It is not uncommon for Hedgehogs to bite. However, it is important to address them. Hedgehog bites can be painful sometimes, but why is my Hedgehog biting me? What should I do to stop this behavior? I did thorough research and consulted a dozen of pet experts to find out the cause.
In general, Hedgehogs bite to express discontent or insecurity. The most common reasons why your Hedgehog may be biting you include improper handling, stress, hunger, threat, or health issue. Owners might often misinterpret that a bite has come from nowhere. However, each action of your pet is justified.
It can be difficult for some Hedgehog owners to figure out the cause of their pet’s bite. Certain bites are often unprovoked and out of nowhere. One moment they can enjoy you near them, the next moment their teeth are out!
So, let us know the cause for such behavior in Hedgehogs and find the solutions for the same. This will help you understand your pet better and hopefully prevent the same situation in the future.
Why Is My Hedgehog Suddenly Biting Me?
Most Hedgehogs tend to bite their owners one day or the other. Even if you have a strong bond with your pet, they are a possibility that they will bite you.
You must understand that most Hedgehogs bite to express their discontent. They will bite you as a reaction to your action. They show such behavior when they are hurt, afraid, or irritated.
Listed below are some of the common causes due to which your pet might end up biting you:
Hedgehogs often tend to bite when they are under stress. You must understand the Hedgehogs get stress pretty quickly. They may even start biting you in the presence of your other large pets.
Hedgehogs even get stressed on seeing an unknown member around their cage or in your home. Listed below are some of the causes due to which your pet might be stressed:
- Loud Noises
- Sudden Change In Their Routine
- Presence Of Other Large Animals
- Unstable Temperature Around Their Cage
- Excessive Travelling
- Small Cage
If your Hedgehog is stressed, you need to take certain steps and find out the solution for the same. Stress somethings even result in health complications in Hedgehogs.
Also, you must never pick up your stressed Hedgehog forcefully. Instead, give them some time to adjust and figure out things on their own. If you feel your Hedgehog is sick, take them to a vet.
If you have got yourself a new Hedgehog, then give them some time to adjust. A new pet will surely see you as a potential threat and bite you to defend himself.
Hedgehogs generally stay very cautious about their surroundings. In the wild, Hedgehogs survive upon their senses of hearing and smell. This is because they have weak eyesight.
For the first few days, keep your Hedgehog away from your other large pets. They will need some time to get used to one another.
Also, do not introduce your pet to strangers in the initial days until they are already comfortable with you. This will give them a sense of security.
Although Hedgehogs share a strong and friendly bond with their owners, they show a territorial behavior. They do not like to socialize with strangers and other pets.
They are pretty dominant and prefer to have their individual space. If they have a feeling that there is a possible threat, they can bite to protect themselves.
If your pet does not interest in playing with you, then do not disturb them. In such cases, they are probably enjoying their safe place and would not like any interruption.
Mistaken You For Food
If your Hedgehog is hungry and your hands smell like food, then they may bite you. Also, after serving their favorite treat, do not forget to wash your hand before handling.
This is important because your hand may still have the smell of their favorite treat, due to which they might end up mistaking your finger for food.
Pain Or Illness
If you try to hold or go near your sick Hedgehog, he will probably end up biting you. Also, Hedgehogs can hide their pain pretty well.
A sick Hedgehog might even stop to eat or drink. If your pet shows such behavior, then you must understand that there is a high possibility that that something is wrong with him.
Keep track of your Hedgehog’s health regularly and look out for any negative signs. If you have any suspicions about your Hedgehog’s health, visit a vet.
Some of the common health complications in Hedgehogs include dental pain, wobbly hedgehog syndrome, digestive issues, and more. Most of these conditions require professional help. Therefore, the best option is to take them to a vet.
What To Do When A Hedgehog Bites You? (How To React)
I understand Hedgehogs bite can be painful, but that does not mean that you should not handle them. There are a few things that you must keep in mind if your Hedgehog bites you.
- When your Hedgehog bites you, don’t shake your hand to release your pet’s grip. Instead, stay still and do not react. A sudden reaction of yours can easily scare your pet.
- Try to stay calm. Do not shout or make noises such as ‘ouch’ or ‘ow.’ A loud verbal response will make them more likely to bite again.
- Never hit your Hedgehog in any way. Instead, blow a puff of air at your pet to loosen their grip. This way, you can teach your pet not to bite correctly.
- Interact with your Hedgehog in the usual manner which way practised before. One such incident should not affect your bond with your pet.
- Continue to treat your Hedgehog with their favorite pet. Some owners often think that depriving their Hedgehog of their favorite food will make them realize their mistake. However, this is totally untrue.
Do not worry if your Hedgehog has bitten you. Also, if you follow some of the tips listed below, then you will surely not face many problems.
How Do I Get My Hedgehog To Stop Biting Me?
Your Hedgehog can bite you due to several factors. If you do not make an effort to understand the reason for such behavior of your pet, there is nothing much that you can do to stop the biting.
- Clean Your Hands Before Handling Them: You must never forget to wash your hands properly before handling your Hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are often known to associate various scents with danger. Therefore, there are chances that your pet is biting you because of a particular smell from your hands.
- Handle Your Pet With Care: It is essential to hold your pet properly. Remember that they are not a toy. They need to be handled with utmost care and love. If you pick them up in the wrong way, your Hedgehog might bite you.
- Do Not Wear Perfume Around Them: Hedgehogs are sensitive to smell. Therefore, I advise you not to use any kind of body sprays, perfume, or essential oils near your pet. This action of yours can easily trigger the biting in your Hedgehog.
- Understand What Triggers Biting In Them: Your Hedgehog can bite you due to several reasons. Therefore, it is essential to determine what triggers such behavior in them to find the solution for the same. You can take note of some common situations in which your Hedgehog bites aggressively.
- Crowd Might Trigger Your Pet: Hedgehogs are pretty anti-social. They easily get stressed in front of a lot of people. Therefore, do not make your Hedgehog feel uncomfortable by putting them in such situations. Also, I advise you to avoid introducing your pet to strangers.
- Try To Calm Them Down: If your Hedgehog shows aggressive behavior, try to calm them down. Do not pick them but sit beside their cage. Show him affection. Your Hedgehog will soon realize that you are not a threat and that you are there to protect him.
- Serve Them Their Favorite Treat: Treats can easily distract your Hedgehog and calm them down. This will avoid aggressive behavior in them.
- Do Not Punish Them: You may often think that punishing your Hedgehog will improve his behavior. However, this is totally untrue. Discipling your pet in the wrong way can lead to serious damage. You might end up losing your Hedgehog’s trust forever.
Are Hedgehog Bites Dangerous?
Although Hedgehog bites can sometimes be painful, there is no potential threat to our health. The bite can often result in severe bleeding, which you should immediately stop by applying pressure.
If you have got a cut in a sensitive area or near to any significant artery, then I advise you to visit a doctor. You never know the wound might lead to severe damage. In some cases, Hedgehog bites might even result in severe skin conditions.
How To Cure A Hedgehog Bite?
If you are new to owning a Hedgehog, then you should know owners are often bit by their little ones, one day or the other. Although Hedgehogs are generally calm, sometimes they might get pretty aggressive and impatient with their owner.
Whatever the situation might be, you must prepare to help yourself if such a situation arrives. Listed below are some of the steps that will help you treat yourself and get instant relief:
- Understand The Severity Of The Wound: Firstly, it is important to stop blood loss. For doing so, you must clean the wound with a wet cloth. After the blow flow stops, access the severity of the wound.
- Use Some Cold Water: The next step would be to spray some cold water in the wound. However, do not rub or massage the wound as it can start to bleed again.
- Apply Some Antibiotics: Once you are done washing and cleaning the infected area, use a clean and dry cloth to soak the excess water. After that, apply some antibiotic ointment to the wound. It will help to reduce bacterial activity and hence prevent any infection.
- Dress The Wound: Although, in most cases, Hedgehogs do not bite hard, and the wound can be left open to heal. If you still feel you need a covering, put on a bandage after the ointment. This will help you to keep the skin around the wound moist.
- Check For Signs Of Other Infections: To make sure that the infection does not spread, keep track of the recovery of the wound.
- Visit A Doctor If Necessary: After the bite, if you notice some serious symptoms such as fever, nausea, or fatigue, I advise you to visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Can You Die From A Hedgehog Bite?
Hedgehog bites are not deadly or life-threatening. However, if left untreated, the would might result in serious infections. Treatment for these bites is pretty simple and can be done at home itself. If you see any significant signs of illness, you can call your doctor.