Do you own a hedgehog? Or you would be?
Whatever it is, you must have been worried about the life expectancy of hedgehogs like everybody else.
Actually, the life expectancy of hedgehogs varies greatly depending on size, species, food, climate, and many other factors. So it’s tough to say exactly how long do pet hedgehogs live.
An average hedgehog can live approximately 4 to 8 years, although there have been cases of hedgehogs that have reached more than ten years of life in captivity.
How long do pet hedgehogs live
In this case, their average life expectancy reaches ten years. The lack of predators and the controlled diet contributes to higher life expectancy in captivity.
There have been cases of hedgehogs that have lived up to 16 years in a hedgehog cage. The numbers are not impressive, but for a small animal, this is quite a lot.
But wild Hedgehogs don’t live as long as pet ones. In the wild, the life span of larger species of hedgehogs varies from 4 to 7 years, in the small species – from 2 to 4.
Hedgehog species and their life expectancy
Different species live up in a different manner. So, life expectancy is not the same. We have come up with some typical species life expectancy that you are looking for. Let’s have a look-
- Ordinary or European hedgehog: Lives between 5 and 7 years, although it can live up to 10 years
- Amur hedgehog or Manchuria hedgehog: They can reach eight years in captivity
- Brandt’s hedgehog: Reaches seven years in captivity
- Hugh Hedgehog: About six years
- Indian hedgehog: About five years
- Hedgehog of the Balkans: They can reach seven years
- White-bellied Hedgehog: In captivity, it can live up to 10 years
- Naked belly hedgehog: 4 years
- Gobi hedgehog: Up to 6 years in the wild
- Egyptian hedgehog or long-nosed hedgehog: Between 5 and 6 years
- Ethiopian hedgehog or desert hedgehog: About five years
- Long-nosed hedgehog from India: Over six years.
- Eastern dark hedgehog: 7 years
- Somali hedgehog: About five years
- South African hedgehog: In nature, they live three years, although in captivity they reach seven years.
The reasons for the longevity of pet hedgehogs
Although wildlife is usually thought to be longer than the captive ones, this rule does not seem to apply to hedgehogs. The reasons for this long duration are the following:
There is always food in the house and no starvation factor for the animal’s death. Most of the wild hedgehogs have died for the lacking of food.
Does anybody care about wildlife animals? Very rare. But when you have one of them as a pet, you feel responsible for it.
In the event of pet illness, veterinary care is always at hand. It results in a long period of life of a hedgehog.
Home hedgehogs do not exercise their right to the territory or possession. As a result, their wild brothers die more often.
The wild hedgehogs often fall under the wheels of cars or die in forest fires. But pet hedgehogs ate safe with their owner.
How to increase the life span of a pet hedgehog
Like all pets, hedgehogs must provide a healthy lifestyle that is consistent with their natural characteristics and proper nutrition. If the animal appears accidentally in the house, it would be superfluous to ask specialists how to care a hedgehog properly.
Food supply: proper nutrition to avoid disease
Hedgehogs are predators, and a significant part of their diet is animal protein. Therefore, meat, offal, fish, etc should be in a hedgehog diet.
Vegetables and fruits are an essential component of nutrition for hedgehogs. Carrots, apples, cabbage, zucchini, as well as juices from these products are excellent sources of fiber and vitamins.
In the wild, hedgehogs like to eat insects such as beetles, flies, grasshoppers, grasshoppers. If you are reluctant to move around with a grass net, you should go to a good pet store and ask what they have to offer for the pet.
Cereals: buckwheat and rice. It is better to mix them with meat (minced meat).
Eggs: quail or chicken, raw and cooked
Industrial feed: You can give them dry feed, but it must be food that is not lower than the super-premium class.
Lifestyle and sleep: for better life expectancy
Hedgehogs are nocturnal residents. Do not take down the regimen of the day. This can affect their health. And stress is a big reason for their death.
The hedgehog should have his own house – a nest, where it will be comfortable and safe.
This aspect, like winter sleep, is significant for the health of the pet hedgehog. In the wild, the hedgehog must accumulate some nutrients in the winter to survive safely in hibernation. The owner must remember this fact and provide the pet with proper nutrition.
The hedgehogs are not capable of sleeping in a warm room, so for winter hibernation, you should look for a place where the air temperature will not be above +5 degrees.
Protect your pet from accidents: falling from a height, contact with wires and chemicals.
How can my hedgehog die?
Natural death is something you can’t avoid. But apart from this, there are several reasons for the end of hedgehogs.
Some of the reasons are mentioned below:
Poison is the first cause of death of the hedgehog. This poison is found in pesticides and garden products used to kill fungi, insects, slugs, weeds, and mites.
The hedgehog does not like open spaces. When he has to cross a street, he does it quickly and in a straight line. Not easy for a driver to avoid it. He dies crushed.
The hedgehog has a thin coat and bare skin between quills that attract fleas and ticks. It happens that they are so numerous that they cause the death of a hedgehog.
Hedgehogs may die of exhaustion during hibernation because they have not had enough fat reserves before winter.
Falls and traps
In the garden and around the house, there are often deep holes, concrete pipes, ponds, swimming pools, and pits, or even air vents in which the hedgehog can fall and die.
It happens that dogs hurt or kill hedgehogs, more by play than appetite. Even if they are then truffle full of quills, the dogs can beat them.
The Lawn Mower
Sometimes the gardener, when passing the mower, hurts or kills a hedgehog. We must be cautious, especially when we mow near shrubs where the hedgehog can hide.
It is hard to tell by his looks that the hedgehog is a very naïve and sensitive animal. Several factors like the species, size, food, climate, among others, affect the longevity of a hedgehog.
Hedgehogs can live 4 to 7 years in the wild, relatively high time to be an animal of their size. But they can live longer in captivity; it has been known of cases that have exceeded up to 10 years of life. But all that depends on your care and awareness.
So if you are wondering about your pet and have worried about how long do pet hedgehogs live, do not worry. With love and care, they’ll survive a reasonable amount of time.