Owners often believe that Hedgehogs need less attention, but you need to take decent care of them to keep them happy and healthy. Domesticated Hedgehogs can’t live without their owners for long. So, this raises a question in owners’ minds: what if we are traveling or busy and cannot take care of them? How long can my Hedgehog leave alone? A day, a weekend, or even more?
It would be best if you did not leave your Hedgehog unattended for any more than 24 hours. If you are going to be out just for a night, then stalk them with multiple sources of water and plenty of kibbles to last a day. If you are leaving on vacation, leave your Hedgehog with a family member or a trusted neighbor.
Leaving your Hedgehogs alone can be a little daunting for some people, and I totally understand that.
I would suggest you take the service from Trusted pet sitters if there is no one else available to look after your pet.
Unlearn everything you know for a while and go through the article to understand all the possible risks that your Hedgehog might have to face if they are left alone for a while.
In this article, we have also put together accurate information on how long can a Hedgehog go without food and water.
You will also get to know the tips that one can follow regarding their pets when heading for an extended vacation.
Can You Leave Your Hedgehog Alone? (Possible Risks)
You should not leave your Hedgehogs alone for more than 24 hours. They can run into several problems if left unattended for too long.
You should take some measures if you leave your Hedgehogs alone. You should know what problems they can run into if they are left alone.
Here are some of the problems that Hedgehogs often run into when left alone:
Your Hedgehog Might Run Out Of Food And Water
It is essential to provide a diet rich with all the nutrients to your Hedgehogs. You need to make sure that you leave behind an adequate amount of food for them.
Hedgehogs have a fast metabolism because of which they continually eat. So, make sure that they have enough food.
Your Hedgehog Might Escape
If you notice that your Hedgehogs tend to escape the cage by any means, it is essential to make sure that they cannot do it by any means when you are away.
You might need to get a better cage or modify the current cage not to escape. If your Hedgehogs try to escape when nobody is watching over them, it can be life-threatening for them.
Your Hedgehog Might End Up Hurting Himself
Hedgehogs often fight with their cage mates. This is extremely common with male Hedgehogs. If you have noticed that your Hedgehogs fight amongst themselves, they will probably fight more when you are away.
It can lead to serious injuries if the fight continues for a long duration. You can buy some hideouts to keep your Hedgehogs busy while you are away.
Unmaintained Cage Can Invite Flies And Several Diseases
If your Hedgehog’s cage is not maintained properly and is dirty or wet, it can lead to the attraction of flies and some other insects as well.
Flies tend to go towards damp and moist places so that they can lay their eggs. Flystrike is extremely dangerous for our Hedgehogs as their eggs which form larvae can start feeding your Hedgehogs.
Their cage might also be covered with poop if you leave them alone for too long. This often leads to ammonia build-up, which is very bad for their health.
A Leak In Your Hedgehog’s Water Bottle
Leaky water bottles are a prevalent problem faced by Hedgehog owners. It works on the principle of vacuum, which can go wrong easily by even a small misshapen.
A leak in your Hedgehog’s water bottle can lead to two problems. The first is your Hedgehogs being out of the water, and the second is their bedding getting totally soaked, which can make them ill. This is one of the primary reasons why you should not leave your Hedgehogs alone.
How Long Can Hedgehogs Go Without Food?
An average Hedgehog can technically survive for three to four weeks without food if they have a water supply. However, this is not recommended.
Domestic or pet Hedgehogs often become accustomed to being fed at certain times, and if this doesn’t happen, they can become malnourished and unwell.
The food intake also depends upon the age and health of Hedgehogs. Young or baby Hedgehogs need nutrients from their food for adequate growth and development, and cannot sustain long without food.
Immediately visit your vet if your Hedgehog has suddenly stopped eating. The longer you take, the more critical the problem can get.
How Long Can Hedgehogs Go Without Water?
Although Hedgehogs have the ability to survive up to 5-6 weeks without water (in a controlled environment), you must provide your pet Hedgehog with fresh water every 24 hours.
Also, if domesticated Hedgehogs do not have access to clean water for a long period of time, their health can deteriorate quickly. Lack of water can even result in dehydration in Hedgehogs. In some cases, it might even lead to organ failures.
It would be best if you took care of your Hedgehog’s water intake, especially in summers. If your Hedgehogs have not consumed any water in a long period, you must find the reason behind the same and try to resolve it.
How Long Is Too Long When Leaving A Hedgehog Home Alone?
It would be best if you tried to keep the time that your Hedgehog is left alone to a minimum. Although you may think that your pet is well-adjusted, he may become distressed if they are left home alone for an extended period.
Here are some general recommendations for how long you can leave your dog Hedgehog alone, based on age:
|Hedgehog’s Age||Time Spent Alone||Main Reason|
|Baby Hedgehogs||Not more than 2-3 hours a day||Baby Hedgehogs need sufficient nutrients from their food, cannot sustain long without their owners|
|Adult Hedgehogs||Not more than 8-10 hours a day||Need more floor time compared to elderly Hedgehogs|
|Elderly Hedgehogs||Not more than 14-16 hours a day||They would not care much about your presence.|
What Do You Do With Your Hedgehog When You Go On A Vacation?
You need to take a few measures before going on a vacation and leaving your Hedgehogs alone.
It is not as simple as just leaving a little bit of food and water for a day to last for your Hedgehogs. It would be best if you thought of all the troubles your Hedgehogs might have to go through before going away.
It is essential to have a good vacation and not worry about your Hedgehogs all the time. Follow these simple steps when you go on a vacation so that your Hedgehogs are safe:
Get Your Hedgehog A Pet Sitter
It would help if you considered getting a pet sitter while you are away for your Hedgehogs. You can either get a personal pet sitter, or you can even drop your Hedgehogs at their place.
It would help if you only tried to get trusted pet sitters to pet your Hedgehogs. If you are unable to get them, then kennels should work as well.
Ask Your Neighbor Or A Friend To Look After Your Pet
If neither a pet sitter nor a kennel is working for you, then you can look for a friend or a neighbor to look after your Hedgehogs.
If you leave for more than a day, you should consider preparing a decent amount of food for them and storing them. This will make it much easier for your friend or neighbor to look after your Hedgehogs.
Set Up A Security Camera To Keep An Eye On Your Hedgehog
You might want to set up a camera to monitor your Hedgehogs if you travel or are away quite often. This will help you monitor your Hedgehog’s behavior even when you are not close to them.
You can easily ask your friend or neighbor if you see that something is wrong with your Hedgehogs.
Get Your Hedgehog More Than One Water Bottle
A Hedgehog can drink up to 300ml of water every day. Your Hedgehogs might consume a different amount of water depending on their diet, living environment, and weather.
Hedgehogs get thirsty quite often, so it is important to have enough water for them. Make sure that they have 1 bottle of water at any time.
Throw In Some Extra Kibble
The wise idea is to provide your Hedgehogs with at least 2-3 small bowls of kibble in their cage so that they can munch on them.
Kibble would help in keeping up with the nutrients which Hedgehogs need to live a healthy life. Food plays the role of a keystone in our Hedgehog’s life, despite the age and breed. You should make sure that you are providing Hedgehogs a suitable amount of nutrition.
Can I Leave My Hedgehog Alone For A Week?
Although your Hedgehog will mostly survive if you leave your pet alone for a few days, you must never do it. Sometimes, leaving a Hedgehog alone for a week or so can end in disaster.
If you need to be out for a week or so, the best option is to ask your friend, neighbor, or a pet sitter to at least check in on your pet.
Leaving your Hedgehog alone for a week can result in some serious issues as listed below:
- Your Hedgehog might run out of food and water
- The food and water can go bad
- Weather changes that will affect your Hedgehog’s health
- Your Hedgehog can get sick
- The litter boxes will be full, which will lead to house-soiling
- Your Hedgehog can get lonely, depressed, or anxious
Therefore, it is important to plan ahead and not neglect your pet when you have to go away for long periods of time.
Do Hedgehogs Get Attached To Their Owners?
Certain studies show that Hedgehogs distinguish humans mostly based on their scents. Hedgehogs differentiate their owners from strangers with the help of the scent of their bodies.
It is advised to take it slow with your pet. Hedgehogs need some time to build a bond of affection and trust. However, once this relationship is formed, your pet will cherish you forever. With the course of time and a little bit of patience and warmth, everything is possible.
It is also seen that when Hedgehogs are resettled into a new owner’s place, there is a visible change in their behavior and routine. This sudden change may also make them miss the old home, routine work, and, most importantly, the previous owner’s affection, behavior, and expressions.
How Much Time Should You Spend With Your Hedgehog?
It is advised to spend at least an hour each day with your Hedgehog. Also, younger Hedgehogs need more floor time as compared to old ones as they are more energetic.
Although you may think that your pet has a quiet and calm and behavior, they still want a lot of attention from you. Having a companion is crucial for the well-being of your Hedgehog.
Therefore, it would help if you spent quality time with your Hedgehog. This means setting aside an hour where you do nothing else, and your only focus is to bond with your pet.