Hedgehogs plenty of time for enrichment and hydration without causing them to use up all of their energy stores.
Although it might sound quite disappointing to you, 10-15 minutes is plenty for our Hedgehogs to enjoy their swimming session.
Make sure you do not go over the limit. It can be a dangerous situation for both you and your Hedgehog.
How Fast Can A Hedgehog Swim?
Hedgehogs can swim as fast as possible, and it’s actually quite exhilarating to watch them race through the water!
They usually stay close to the water’s surface, which is where they feel safest.
Hedgehogs are pretty good swimmers but don’t expect them to outswim an average fish with a top speed of 14mph!
Can Hedgehogs Swim Underwater?
Hedgehogs do not have the ability to swim underwater. Therefore, you must never force your cat to go underwater.
If Hedgehogs swim underwater, they will most likely ingest or breathe in water and could end up in severe distress or drowning.
If your Hedgehog has accidentally fallen into the pool or the other body of water and goes under, get them out immediately.
In such cases, the best idea is to bring your Hedgehog to the vet and have them checked. In some cases, there could be water blocking their airways, even in tiny amounts.
Can Baby Hedgehogs Swim?
Baby Hedgehogs can definitely swim. In fact, swimming helps them grow stronger.
On the other hand, swimming sessions can make the baby Hedgehogs tire much faster and become chilled faster. Therefore, you need to take care of how you set up their swimming space and make sure you never leave them unattended.
Swimming session also helps our Hedgehogs to build muscle strength. Water works as a natural resistance, and for baby Hedgehogs, the exercise of swimming also helps their bone development.
Also, baby Hedgehogs need an attentive lifeguard to prevent unwanted accidents from happening while they’re swimming – more so than adults.
Can Hedgehogs Swim In The Bathtub?
Bathtubs are among the most popular places among Hedgehog owners to let their pets swim.
You can surely allow your pet Hedgehog to swim in a bathtub. However, it would help if you always watched them while in the tub.
Bathtubs have slick sides, making it difficult for Hedgehogs to climb out. These slippery slick sides make bathtubs dangerous.
There might be cases when your Hedgehog might get tired and attempt to climb out of the water when swimming; they scramble and start to panic.
Besides this, to protect your family, you must disinfect the bathtub every time your Hedgehog goes for a swim.
Can Hedgehogs Swim In A Swimming Pool?
Hedgehogs can have a lot of fun in swimming pools. However, make sure you are there to supervise them at all times.
Hedgehogs need a ledge or other platform that offers a simple way in and out of the water, and swimming pools do not provide that. Therefore, you need to be extra careful regarding the same.
Besides this, it might be a problem if you have chlorinated pools. Even though Hedgehogs can swim in chlorine, it’s best to take them out as soon as you see signs of discomfort.
I would never let my Hedgehog swim in a chlorine pool, and I don’t really recommend doing so because it might hurt their skin.
If you notice that your Hedgehog is acting strangely near the pool or if its skin and eyes appear burned or irritated, it might be time to get them out!
Hedgehogs are not really fond of chlorine, and they will even start to have breathing problems if you leave them in there for too long.
What Should Be The Temperature Of The Water For My Hedgehog to Swim?
You should always provide your Hedgehog with lukewarm water to swim. Make sure that the temperature of the water is not too hot or too cold.
Extreme water temperature can seriously harm your Hedgehog’s health. Therefore, it is essential for you to always check the temperature of the water first before allowing your pet to get into it.
Can I Leave My Hedgehog Alone While Swimming?
I would advise you never to leave your Hedgehog alone while swimming. Although your pet might seem extremely comfortable to you while swimming, you must not leave your pet alone.
Even if your Hedgehog is used to swimming, there is always a chance of something going wrong. Therefore, it is better to be safe than sorry.
The same might be the case for the bathtubs. You must not leave your pet alone, even if they are swimming in a bathtub.
In the worst-case scenario, your Hedgehog might quickly get tired and struggle. Therefore, you must be there at all times to supervise them.