Hedgehogs are fascinating and curious creatures that will surprise you in many ways. When you buy a hedgehog, what you pay for your pet is not the only expense you need to pay attention to. Their cage setup, food, and accessories all come at a cost and this practical guide will help you understand what it costs to take care of a hedgehog.
How much does a hedgehog cost?
The starting price for a hedgehog will begin at $100 and increase up to $300. There is much selection among the color spectrums that include 17 different hedgie breeds. In actuality, there are 92 unique color varieties among hedgehogs ranging from brown, white, snowflake, black, and gray. Within all of these colors, there are plenty of specific variations in each selected color. The rarer the color, the more expensive your hedgehog will be.
|Standard mixed colors||$100-150 USD||ex: Basic salt and pepper colors|
|Mutation colors||$150-200 USD||ex: Albino varieties|
|Special select colors||$200-350 USD and up||ex: Black Algerian|
If you’re looking for a collectible breed of a hedgehog, you must prepare to pay for the extra cost a breeder will charge. Some prefer softer-looking quills while recently the African albino hedgehog has gained in popularity, which you can purchase for anything between $100 USD to $250 USD.
Show quality hedgehogs
There is one international authority that is known as The International Hedgehog Association. They provide information about hedgehogs and have a very extensive color guide. They also have hedgehog shows that are spanning across the US and Canada.
Wherever the IHA has a show, breeders that have something special to show off will compete to claim category prizes. They may also be breeding their best hedgies with other breeders to create new color variants. If you can find one of their shows, this is a good chance you can find a rare color or breed. This will obviously be reflected in the price you pay for it.
Associated costs of owning a hedgehog
While it’s fine just having a single hedgehog, you need to provide them with a cage and accessories that keep them active but can be cleaned easily. This will have an overall impact on how large your cage needs to be and will be reflected in the price of the cage too.
Many of these expenses are a one-off initial upfront purchase, mainly a cage and different accessories. The rest come down to food, bedding, and the occasional visit to the vet.
An overview of the associated costs of owning a hedgehog
|Cages||$50-150 USD||You can use a 20-gallon fish tank but a 40-gallon tank is better|
|Hiding house/nesting box||$20-30 USD||Should be fleece, wood, or ceramic|
|Hanging food tray||$5-20 USD||only made from metal, wood, or ceramic|
|Bedding shavings||$10-20||bedding material that has low or no dust|
|Various wooden chew toys||$10 USD||not an absolute necessity|
|Pellets||$20-25 USD||per 2Lb bag- this is enough for 2-3 months|
|Dried snacks/goodies||$20 USD||various dried insects like mealworms, small crickets|
- Hedgehog Cage Setup – Create the perfect habitat for your pet hedgehog
- How to pick up and hold a Hedgehog the Right Way
- Hedgehog Behavior – What is Your Hedgehog Expressing?
Hedgehog Associated Cost – Initial, Week, Month, and Year Overview
|Initial start-up costs||$300-600 USD||pet +housing + accessories|
|$50-75 USD||food and snacks for the first year|
|Week||$2-4 USD per week||pellets, veggies, and fruits|
|Month||$15-35 USD per month||depending on the food you buy|
|Year||$200-400 USD (or more)||food + bedding + various accessories|
What are some hedgehog health expenses?
Hedgehogs aren’t really prone to getting sick very often, although preventative medicine is what keeps them healthy. They need to have yearly vet visits and checks on their teeth if they start growing out weird. If they are getting a noisy sounding ‘smokers cough’ this is caused by lungworm which can be treated with antibiotics.
If they are going in your garden, this opens them up to getting exposed to parasites like ticks and fleas. Try to limit them from crawling around on open grass, since these organisms do live outdoors and get onto your hedgehog very easily.
|Vet costs per year||$25-35||hedgehog annual visit|
|Neutering/spaying||$300-400||depending on the vet|
|Various treatments||$100 and up||for any emergency visit|
Other factors that will determine the price of a hedgehog
Colors and breeds are among the many factors that will determine the price you pay for your hedgehog but you have to take into account other factors such as availability in your state and whether you buy it from a pet shop or private breeder.
1. Buying a hedgehog in a pet store
You’ll find a hedgehog being sold in every pet store that has them in stock. The smaller chain stores are buying them from local breeders, while the larger chain stores like Petco or Petsmart don’t sell them at all. Buying from a pet store will be the cheapest option, although not the safest as we will discuss below.
2. Buying a hedgehog from a private breeder
A private breeder might be more expensive since they are carefully bred by professionals that care about their health so they don’t have illnesses that are common with pet store breeds. You can check on the internet for local breeders in your hometown or city as well.
Breeders are a better choice for getting an ideal color or breed type. Hedgehogs raised by breeders are also easier to tame since they are raised around people and will be less prone to biting. It’s only the top-level breeders that can ask for a price if the breed is rare and unique.
Many of these special breeds can start at $350 USD or more if they aren’t the everyday versions that are commonly sold. Sometimes these breeds come with a certificate that shows they are certified if they are members of The International Hedgehog Association.
3. Buying a hedgehog from an exhibition show
Most of us don’t go out of our way to buy a pet locally and usually stay within our city or town to shop. But there are often exhibitions that are in the bigger cities that draw big crowds of people at exotic pet shows. This is where you can find some breeders bringing interesting animals that can include hedgehogs. You will find unique varieties of hedgehogs there that will cost several hundreds of dollars.
Is the price of hedgehogs much different in other countries?
Canadian costs are going to be $175-400 (CAD), which translates into $140-320 for Americans. It seems that Canada and the US roughly have the same prices.
For some reason, the prices in the UK are much higher and aren’t based on private breeder fees. The starting price for UK-based hedgehogs from 50-350 GBP (British pounds), will range between $70-500 in US currency. If you go on a trip to the UK and want to buy a hedgehog, the cost to bring it back will likely be not worth the trip.
Prices of adult hedgehog VS baby hedgehogs
Most breeders aren’t selling fully grown adults but that doesn’t mean that animal shelters aren’t allowing people to adopt grown hedgehogs. The adoption fee is determined by the prices that they decide the animal is worth. This will be pretty close to the going price at any pet store.
When you buy a hedgehog, they are usually young piglets that will be 6 to 12 weeks old. This also gives you a chance to tame them so they are friendly and don’t bite.
Should I buy several hedgehogs at the same time?
Most hedgehogs can live as a single hog or sow in a cage setup. If you decide to have two hedgehogs, it will all depend on how well they get along with each other and are cohabitating fine. This can happen more often with two female hedgehogs than it will be with two males. Now when it comes to a male and a female that are put in the same cage if they get along fine and don’t fight, this arrangement can work.
This is why a cage needs to be large enough for them to have their own territory and nesting area. Good cage size should start with 2 feet long at a minimum and have a separate level that a second hedgie can occupy. First-time owners should know that a hedgehog is going to be an investment, let alone two.
How do hedgehog prices compare to other exotic pets?
Cost of Hedgehogs VS Hamsters
Hamsters are very cheap compared to a hedgehog and start at $5-10 per hamster. While hammies are sweet and loving at times, they lack the goofy smirk that hedgies have. But just like the Syrian hamster, you can raise a hedgehog by itself as a single pet. Hamsters require less space and a smaller cage will logically cost less as well.
Cost of Hedgehogs VS Guinea pigs
These two pets are roughly the same size when guinea pigs get to be fully grown, but the cost difference is the first thing you’ll notice is different. Guinea pigs cost only $10-40 per pig compared to at least $100 for a hedgehog.
Their cage setup is a bit different since guinea pigs are rodents and they need all sorts of things to chew. You’ll spend almost the same price on cage setups and have vet costs that are yearly checkups. These will cost 40-50 dollars for a vet visit, although emergency costs will average 100 dollars and up.
Cost Hedgehogs VS Chinchillas
This is one exotic pet that is going to cost similar to a hedgehog with most chinchillas costing around $80-350. Chinchillas are not easy for young kids and are better suited for teens and young adults.
Their cage setup is very similar and will have initial costs starting at 100-300 dollars for all their accessories. The biggest cost is going to be vet bills since they are not your average exotic pet. An emergency cost can end up being $150 per visit if they get sick.
Why are hedgehogs so expensive?
Hedgehogs are expensive because they have seen a big increase in popularity in young kids and teens over the last two decades. This has affected the prices they sell for because they are considered special exotic pocket pets. They are also well-suited for taming, which is why they make popular pets.
The funny thing is, all across Europe, Africa, Asia, and New Zealand you easily find hedgehogs living in the wild. They are so commonly found in forested areas and even within residential suburbs. But despite their availability in the wild across the globe, pet hedgehogs remain overly priced.
What are the steps to buying a hedgehog?
Buying a hedgehog all starts with finding a qualified source that is showing you they are bred through ethical methods. If you buy a hedgehog from a pet store, you need to inspect them for having good health.
Buying them from a private breeder is generally going to cost more but their quality is assured. They won’t have hidden health problems that start showing up after a couple of months either. Not only is this a costly vet bill, but you also risk buying a hedgie that will end up dying before they reach adulthood.
To be on the safe side, you should check at least these 3 basic things when purchasing a hedgehog: if it has any signs of illness, the softness of its fur, and if its feet are sore.
- Signs of illness: Spotting a sick or ill hedgehog will show some telling signs that cannot be hidden so easily. If they are lethargic or not very active, some pet stores can try telling you they are just tired. But seeing runny eyes and noses that have a discharge is a very bad sign. They should also be caged separately instead of being together in one cage since sickness can spread to the others.
- Shiny and soft fur: All hedgehogs have soft belly fur that should be clean and well maintained. If you see a hedgehog with dirty and smelly fur, they can have a bath to get them cleaned up. Young hedgies should show clean fur, so if they don’t then don’t buy them at all.
- Feet that aren’t covered with sores: If you see feet on a hedgehog that have sores is a sign that they are raised in cages that are dirty, damp, and make their feet get covered in bumblefoot. It does not mean you can’t buy them, but you will need to spend some money on foot balms that will restore their little paws to a healthy state.
Hedgehogs are fascinating and curious creatures that will surprise you in many ways. It won’t be any big surprise that hedgehogs aren’t the only expense you need to pay attention to. Their cage setup, food, and accessories all need a basic cost breakdown so you can learn what it costs to take care of a hedgehog.