Do Hedgehogs Need a Bath? 3 Top Bath Soap Options You Need To Know!

hedgehog being scrubbed in the sink but Do Hedgehogs Need a Bath?

One of your responsibilities as a hedgehog parent is to ensure they’re always clean and well sanitized. Not only can this stave off multiple diseases and infections but it could also improve the general well-being of your cute little pets.

This article answers the question “Do hedgehogs Need a Bath?” by uncovering the importance of baths on the hedgehog’s body. We also discuss the best hedgehog bathing routines to ensure success. Let’s get started.

Do Hedgehogs Need a Bath?

Hedgehogs occasionally need baths after self-anointing, the act of smearing smelly substances such as poop or saliva on their quills. They love swimming so bathing is an enjoyable activity which also protects them against diseases and infections. Bathing also softens their nails for easy trimming.

If you’re serious about maintaining cleanliness in pet hedgehogs keep reading to find out the best bathing routines for maximum results.

How Often Should You Bathe Hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs should get no more than one bath per month according to experts. They have naturally dry skins and more frequent bathing only makes the situation worse. In most hedgies, bathing may only become necessary once every couple of months because they’re less prone to getting dirty than others.

This is why keeping a clean cage is so important because it can prevent physical contact with the hedgehog’s poop which is the main source of “self-anointing” as described earlier. Eliminating poop out of the hedgehog’s cage every 1-2 days also lowers the risk of your quill babies stepping into it which can lead to unbearable odors that may necessitate more regular baths.

There are instances when hedgehogs could require more regular baths, especially during infancy when they’re typically messier. Experts recommend oatmeal baths in that scenario to provide enhanced skin nourishment and prevent excessive drying.

In the absence of oatmeal baths, natural ingredients such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, Vitamin E and coconut oil drops can be helpful in providing the right nutrients to keep their skin glowing.

Can Hedgehogs Be Sandbathed?

If your hedgehogs are messy frequent sandbaths can come in handy for cleaning their bodies of poop and other dirty substances that may expose them to bacteria and infections. Sand baths are used regularly in other parts of the world but the North American Hedgehog community frowns upon them.

There are several types of hedgehog sand baths available for sale in pet stores but reptile sand and chinchilla sand are the most highly recommended. Chinchilla sand, in particular, has a high number of opponents due to the fine texture as many believe it can easily end up in the hedgehog’s respiratory system causing breathing problems.

What Bathing Supplies Are Required?

shampoo being poured on a hedgehog in a sink but What Bathing Supplies Are Required for hedgehogs?

Many hedgehog owners report stunning success from bathing them with only warm water. However, several mild soap options can provide the ultimate cleaning experience. We recommend choosing sensitive baths that do not worsen your pet hedgehog’s already dry scaly skin.

A few options include:

  • Oatmeal baths
  • Pet shampoo
  • Baby shampoo

Where Do I Bath My Hedgehog?

Bathtubs are the best areas for bathing hedgehogs because they usually poop during the process ruling out the possibility of using kitchen sinks. Large plastic basins can also be filled with warm water for preparing hedgehog baths.

How to Prepare a Hedgehog Bath

Preparing a bath for hedgehogs does not have to be complicated as long as you know what you’re doing. The step-by-step process is as follows:

  1. Pour 2-4 inches of warm water into the bathtub.
  2. Pour a few drops of oatmeal baby shampoo.
  3. Lift up the hedgehog into the bath dropping them on their backs to avoid startling reactions.
  4. Let them settle in the bath for a few minutes.
  5. Pour more soapy water on their bodies to wash off the dirt, poop, or other gross substances
  6. Quickly scrub their quills with a soft used toothbrush to eliminate leftover poop or yucky substances on their bodies.
  7. Rinse the hedgehog’s body in several rounds of filled bath water to eliminate traces of shampoo or soap residue.
  8. Dry them off with a comfortable towel.
  9. Reintroduce them back into their cages when completely dry.

Do Hedgehogs Need Footbaths?

Hedgehogs step in a lot of poop when stuck in dirty cages and foot baths can be a great way to get rid of those gross substances to enhance their scents. The younger a hedgehog is, the messier it can be so footbaths may be required more frequently.

Fortunately, they can enjoy footbaths as often as possible without restrictions and it is not uncommon to find hedgehog owners that provide that daily. You only need small quantities of warm water to create footbaths for your hedgehogs.

You may have to put them in several rounds of freshwater until the feet look clean enough but make sure the water level only covers the feet and not other body areas such as the ears because you do not want them to get soaked.

Walking continuously in the water-filled bathtub washes off the dirt and leads to cleaner feet. This could also be a great opportunity to bond with your hedgehogs.

How To Dry a Hedgehog After A Bath

Hedgehogs should be covered with no loop towels to dry them off after bathing. Avoid rubbing the towel on their skin because it can increase the dryness and lead to an unpleasant appearance. Rubbing towels on their quills may also expose your hands to a higher risk of getting poked.

What is The Right Water Temperature for Hedgehog Baths?

red thermometer with temperature of hot water but What is The Right Water Temperature for Hedgehog Baths?

The right temperature for hedgehog bathing water ranges from 105F to 115F which is lukewarm. You can easily wash your hands in water within this temperature range which is exactly what hedgehogs need for bathing.

Temperatures higher than 115F can be uncomfortable for the hedgehog and may even cause skin burns which could scare the little guy off baths for a long period.

What Age Can Hedgehogs Be Bathed?

Hedgehogs can be safely bathed after 5-6 weeks when they’ve been weaned off their mothers for close to a month. Hoglets can be safely fed baby formula after 2-3 weeks so they could be getting used to independence by week 6.

This should increase their level of trust in you which can make the bathing process more comfortable for them. They’re more likely to enjoy getting bathed by familiar owners than strangers.

What is the Best Hedgehog Bath Soap?

The Aveeno Baby Soothing Natural Oatmeal and Aveeno Moisturizing Bar With Natural Colloidal Oatmeal are the best bath soaps for hedgehogs due to their natural sensitivity and neutral scents, unlike rival products.

Always choose tear-free bath soaps for hedgehogs to guarantee their safety during bathing.

How to Trim Your Hedgehog’s Nails

Hedgehog nails require constant trimming to prevent overgrowths which often leads to an increased risk of physical injuries. The nails become soft after bathing making clipping easier for the little guy and yourself.

Here are the steps for clipping hedgehog nails successfully.

  1. Take their foot in your palm and clip gently with small clippers specifically designed for cute little pets like hedgehogs.
  2. Avoid cutting too deeply to minimize the risk of bleeding and pain for your hedgehog.
  3. You may have to get another person to hold the hedgehog if signs of aggression are displayed during the nail trimming
  4. Offer a tasty treat to your hedgehog after trimming as a form of reward which should make the little guy more eager to avail himself of the process in the future.

Conclusion: Do Hedgehogs Need a Bath?

Hedgehogs require occasional bathing to rid themselves of smelly substances such as poop they may have stepped into or smeared on their bodies. Always use mild soaps or oatmeal baths during baths to protect their sensitive skins.

Hedgehogs can also undergo regular footbaths to keep their dirt-free, poop-free, and urine-free. Wipe their feet dry in a gentle manner with a clean towel or paper towels after each bath.

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