Although hedgehogs are native to Europe, Africa and Asia and are never naturally found in the Americas, numerous breeders in the United States and Canada have managed to preserve the existence of hedgehogs and to improve their lifestyles even when held captive as pets. In North America, annual shows that exhibit the skills of hedgehogs are done since 1995. It was noted that the first show was held in Washington in 1995, and has since developed more awareness among animal lovers regarding the true nature of these nocturnal animals. Many people have showed interest in the care of these mammals, particularly to baby hedgehogs, as they look very innocent and playful.
There are many breeders that offer the sale of cute baby hedgehogs throughout the Internet and through pet stores. They say that it is better to purchase one from a reputable breeder instead of buying at pet stores. This is maybe due to the fact that since more focus is given by breeders to the care of hedgehogs, you are assured of a healthy hoglet because they are extensively well aware on the proper measure of raising them.
Here is a short summary on how breeders prepare their newborn baby hedgehogs before you can bring them to your house.
- They are naturally born with eyes closed. Their bellies are not capable yet to store food in large amounts so its mothers are required to lick the stomach regularly to promote digestion. By this time they can only smell, suck, and crawl, as well as snuggle to its mother for warmth or cuddle up with its fellow litters.
- They are raised in an environment that is good for their bodily and emotional growth. From ten days after birth they are introduced to an extensive imprinting and socialization methods. This so-called stimulation begins at the first week where they are introduced to a set of sensory stimuli to support their first stages of development. Stimulation is performed to train the hoglets in dealing with hectic situations, quite similar to what they should encounter when living in the wild.
- At 7 to 8 weeks of age, they are ready to transfer to a new home.