In this article, we will be taking a look at how to wash a hedgehog as quickly and easily as possible. Additionally, we will also be taking a look at the best way to clean their quills as well as cut their nails while also drying as efficiently as possible.
We will also be covering what in our opinion at least is the best pet shampoo on the market for hedgehogs. We have seen a number of hedgehog owners asking for recommendations on cleaning products due to how sensitive a hogs skin can be so we wanted to help as many of our readers as possible.
How To Wash A Hedgehog In The Bath
When looking at how to bathe a hedgehog it can help to realize that hedgehogs often enjoy being in the bath and swimming as explained in our post on how to get your hedgehog to exercise. Some hedgehog owners seem to think that their hedgehog will not like the bath and enter the bathing process with a negative mindset.
The video below shows how hedgehog bath time can actually be a fun and enjoyable experience for both you and your hedgehog.
The Best Hedgehog Bath Soap On The Market
It has an excellent reputation with small animal owners and you can read some third party independent reviews of the shampoo by clicking here. You can read a third party independent review from a hedgehog owner currently using this product on their hog by clicking here.
Features And Benefits
In our opinion, the two best benefits of this shampoo are that it is totally tearless and has a neutral and balanced pH. The tearless feature means that it is sing free if it does accidentally end up in your hedgehog’s eyes during the bath and will not cause any pain or distress. The neutral pH is perfect for your hedgehog’s delicate skin and will not dry it out or damage it.
Additionally, while cleaning your hedgehog, it also helps to eliminate any odors that your hedgehog has picked up since its last bath. Using this will help you get your hedgehog squeaky clean as quickly as possible with minimum effort.
Question – Does this shampoo work well for hedgehogs?
Answer – Yes, although it is designed for small animals in general, it is perfect for hedgehogs. You can read about independent hedgehog owners currently using this on their hogs here.
Question – Is this a waterless shampoo?
Answer – No you need to get your pet wet for the best results when using this product.
Question – How do I best use this product to wash my hedgehog?
Answer – The image below shows the exact advice given on the label.
Question – Where is this product made?
Answer – It is made in the United States of America.
As with any product that we recommend, we like to share third-party, independent reports of the product from other hedgehog owners currently using it on their pet. We have summarised the report below but you can click the link to read it in full if you like.
- This report comments on how they use this shampoo for washing their hedgehog. They go on to comment on how it works well and does no harm their hedgehog’s skin.
Moving On To Cleaning Your Hedgehog During Bathtime
Keep It Fun
As we previously explained earlier in the article, the majority of hedgehogs love to have a little swim and will enjoy themselves when it’s their bath time. Although this will work perfectly well in a sink, we prefer to use the bathtub as they can swim around and enjoy their time in the water. If you do choose to use a sink, try to put a towel down to cover the bottom to provide a better footing for your hedgehog that is not slippy. As a word of warning, most hedgehogs seem to enjoy relieving themselves in warm water so keep that in mind.
While hedgehogs are naturally strong swimmers, you should never leave your hedgehog unattended in a water source where there is not a point if can touch the bottom with all four legs and catch its breath.
When To Bath Your Hog
Due to their delicate skin, most hedgehog owners will only bath their hedgehogs once per month, twice at an absolute maximum. This helps keep their natural skin oils in order that help condition and moisturize their skin. Some hedgehogs can last much longer than a month without getting a bath due to their natural skin oils keeping them clean with a minimal odor.
Chances are, you will have an idea when your hedgehog needs a bath. It will either smell bad or look like it needs to be washed. A common sign that your hedgehog needs a bath is if it has clusters of poop building up on its feet that can be common with some hedgehogs.
The Items That You Will Need
Ideally, you will have a hedgehog bath kit to help optimize your hedgehog cleaning. We advise that your hedgehog bath kit contains the following items to make both your and your hedgehogs bathing experience easier.
This may seem like common sense but it is better to be prepared.
Prepping The Bath
The water in the bath should be warm. If you are a parent then it should be similar to that of what you would use to wash your baby. You can easily add a high-quality yet cheap water thermometer to your hedgehog wash kit if you like. This will ensure that you are getting the water temperature right everytime and make sure that your hog is safe.
A water temperature of 38C/100F should be enough but always check the water temperature with your thermometer and then with your hand before making a decision to put your hedgehog in.
Although not essential, some people choose to add various products to the water before putting their hedgehog in to optimize it for their pets delicate skin. Common ones include:-
Adding one or more of these to the bath water can help to moisturize your hogs skin while keeping it nice and soft. They can also serve as a temporary replacement for your hedgehog’s natural skin oils until they are replaced after washing your hedgehog.
Treating Any Dry Skin
If dry skin does form after you have washed you hedgehog then you can make a quick and easy oatmeal soak with the following items to correct the issue:-
Simply place some of the oatmeal into the cheesecloth and then run it under some warm water for around a minute to let the oatmeal absorb the water. Then squeeze the cheesecloth while holding it over your hedgehog to release the oatmeal juice to help your hedgehogs dry skin.
The Best Technique For Washing Your Hedgehog
If you are new to bathing your pet hedgehog, then the first bath will always be the hardest. Both you and your hedgehog are new to the process and your hedgehog doesn’t have a clue whats going on. Before putting your hedgehog in the bath, put its drying towel on a radiator to warm up it ready for the drying process.
Once you have decided that the water temperature of the bath is perfect for your hedgehog, slowly lower it into the bath. Rather than instantly beginning the washing process, let your hedgehog swim around a little and relax. Chances are, that for the first time in the bathtub your hedgehog is a little anxious and may tense its spines up making washing difficult.
Once your hedgehog is relaxed and has released its spins you can start to lather the shampoo onto your hedgehog and began to wash it with its toothbrush. Some hedgehogs seem to hate the process of having the shampoo applied to them so feel free to lather it on your own hands and then rub it onto your hedgehog ready for washing.
Use the toothbrush on your hedgehog’s spines and feet to ensure a good clean while doing your best to avoid getting any water or shampoo into your hogs ears, nose, eyes or mouth. Once complete, do your best to rinse as much of the soap off your hedgehog as possible to help prevent any dry skin forming. If it does, then use the oatmeal trick we explained above.
Once all of the soap has been rinsed off, wrap your hedgehog in its towel that should now be warm due to being placed on the radiator earlier. Try to keep one of your hands inside of the towel with your hedgehog to you can gauge the inside temperature as well as the temperature of your hedgehog while it’s drying.
Leave your hedgehog wrapped in the towel to try off, you can leave its head sticking out of the towel so it can see whats going on and have a little nap if it likes. Although it is tempting to use a hair dryer on your hedgehog, it is not advisable due to it being able to lead to dried out skin. Once your hedgehog is totally dry from its wash, place it back in its enclosure.
How To Clean A Hedgehogs Quills
When it comes to washing your hedgehog’s quills simply scoop your hedgehog up into your palms with your hedgehog being on its back with its quills in your palms and its belly facing up to you. Slowly lower your hedgehog into the water while keeping it in your hands until its quills are totally submerged and the water it just coming over its belly.
If your hedgehog shows any signs of distress while in the bath, you can use your thumbs to tickle its belly to help cheer it up. As many hogs enjoy a good swim, your hedgehog may try to escape and go swimming in the bath. Use your thumbs to keep your hedgehog in place until its quills are clean and then it can have a little swim.
The bath water should have a layer of the pet shampoo over the surface of the water by now due to your cleaning its belly and legs earlier as explained above. Keep your hedgehog in this position for a few minutes to let the water soak into its quills and its back.
Once its quills are soaked, turn your hedgehog back onto its belly and let it swim around if it likes. Look for anything in your hedgehog’s quills that shouldn’t be there such as bedding, food or waste and then remove it. It’s usually easier if you have a set of high-quality multiuse tweezers in your hedgehog cleaning kit as they will be able to remove anything you find easily.
Gently scoop water up with your hands or a cup and pour it over your hogs quills to rinse the soap out as best as possible.
How To Trim Your Hedgehogs Nails
Your pet hedgehogs nails are actually very similar to yours, their nails are relatively clear and can grow rapidly. One thing to note with hedgehogs is that although their nails will grow rapidly, some of them will simply wear their nails down as they play in their day to day routine. If you have a hedgehog who does this then it will reduce the number of times you need to trim your hedgehog’s nails drastically.
It is important that you check your hedgehog’s nails at least once per week. The nails on the front feet, in particular, can be prone to curling under your hogs foot and potentially causing damage and limiting its ability to walk. Thankfully, it is relatively obvious when this is starting to happen to give you around a month to trim your hogs nails or take it to your local veterinarian for a professional trim.
Techniques For Trimming Your Hedgehogs Nails
Now there seems to be some discussion on when the best time to trim your hedgehog’s nails is. Some owners feel that you should do it while their nails are dry while others feel that it is better to do it after a bath as their nails are softer.
We are of the first train of through, cutting your hedgehogs nails while they are dry will give a nice clean cut as the nail is strong. If you choose to wait until after your hedgehog has had a bath, the nails are softer making it easier to cut but they can also splinter from the cut causing problems. Use a good pair of pet scissors as explained above and you will get a nice and easy clean cut through dry nails without issue.
Trimming your hedgehog’s nails is much easier if you have someone to help you. Simply delegate the tasks to have one person in charge of holding your hedgehog while the other trim its nails. It is quick and easy as two pairs of hands get the task done so much quicker and easier than one.
Although trimming your hedgehog’s nails solo is more difficult and takes more patients, it can be done. In our opinion, the best way to do this is to wrap your hedgehog in a small towel or blanket to reduce its movement as best as possible.
This will allow you to take one foot out of the blanket at a time and trim your hogs nails with minimal movement or distress to your hedgehog.
Shared under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Roxie Prince – Bath time – https://flic.kr/p/bPuV3Z