Hedgehogs are some of the most low maintenance pets. However, you must ensure a warm environment for their survival. They are adapted to living at higher temperatures and humidity as compared to humans.
So, do hedgehogs need heat lamps? Well, they need temperature regulation. Heat lamps are one of the possible solutions. There are many more alternatives that may even provide better results than heat lamps.
If you have a hedgehog at home, take special measures to provide them with a warm environment. It is necessary for their survival. If they do not get the warmth they require, hedgehogs may slip into hibernation, which can even cause their death.
Let us dive right in and look at the different ways to keep a hedgehog warm.
How To Keep A Hedgehog Warm?
To keep your hedgehog warm, your primary focus should be on keeping its cage warm. Certain schools of thought also emphasize keeping the entire house warm instead of the cage, but that can be rather expensive.
If you can afford to keep your house within the 72F to 80F temperature range, it’s an incredible way of keeping your hedgehog warm. However, if you do not find this a suitable option, you should explore some alternatives.
Hedgehogs need a specific type of heat lamp called a Ceramic Heat Emitter (CHE) to keep their cages warm. CHEs emit only heat, not light. You should keep your hedgehogs away from light at night, or they might confuse it for daytime and not come out to eat. They need about 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.
While picking a lamp, choose one with at least an 8.5-inch dome. If you have a larger enclosure, you could go for a 10-inch dome. You may even require more than one lamp to heat the hedgehog’s cage.
The bulb of the lamp should have a minimum wattage of 100 watts. It can go up to 150 watts. You need to make sure that the bulb is made of white ceramic so that it doesn’t emit any light.
Heat lamps may not be the best solution for keeping hedgehogs warm as they can mess with the hedgehog’s internal clock mechanisms. They are pretty cheap but not such a great choice.
Space heaters are a little more affordable than central heating. They can be used to keep just one room warm instead of the entire house. They can be found in different sizes and varieties, such as fan heaters, convection heaters, and oil-filled radiators.
Be careful not to place any heat from a space heater onto the hedgehog’s enclosure directly. It may lead to overheating.
Even though heating pads are meant for humans, they could work for hedgehogs as well. Simply install the pad under your hedgehog’s sleeping spot. Avoid using pads with automatic turn-off settings as they may leave your hedgehog cold.
You should also ensure the pad doesn’t overheat. If the temperature is too high, the hedgehog may encounter severe burns or even death. It is vital to find a device that strikes a balance and does not spike to excessively high or low temperatures.
Tips To Keep Your Hedgies Warm
Here are a few things to look out for to keep your hedgehog warm.
Pick The Right Cage
As a hedgehog will spend most of its time in the cage, you need to ensure that the temperature of the cage is well regulated. The cage should have a flat bottom to limit any cold flows from entering via the base of the cage.
Avoid using cages that have wired floors. They do not keep the heat locked in. Moreover, they can hurt the hedgehog if its feet get caught in the gaps.
Get Warmer Bedding
The kind of bedding you select influences the warmth of the cage. Prefer fabric liners over newspapers or straws. They are very safe. The fabric soaks up moisture instead of letting it settle and cool down.
Check For Drafts
Check for drafts around the cage with the help of a candle. It is especially important at the ground level. The flame of the candle will sway if there are any drafts. Keep the cage away from any such drafts. They will cool it down.
How Do You Heat A Plastic Hedgehog Cage?
Since hedgehogs spend most of their time in their cages, it is only sensible to look for ways to keep their plastic cages warm.
Ceramic heat emitters could pose a fire risk for plastic cages. They may even start melting the plastic or release harmful fumes. Hot and dripping plastic is highly dangerous for hedgehogs and humans alike.
Electronic heating pads are a safer option. However, if not used properly, they too might be a fire hazard. Pick an electric heater that does not overheat and will hence not harm the hedgehog.
Central heating and space heaters are great for plastic cages as they do not impose direct heat on the cage. Central heating is a little pricey, but space heaters can be an affordable option.
Hedgehog Heat Lamp Wattage
If you’re going to use a Ceramic Heat Emitter, it is vital to choose the correct wattage for the heat lamp. They are a good source of heat as long as you pick one with a suitable wattage.
Ideally, 100 watts should be sufficient to provide adequate heat to the hedgehog. However, proper temperature assessment should be carried out in the area to ensure that the temperature does not rise above 82F.
The wattage requirement is generally between 80 watts to 100 watts for heat lamps for hedgehogs. The decision may be influenced by how close the lamp is to the hedgie and the size of the area being warmed.
Hedgehog Heating Pads
Heating pads are a pretty effective solution for keeping hedgehogs warm. Let us look at the different types of heating pads available.
Human Heat Pad
Electric blankets or human heat pads can be a great option if you’re using a plastic tub or a Duna-type guinea pig cage for your hedgehog. The electric blanket should be placed under the tub, and its temperature should constantly be regulated with its thermostat.
They are quite reliable and warm up the entire floor of the enclosure. It may lead to overheating, so the best way is only to use them under a part of the cage. If that part gets overheated, the hedgehog can move to a cooler spot.
Heat pads are pretty inexpensive and provide adequate heating. Generally, it only costs a couple of cents a week to keep them running.
Microwaveable Heat Pack
Microwaveable heat packs are hard-plastic heat conserving discs that are suitable for providing warmth in smaller areas. All you have to do is heat it in a microwave and then cover and leave it in the regions that require warmth. They can retain their warmth for a period of 8 to 12 hours.
They are quite useful but can end up losing heat pretty quickly when it gets too cold outside. Always use heat packs with a layer of protection in order to avoid burns.
Herbal Or Charcoal Heat Pads
These heat pads are meant for use during a power outage. They are self-adhesive and can stick onto your clothing. Once applied, they heat up slowly and provide a comfortable environment for the hedgehog for several hours.
Are Heating Pads Safe For Hedgehogs?
As long as you invest in good quality products, heating pads are pretty safe for hedgehogs. Do not get tempted to buy cheap ones as they pose the risk of fire. Make sure you use a thermostat along with your heat pad to regulate its temperature.
Heat Pad Cover
A washable cover is a must-have accessory for heat pads. You should not let your hedgehog sleep on a heating pad without a cover. Look out for exposed wires and cover them up to keep your hedgie safe.
Moreover, it would be best if you protected the cables of your heat pad with a metal sheath so that the hedgehog does not feast on it.
Where Should I Place The Heat Pad?
It is crucial to find the right spot for placing the heat pad, as it may be dangerous for your hedgehog. The floor of the cage is perhaps the best place to set a heating pad.
If your bedding is too thick, heat may not be able to penetrate through it. In such cases, you should move the heat pad on top of the bedding.
There is no point in placing the heat pad on top of the cage, like a heat lamp. It does not emit enough heat and will be rendered ineffective.
Thermostat For A Hedgehog Cage
Regulating the temperature of your hedgehog’s cage using just a heat lamp can be difficult. Thermostats can be used to keep the temperature under control. You could either use thermostats with a plastic dial on the controller or digital thermostats. It is advised to invest in a thermostat with a digital read as it is more accurate compared to plastic dials.
The temperature in a hedgehog’s cage can fluctuate wildly. They can be very difficult to control without continuous monitoring. Hence, it is recommended to use automated cage thermostats. You just need to plug the lamp into the thermostat control and set it at the right temperature level. It’ll automatically turn your heating source on or off to control the temperature of the cage.
Recommended Products To Keep Hedgehogs Warm
Let us have a look at some of the products that can be used to keep hedgehogs warm.
This one is a popular heating choice for hedgehogs. It is pretty versatile, and the temperature selection is accurate. It is the perfect heat source for use around the clock. The bulb does not emit any visually detectable light, ensuring that it does not interfere with the hedgehog’s internal cycle. It also comes with a black bulb to let your hedgie sleep through the day.
The thermostat comes with a digital read and provides temperature control between the range of 40F to 108F. The multifunctional clamp light has scratch-resistant sleeves covering the clamp. They ensure that the clamp does not leave marks on your surfaces.
The package comes with a digital thermostat, a 150W heat bulb, and a clamp light with an 8.5-inch reflector. The clamp provides incredible flexibility. It can be attached to different parts of the cage, irrespective of the setup.
This K&H heating pad can be installed indoors as well as outdoors. It can easily be mounted horizontally or vertically, thanks to the pre-drilled holes in each corner. The pad features a 5.5-inch cord and 18-inch cord appropriately encased in steel to keep them safe from getting chewed up.
This product does not consume much power. It has a wattage of 25W and does not feature any bulbs or lamps that need to be replaced. It comes with a limited warranty of one year.
They are best placed under half of the cage of the hedgehog. In case of overheating, your hedgie can move to the other half and cool off.
This K&H heating pad is an ideal choice; It keeps the cage warm without letting it get too hot. It is a reasonably safe option.
This heating pad from Snuggle Safe is microwave safe and can be used for all pets, even hedgehogs. The heating pad offers around 10 hours of snuggly warmth every day. There are no wires that come with it, and it is very easy to use.
The heating pad is best for elderly pets and also young ones. It is a good quality product, having stayed in the market for more than a decade. All you need to do is keep the pad in the microwave for some minutes.
However, overheating of this pad can be harmful to the animal. The hedgehog should be prevented from biting and chewing on the heating pad.
This clamp lamp is very durable and easy to use. It weighs just 0.75 lbs and can be moved around easily. The lamp head can be moved and turned all the way, that is by 360 degrees. The design is amazing, as you have the option to clip it up or even hang it.
You do not have to worry about the security of using this clamp lamp, as it contains a control switch with the wire. It comes with a CE Certificate and is UL listed also. The ceramic-based socket can be utilized with a light bulb, UV lamp, heater, infrared emitter, etc.
The clamp lamp is suitable for many kinds of animals that require heating around them for sustainable growth and comfort.
The heat emitter from Flukers is a 100-watt device that can be utilized with all of Fluker’s clamp lamps. These heat emitters can be used for establishing a suitable temperature and environment for animals, inclusive of hedgehogs, to survive.
The device helps in the maintenance of a constant temperature for a long time. This is a durable product and will not give out a bad odor. It also does not emit a pesky light. Like a light bulb, it is pretty durable even with constant use.
It does not actually give out light and is easy on the pocket for most folks. The best part is that you have the option of controlling the amount of heat that you wish to be emitted out to your pet.
This particular heating pad from the company Kane is very easy to use and gets installed quickly, too. The best part is that it adjusts to the required temperature on its own. It will not allow overheating to occur with your pet.
It is made of polythene of good quality. It is also very easy to clean. There is some insulation on the bottom portion of the mat, thus not letting any heat go to the floor and ensuring all of it toward your pet.
The heating pad is made to be waterproof and is very safe for your hedgehog.
Hedgehogs are accustomed to higher heat and humidity than us. If we’re taking their responsibility, we have to ensure that they get their required temperatures. Heat lamps are not necessary; multiple options can be considered to keep your hedgie warm and happy.
These products maintain the optimal temperature required for hedgehogs. If you do not ensure the right living environment for hedgehogs, they could slip into hibernation. It is not an ideal situation, as hibernation often leads to death among hedgehogs.
Heat lamps, heat pads, or thermostats are all just ways of keeping hedgehogs warm. Find the product that works best for your environment and ensure a comfortable life for your hedgies.