Hedgehogs are fast becoming a pet of choice for many individuals today. Perhaps you have been looking into getting one for yourself as a pet. If this is the case, then it is best that you find out everything there is to know about owning a pet hedgehog, as any good pet parent would.
An important question that many potential hedgehog owners should ask is, “how big do pet hedgehogs grow?”
Pet hedgehogs can grow as big as 5 inches to 12 inches. This size is not so big as far as pets go, and so you will find that even as an adult, your pet will probably fit in your hands. As for weight, most adult pet hedgehogs will weigh between 10 to 17 ounces.
Since there are three different breeds of pet hedgehogs, you should expect the weights and sizes of adults to differ, depending on the species, as some species grow bigger than others. Pygmy hedgehogs (also known as four-toed hedgehogs), for instance, are usually smaller than other breeds and are the most popular of the pet breeds.
Are pet hedgehogs difficult to maintain?
Because of their usual small sizes, pet hedgehogs are generally low-maintenance animals. This does not mean that their owners shouldn’t put in effort in taking care of their pets, though.
For one thing, their diets are quite simple, and since they are generally small-sized, even as adults, they do not usually require much food. Also, unlike some other pets, you do not need to exercise them yourself as they are perfectly capable of doing it by themselves, provided you supply them with the means to do it.
The diet of these animals includes a source of protein such as insects including crickets and mealworms, fruits such as apples and vegetables such as carrots and peas. There are even specially formulated pellets for hedgehogs that you can buy to feed your pet.
If you are new to owning a hedgehog, then you will need to purchase a suitable cage for your pet.
Inasmuch as it is good to feed your hedgehog well, so that the animal can grow as it is supposed to, you should always bear in mind that these animals tend to get overweight very easily. Therefore, you should be careful not to overfeed your pet so that the animal does not wind up becoming obese. Also, regular exercise is needed for your pet to maintain a healthy weight.
Questions and answers about pet hedgehog sizes
Do domesticated hedgehogs get as big as wild ones?
Pet hedgehogs tend to be smaller in size than their wild counterparts, typically reaching a length of 5 inches to 9 inches and weighing about 20 to 24 ounces. This is in contrast to the wild breeds, which can reach up to 12 inches in length and can weigh as much as 40 ounces, depending on the species.
Is there any difference in size between male ones and female ones?
Female hedgehogs tend to get a little bigger than their male counterparts. This is especially common and more noticeable once a female has given birth or is pregnant.
How long does it take for a hedgehog to reach full size?
Most hedgehogs will keep growing from the time that they are born until they are about six to seven months old, at which time they attain their full size. However, a species like the African pygmy reaches its full size pretty quickly and can stop growing as early as three months.
Does a large weight and size mean my pet is healthy?
A large weight and size may not necessarily mean your pet is healthy and can instead be a sign of obesity which can cause many health issues for the animal. Considering that these animals tend to get overweight pretty easily, you should watch your pet’s weight.
You can do this by constantly weighing your pet and monitoring its weight after the animal has reached adulthood so that you can see if it puts on any and unnecessary extra weight.
How do I control my hedgehog’s weight?
Regular exercises are necessary to help the animal burn off excess fat. A good way to exercise your pet is to get an exercise wheel on which it can run and place the wheel in its cage.
Although hedgehogs may become overweight, they may also become underweight due to an illness.
This is why it is important that you check your pet’s weight so that you can catch any abnormalities on time and take them to a specialist pet hedgehog vet.
If you are thinking of getting a pet hedgehog and you have what it takes to take good care of the animal, then go for it by all means. These animals are cute and easy to take care of as they are quite small, weighing between five ounces to 56 ounces and growing as long as 5 to 12 inches long in length as adults, depending on the breed. Just ensure that you take proper care of your pet, and the animal will live a healthy and fulfilled life with you.