Do Hedgehogs Need Baths? A Complete Guide

Hedgehogs like to spend in their wheel by themselves. Hedgehogs are solitary animals and prefer spending time with themselves rather than wanting time with any company. Amidst all this, hedgehogs eat in their wheel and poop in their wheel too.

Consequently, the hedgehog becomes dirty and needs to be cleaned. Hedgehog owners worry too much about the hygiene of their pets. Hedgehogs are really small in size and need special attention when they are being fed or being cleaned. To be clear, they are not smelling bad, but more hygiene can’t harm.

hedgehog bathing
credits: Shota Tsukamoto

If you are a new hedgehog owner, you must be wondering if a bath is important for your hedgehog and should you be giving your hedgehog baths.

Do hedgehogs need baths? Yes, they do.

Baths are a very important part of your hedgehog’s basic hygiene. But there are many steps that you need to follow and a lot of precautions that you need to take before you plan a bath for your hedgie.

You do not have to worry about the elaborate research because I have got you covered. This article contains all the research and all the answers you need to know before giving a bath to your hedgehog. After bathing your hedgehog you should check hedgie’s nails and if it’s needed you should give him mani-pedi treatment.

What Things Do I Need To Bathe My Hedgehog?

The first step that you need to do is gathering supplies for your hedgehog’s bath. It would be best if you list all of the supplies down in one place to ensure you have not missed any of these supplies. To make the bath an easy and simple process, you will need the following supplies:

  • Sink or a small bathtub.
  • Washcloth
  • A soft toothbrush or a small wash brush
  • Baby shampoos or any pet shampoo available in the market
  • Soft towel to wipe your hedgie after the bath.

Make sure that the temperature of the water is warm. You can compare the temperature for a hedgehog’s bath to that of a human baby. Ensure that the water is not too cold or not too warm by sticking your hand in the water now and then.

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If you feel that you will not maintain the temperature difference just by touching the water, invest in safety devices and thermometers that can help you maintain and check the water temperature.

Preparing The Bath For Your Hedgehog

Start by filling a small bathtub or a clean sink with warm water. The sink should be clean and must be disinfected before you prepare a bath for your hedgehog. Avoid using a spacious space; this is because hedgehogs relieve themselves while they are taking baths. They tend to get clumsy while bathing and may hurt themselves while enjoying their time in a spacious bathtub.

You should never fill the bathtub to the brim. Always prepare a shallow water bath for your hedgehog. Remember that your hedgehog is very small in size and may not need all that water around him.

Methods To Bath Your Hedgehog

You can use two common methods to bathe your hedgehog. Both of the methods mentioned are equally effective and can be used to clean your hedgehog. You may try both of them and stick to the one which works best for your hedgehog.

  1. You can give your hedgehogs a water bath by washing them with your hands in a shallow water bath by rubbing them with a brush.
  2. If you feel like you won’t handle the hedgehog and its quills initially while bathing your hedgehogs, use the towel bath method to clean your hedgehog. The towel should be damp and must have soap rubbed in to help clean the hedgehog effectively.

Steps For Your Hedgehog’s Bath

  • Start with filling your sink with warm water. Remember to check the water to see if the temperature is bearable for your hedgehog. Keep the water level very shallow; try not to go above three inches. The reason why shallow baths are encouraged is that hedgehogs are very small in size, and it becomes very difficult for them to swim and keep their head above the water if the water is too deep.
  • The next step is related to the use of a washcloth. Always keep a washcloth at the bottom of the sink or the bathtub that you are using. Try using an average-sized cloth that can be kept under water smoothly without the cloth floating around. You need a washcloth because the hedgehog needs a smooth surface where it can stand while it is bathing to feel comfortable. Make sure that you place the washcloth before you start filling the sink or the bathtub with water.
  • It is always a good idea to leave your hedgehog in the water for a while before you start the cleaning process. Observe the hedgehog while you are placing it in the water bath. Once you notice that the hedgehog has become very comfortable with the water and its surroundings and starts playing around, you should start with the cleaning process. Remember that it is very important for your hedgehog to be comfortable during the cleaning process to ensure that the hedgehog enjoys the bath. If your hedgehog is nervous, the bathing process will become very difficult.
  • This step involves cleaning up your hedgehog; start by rubbing shampoo on your hedgehog’s body. Remember to lather the shampoo in your hand and then apply it to your hedgehog’s body. Application of the shampoo directly can lead to hedgehog being uncomfortable. It would be best to focus the shampoo on the soft areas where there is fur rather than on the spines. Be careful with the shampoo, and do not let it get into your hedgehog’s eyes.
  • Take a small toothbrush and lather it with shampoo. This step is essential in cleaning the spines. Clean your hedgehog’s pines with the help of a toothbrush.
  • Rinse your hedgehog with clean, warm water. Make sure that you drain the dirty water bath before you rinse your hedgehog off. After rinsing, you may gently dry them off with a towel.
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Happy bathing!