In my opinion, every pet you have should be cleaned at some point in time. When I clean out the cage for my African Pygmy Hedgehog, Kokonut Kreampuff, every week, she also gets a bath.
She wouldn't voluntarily go into a small pool of water and clean herself off…She's more concerned with trying to get under her blanket to sleep, so I have to give her a push in the right direction. Plus, it is just too cute!
Hedgehog Bath Checklist:
No Tears Baby Shampoo + Conditioner in 1 Washcloth
Nail brush – only to be used for your hedgehog baths
Handtowel (possibly 2) Bathroom or Kitchen Sink with drain plug
How to Wash a Hedgehog:
1. Thoroughly clean kitchen or bathroom sink with a mild soap (like Ivory dishsoap) and hot water, rinse thoroughly.
2. Fill sink with about 1.5-2? of warm water – not too hot, not too cold.
3. Mix into water about 1 quarter-sized amount of tearless shampoo into the water to make bubbles.
4. Fetch your hedgehog and gently put them into the water. Be sure, if they're in a ball, to not put them into the water with their face-side down…They may drown or get water in their lungs.
5. Once they hit the water, they should come out of their ball immediately and are usually only concerned with finding a way out. So, their quills are back and relaxed for you to be able to work with easily.
6. Often, they'll have “frothed” themselves during the week with any new and interesting food you fed them, so they may have “spots” on their quills of any color from the food.
So, if you feel after soaking for a few minutes in the water, that these spots need some extra work to get them off, put some extra tearless shampoo on the nail brush and gently rub the quills in one direction to get them off.
7. Be sure to wash their bellies, feet and private areas gently with your fingers or washcloth.
8. Take the washcloth and gently clean their face, trying to keep too much water out of their ears.
9. Pickup your hedgehog and hold them while you empty the sink of the bath water. Quickly rinse the sink of excess bubbles and dirt.
10. Making sure the water is at the right temperature coming out of the faucet, I then rinse the hedgehog directly under that water, ensuring I move the quills around to get all shampoo off of them.
* Tip: Hedgehogs can have sensitive skin, so be sure to completely rinse off the shampoo from all parts of their body.
11. Immediately dry them off in a hand towel, preferably a warm one.
* Tip: Never let your hedgehog get too cold. As such a small mammal, they can get colds, even pneumonia, quickly and can perish even within a day or so. Be careful!
12. After drying as best you can, they will still be damp, so you ideally should put them into another hand towel that is dry and they will want to snuggle into it to warm up and dry off.
* Tip: This is a stellar opportunity to cuddle with your hedgehog. They are more calm and wanting to warm up. Just leave the towel on your lap while you watch TV, work on the computer or just relax yourself!
Now you have a clean Hedgehog!
by Kimberly Edwards