Where Can I Buy a Hedgehog?

Hedgehogs, like all other small animals, are complex and unique individuals who require a lifetime of special care, food, and supplies. So before you go looking online for a hedgehog because you love Segas classic blue guy and want to buy your own Sonic on a whim, read on to find out why a hedgehog is anything but an ideal pet.

Hedgehogs arent native to North America, but that hasnt stopped the notorious pet trade from profiting from this exploited species. Hedgehogs require specialized veterinary care thats almost impossible to find locally and food that many caretakers arent prepared to offer.

Despite claims made by breeders and sellers, much is still unknown about these animals natural behavior, optimal diet, and needs in terms of their environment in order to be happy.

How much does it cost to buy a hedgehog?

Typical costs: Hedgehogs range in price from $125-$250, depending on the hedgehog’s age, color, and temperament. Some breeders offer hedgehog starter kits for around $75 that include a cage, wheel, a hiding place, water bottle, feed bowl and food, and some shavings.

Does PetSmart sell hedgehogs?

Unfortunately, PetSmart does not sell hedgehogs in-store or online as of 2021, however, PetSmart does sell a range of products for hedgehog owners. Customers can visit local breeders and animal shelters to buy hedgehogs but should make sure their state does not restrict hedgehog ownership.

Can I legally own a hedgehog?

It’s currently illegal to own a hedgehog in California ; Georgia; Hawaii; New York City; Omaha, Nebraska; and Washington, D.C. Other states and cities may have specific restrictions or require a permit to keep one. … Tell everyone you know: Hedgehogs are not “pets.” Never buy a hedgehog or any other animal.

What states are legal to own a hedgehog?

Currently in Pennsylvania, hedgehogs and gliders are not listed as exempt exotic animals in statute and may therefore be banned by the Game Commission under their legal authority.

But as a result of the sudden interest in popularity, there are a bunch of sellers coming out of the woodwork as well (and some arent very reputable).

This means theres a higher likelihood that the level of care and quality of life they provide is substandard at best. The animals arent in perfect health which means they suffer and their new owner has to spend more time, energy, and money on them.

Theres also a strong possibility that these poor hedgehogs wont reach their typical lifespan (and definitely not exceed it). Weve heard from plenty of people over the years who purchased their hedgie from a bad seller and, while they loved their pet, wished they had bought from a reputable source instead. By trying to save a few bucks initially youll probably end up spending more in the long run addressing various health or behavioral issues.

By purchasing from stores or sellers that dont take care of their hedgies it only encourages them to keep doing the same thing. There are a number of advantages that buying from breeders can bring you that make the ownership process a lot easier. When you buy from them you have a low risk of genetic health issues and a trusted resource you can turn to if you have questions.

While there are definitely some good breeders out there that dont have this license yet, this is one of the most effective ways to ensure that youre dealing with someone whos trustworthy. There are a bunch of great hedgehog forums out there where owners will share their experiences with different breeders and recommend ones they trust. Even if the breeder doesnt end up being in your area, theres a good chance you can place an online order and get your pet transported to you!

We would say that the majority of pet stores are not a good place to purchase these animals simply because of their lack of experience and commitment to the species. So while it might seem tempting to hop online or shoot over to your local store and come back with a hedgehog that same day, we dont think its worth it. This is also a great way to save money as well since you should be able to get most of the necessary equipment for free (since the current owner doesnt need it anymore).

Be direct, ask the right questions (pertaining to breeding practices and care), and you might find a good fit. If you hear anything that sounds a little weird (or simply dont know how to articulate a question) your vet might be able to help you. Ultimately no matter where you choose to buy a hedgehog, you need to find a vet near your home for routine checkups anyway.

Youre probably wondering where to buy a baby hedgehog now that youve decided to take on the responsibility. If you’re not clear on the responsibilities and you havent read our article, Hedgehog as a Pet: Pros and Cons, please do that now.

There’s another important thing to know before digging deep into where to buy a baby hedgehog are the legalities. We will discuss each of these options and weigh the pros and cons of each choice so you can find where to buy a baby hedgehog thats right for you.

Here at Heavenly Hedgies, we suggest that if you do find a baby or adult hedgehog on Craigslist (or similar), that you look elsewhere! However, as previously mentioned, hedgehogs are exotic animals and the chances are slim that your local pet superstore carries this unique creature. In contrast, private pet stores that carry baby (or adult) hedgehogs are more likely to speak with you regarding their source.

With that information you can research and, hopefully, speak directly with the breeder of the baby hedgehog youre considering buying. However, in order to prove that a hedgehog they sold died under a warranty situation, theyll require that you provide them with proof from a postmortem necropsy. Also, this warranty claim is not a definite indicator that the breeder isnt operating a hedgehog mill.

Some online breeders are willing to ship a baby hedgehog to its new home if the buyer isnt nearby. When researching where to buy a baby hedgehog online, we suggest limiting your search radius. Along with the downloadable list of questions to ask the breeder, this puts you in the best possible position for knowing where to buy a baby hedgehog.

Another huge bonus of buying from a local breeder is that they may allow you to visit your baby hedgie as it’s still weaning from their mother. Weaning is typically a six week or longer process, so personally socializing your hoglet is a big deal.

The African pygmy hedgehog is an insectivore native to northern Africa. They are nocturnal and will weigh around 1 pound when they are adults. They have gained popularity as exotic pets due to their small size and ease of care.

Flying Squirrels Ground Squirrels

Guinea Pigs Hamsters Mice and Rats

Prairie Dogs Short Tail Possums

Why Buying From A Respectable Source Matters

Before we go into each place where you can buy a hedgehog, we need to explain why it’s important to get one from a trustworthy and ethical seller.With more and more stores and breeders looking to cash in on the hedgehog craze, a certain percentage don’t truly care about the animals. It’s all about the money to them.This means there’s a higher likelihood that the level of care and quality of life they provide is substandard at best. Not only is this unfair to the hedgehogs they’re selling, but it’s also unfair to the buyer.
The animals aren’t in perfect health which means they suffer and their new owner has to spend more time, energy, and money on them. There’s also a strong possibility that these poor hedgehogs won’t reach their typical lifespan (and definitely not exceed it).It’s just sad all around. We’ve heard from plenty of people over the years who purchased their hedgie from a bad seller and, while they loved their pet, wished they had bought from a reputable source instead.One of the reasons people fall for this is money. A lot of low-quality sellers offer pet hedgies for super cheap.But here’s the thing, hedgehogs don’t cost very much when you do it right. By trying to save a few bucks initially you’ll probably end up spending more in the long run addressing various health or behavioral issues.And this is where it gets worse.By purchasing from stores or sellers that don’t take care of their hedgies it only encourages them to keep doing the same thing. There’s no incentive for them to improve the level of care they provide or drop out of the industry entirely (both are fine with us).Now that we’ve gone over the importance of buying a hedgehog from the right place, let’s get into your options.

Where To Buy A Hedgehog

There are a number of options on the table when it comes to where you can buy a hedgehog. In our opinion, some are better than others (we’ll get into why below) but they’re all worth considering.

Breeders (Our Favorite Method)

There are a number of advantages that buying from breeders can bring you that make the ownership process a lot easier.A reputable breeder that has been selling pet hedgehogs for a while is the ideal place to get a hedgehog. When you buy from them you have a low risk of genetic health issues and a trusted resource you can turn to if you have questions.No matter if you’re a new owner or have had hedgies for a while, this makes a big difference.The problem is there are a lot of people out there who claim to be experienced breeders, but really aren’t. Buying from the wrong breeder can lead to a whole bunch of headaches that you really don’t want.This is where word of mouth comes in. We’re going to be adding a full breeder recommendation resource on our site very soon, but in the meantime here’s what to do:
While there are definitely some good breeders out there that don’t have this license yet, this is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you’re dealing with someone who’s trustworthy.It’s also a good idea to take a look online. There are a bunch of great hedgehog forums out there where owners will share their experiences with different breeders and recommend ones they trust. Even if the breeder doesn’t end up being in your area, there’s a good chance you can place an online order and get your pet transported to you!If you would rather stay local (this is what we prefer doing) then compile a list of the breeders in your area and ask around. See what kind of credentials and experience they have, and see if anyone else has bought from them too.
The first is that it’s a lot safer for the hedgehog. These animals are sensitive and there’s always an element of risk involved when you need to transport one from far away.The other is you can meet who you’re buying from and get a chance to see the babies before you purchase. This is a good way to establish a relationship and also begin forming an early bond with your hedgie.

Pet Stores

Pet stores are a popular place for people to buy hedgehogs. However, you need to be very careful if you’re considering this.We would say that the majority of pet stores are not a good place to purchase these animals simply because of their lack of experience and commitment to the species. For most of them, hedgies are just another product to sell.They probably don’t have malicious intent, there’s simply a lack of expertise. Unfortunately, that’s all it takes to seriously impact the health of these animals.So while it might seem tempting to hop online or shoot over to your local store and come back with a hedgehog that same day, we don’t think it’s worth it. There are too many risk factors associated with store-bought hedgies that we can’t recommend it.There are definitely some stores out there (usually local) who specialize in exotic pets and have a good amount of knowledge about this species. However, identifying them can be a major challenge.

Adoption

Adoption is one way to get a hedgehog that a lot of people don’t think about. While this does come with downsides, it can be an incredibly rewarding process.There are plenty of current owners out there who can’t take care of their hedgie anymore. Whatever the reason, they (and their pet) need someone who’s willing to step up and help.The upside of doing this is you’re able to do some good and get a hedgehog at the same time. This is also a great way to save money as well since you should be able to get most of the necessary equipment for free (since the current owner doesn’t need it anymore).But there are obviously some downsides to this as well.If you’re adopting an adult that means you might not have them for very long before they pass away (it depends on their age). It is possible to get a baby hedgehog through adoption as well, but that’s far less common.The other disadvantage is that you need to vet the person you’re adopting them from. This means asking questions about their background and where they bought their hedgehog from initially. This process is necessary but can be kind of awkward (plus you can’t be 100% sure they’re telling you the trust).It’s important to make sure you’re not getting duped into adopting a hedgehog that’s unhealthy or sick. If the current owners are transparent about that and you’re willing to take on the challenge then we applaud you. But that needs to be clear up front.Lastly, this is definitely the slowest option on the list. Adoption opportunities don’t come around very often, so if you’re hoping to get a hedgehog in the near future then you should consider another method.

Exotic Animal Shows

Trade shows and conventions are another option where you can buy a hedgehog. These meetups happen all over the country and bring in large groups of experienced sellers.You’ll have the opportunity to get hands-on with hedgehogs and talk directly to the people selling them.However, this method isn’t foolproof.You’ll need to be prepared ahead of time and know what questions to ask. Just because the people at these shows might be experienced, it doesn’t mean they’re not trying to make a buck!Be direct, ask the right questions (pertaining to breeding practices and care), and you might find a good fit. Don’t feel pressured to leave with a hedgie though, there are plenty of other options on the table if you don’t get a good vibe.

Your Local Vet

Last but not least, you can talk to your local exotic pet veterinarian for referrals and advice. This is something that a lot of people overlook but it can be incredibly helpful during the research process.While we would rather you do your own research and find a USDA-approved breeder, you can run some questions by your vet to see what they think. If you hear anything that sounds a little weird (or simply don’t know how to articulate a question) your vet might be able to help you.Ultimately no matter where you choose to buy a hedgehog, you need to find a vet near your home for routine checkups anyway. Might as well create a relationship early on and get some advice out of it!If you’re looking into the adoption option vets can serve as a good middleman as well. Let them know you’re willing to adopt hedgehogs who need a new home, and when the time comes you might just get a phone call!

Not All Pet Stores Sell Pets

Private local pet stores are becoming rare to find these days. The large pet store chains may carry small common pets that are “cash and carry”, like fish, mice, and hamsters. However, as previously mentioned, hedgehogs are exotic animals and the chances are slim that your local pet superstore carries this unique creature. Even if they do sell them, they usually are not a good source for buying a baby hedgehog. They are not going to provide you with any background on their breeding source, which can lead to heartache.

Privately-Owned Pet Shops Know Their Product Sources

In contrast, private pet stores that carry baby (or adult) hedgehogs are more likely to speak with you regarding their source. It is unlikely that they will be able to provide you with detailed information you need such as lineage and breeding frequencies used by the breeder. However, they should be able to give you a USDA number, license number, or the name of the breeder. With that information you can research and, hopefully, speak directly with the breeder of the baby hedgehog you’re considering buying.One of the perks of buying from a local pet store is that most shop owners will allow you to pick up the hoglet before buying. Each hedgie has their own personality. Always observe, pick up, and interact with hedgehogs to determine if they are a good “fit”. Knowing that you’re able to care for this loving creature is just as important as knowing where to buy a baby hedgehog.

Information and Abundance

The internet is a wonderful place to find information, and that includes finding many online breeders where you can buy a baby hedgehog. Most online breeders are detailed about their practices on their websites. If they don’t post it publicly, most are more than happy to answer your questions via email or phone. Additionally, there are many breeders that will post their licensing information so you can

Beware of the Warranty Claim

Some breeders, but not all, will offer a warranty against congenital defects and WHS. However, in order to prove that a hedgehog they sold died under a warranty situation, they’ll require that you provide them with proof from a postmortem necropsy. According to PetMD, “Expect to pay $100 to over $1,000. The price depends on who’s undertaking the procedure and how many laboratory tests will be run.”While we’re confident that the warranting breeder would honor your claim, we believe that you would be responsible for the necropsy cost needed. Also,

The Deposit and Waiting Period

There are downfalls in sourcing your baby hedgie online. One is that you must pay a non-refundable deposit on a hoglet you haven’t had an opportunity to interact with. It is not uncommon to find that the litter has yet to be born, so please know there is a weaning period once they are. Typically thisSome online breeders are willing to ship a baby hedgehog to its new home if the buyer isn’t nearby.

Buying a Hoglet From a Local Breeder

We saved the best option for last. If you are fortunate enough to live near hedgehog breeders, this could be an ideal situation. Of course, that depends on their willingness to speak with you about their litters; and them allowing you to choose your baby hedgehog. Since they are local, it should be easy to make some inquiries regarding their reputation and breeding practices. Along with the downloadable list of questions to ask the breeder, this puts you in the best possible position for knowing where to buy a baby hedgehog.Another huge bonus of buying from a local breeder is that they may allow you to visit your baby hedgie as it’s still weaning from their mother.