The most commonly asked question about hedgehogs is their lifespan. The life expectancy of these creatures differs based on where they live and other external factors. For example, if hedgehogs live as pets, they can survive longer than in the wild.
So how long do they live? The lifespan of hedgehogs can range anywhere between 3-5 years. They can also live up to 8+ years if the environment is right for them. This article will dive deep into what affects the life expectancy of hedgehogs and tips on raising them.
How Long Do Hedgehogs Live?
As mentioned above, an average pet hedgehog can live for up to 5 years. He can, on occasion, live longer. However, a hedgehog starts getting diseases like mouth and stomach cancer in the 3rd year of his lifespan.
Cancer presents itself as sarcomas. Hedgehogs with cancer normally contract tumors around the face and mouth. The maximum life expectancy after a severe diagnosis is 2-3 months. During this period, they struggle to eat, stand and keep their back straight.
The other disease that severely affects hedgehogs is Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome. It is a neurological disorder without a cure. If the hedgehogs have Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome in the wild, they can live between 1-3 years due to predatorial risk.
Some hedgehogs live past five years if they haven’t caught any diseases, but this does not commonly occur.
Life Expectancy of Wild Hedgehogs
If the hedgehogs live in the wild with constant dangers from predators, they live up to 3 years and sometimes four, if they’re lucky.
Hedgehogs consistently face dangers from hunters, accidents, risk of complex diseases, injuries, and environmental factors. Unfortunately, these risk factors cause death instead of old age.
Life Expectancy of Pet Hedgehogs
A hedgehog can survive for up to four to six years with the right care in a domesticated environment. Some hedgehogs can live beyond seven years. The lifespan of a hedgehog can increase or decrease based on environmental factors and human behavior.
Knowing your pet’s needs and how he responds to different stimuli can help you make sure he lives longer than his expected lifespan.
How Long CAN a Hedgehog Live?
While most pet hedgehogs live for five years, there have been cases of them living beyond eight years. Regardless of other facts, it is obvious that pet hedgehogs live longer than those who live in the wild.
The extended lifespan of hedgehogs is due to the constant supply of food, lack of predators and disease, and a safe environment. These basic factors play a major role in how long they live.
There is no clear reason why some hedgehogs live up to twice their expected lifespans. The most likely reason is that they have a healthy environment, proper care, good genetics, and luck. While one can’t control luck, you can control the environment they are raised in and keep it safe.
There are a few tips for hedgehog parents to ensure that they do everything they can to hedgehog a good chance at life. But, first, let us look at what factors can affect a pet Hedgehog’s life expectancy.
Elements That Increase a Pet Hedgehog’s Life
You can increase the lifespan of your hedgehog by simply keeping the surroundings safe and caring for it well. In addition, the factors listed below can also help prolong its life further.
Buy a Healthy Hedgehog
The most important thing you need to do is make sure you get a healthy hedgehog from pet shops, breeders, or online. Wherever you get him from, make sure that the hedgehog comes from a healthy line. Genetics plays a major role in the survival of any species.
Adopting a hedgehog from a healthy line also ensures that he lives a longer than average life. However, the process of finding a healthy hedgehog and verifying its predecessors is tricky. To do this, you’ll have to find an experienced breeder who keeps detailed records.
These records are normally absent when buying a hedgehog from a pet shop and you’re wagering on a hedgehog’s life. That said, finding a breeder that maintains detailed records of hedgehogs’ illnesses and mannerisms will be hard to find.
Breeders normally sell healthy hedgehogs when they’re young. But, unfortunately, the ailment of several hedgehogs is often discovered by their owners only when they become adults.
Consequently, what this means is that the breeders don’t have the pups in their possession to know what ailments the hedgehogs have. So while being healthy reduces the chances of developing health issues, they can still get some diseases.
Diet and Activities of a Hedgehog
A balanced diet is important for your hedgehog. The absence of a balanced diet can cause a weak immune system, sickness, and decreased development. Giving him adequate vitamins and nutrition supplements also keeps him healthy.
Hedgehogs are active creatures and enjoy movement. Therefore, regular exercise can help your pet thrive physically and mentally. In addition, an increased amount of activity could potentially increase lifespan.
To stay active, hedgehogs need surroundings adequate for their movement. They need sufficient space to play, and having an exercise wheel to run on helps them run miles on it regularly. It is also important not to confine them to their cage.
Tips for Increasing Your Hedgehog’s Lifespan
Every pet parent wants to make sure their pets live for as long as possible. To do this, follow the tips above and keep the cage clean and make it spacious and secure. Minimizing the hedgehogs’ stress is also fundamental in keeping them healthy.
Take your hedgie to the vet every four to six months for a complete medical examination to make sure your pet is in the best condition possible. It will also prevent your hedgehog from getting any serious illnesses and prevent them early if he does.
You can prolong your hedgehog’s life by keeping the factors mentioned above in mind. It can also help you understand how long hedgehogs live as pets. Hedgehogs face problems like all species. All one can do is ensure their happiness as long as they are alive.