If you’ve done all of the necessary research and know that you can provide your hedgehog with all of the care that it requires, it’s time to find a hedgehog for sale that you can bring home.
Where do you buy hedgehogs from, though? Is there a place that you go to first?
Everyone’s aware of the fact that common pet stores sell hedgehogs, but these are actually some of the worst places to buy hedgehogs from!
So, if you’re looking for a hedgehog for sale, this article is essential reading. It may just save the lives of one or several hedgehogs through your purchasing decisions.
Note that hedgehogs are illegal in Pennsylvania, Hawaii, California, Georgia, and Maine — but you may be able to own one with a permit in these states.
Where Can You Buy Hedgehogs?
Buying a hedgehog can be a slightly confusing process because of the numerous places that have them for sale! There are 5 main places that sell hedgehogs:
Hedgehog/animal shelters, online classified ads, reputable hedgehog breeders, pet stores, and backyard breeders.
At first glance, many of these sources may seem the same. However, they’re all quite different, and some should be avoided at all costs.
Out of these places selling/offering hedgehogs, which ones should you turn to for your hedgehog, and which ones should you never give the time of day?
Anyone that’s looking to bring home a hedgehog should first turn to a local hedgehog or animal shelter. This is the absolute best place to “purchase” a hedgehog from.
Virtually all shelter owners and volunteers truly care about each and every hedgehog that comes through their doors and treat it as their own.
To begin with, hedgehog shelters/rescues are very personal, with owners ad volunteers taking the time to assess the personality of each hedgehog and properly socializing them.
Additionally, shelters will have their hedgehogs analyzed by a vet to determine if there are any health problems that a future owner would need to be aware of.
They’ll then go on to make sure that the hedgehogs are desexed and have any of their easily-curable ailments cured.
Another large benefit of hedgehog shelters is that workers tend to be very knowledgeable and will be able to answer any care/ownership questions that you may have.
The #1 goal of these shelters is to find the best home for every single hedgehog that they get. They really do care about the well-being of hedgehogs.
- Cost: Adoption fees typically run from $50 to $100, but can be lower or higher.
- Benefits: Hedgehogs are checked by a veterinarian, desexed, vaccinated, socialized, properly cared for, and housed carefully.
- Downsides: Hedgehog rescues aren’t very common, and hedgehogs don’t frequently show up at regular animal shelters.
Local Online Classifieds
Hedgehog/animal shelters are great because they give hedgehogs another chance at finding a great home. Local classified ads are another way to find hedgehogs in need of a good home.
By using websites like Facebook, Craigslist, and any other marketplace/classifieds website, you’ll likely be able to find hedgehog owners looking to rehome.
This usually happens for two reasons. Either the owners are no longer able to properly care for the hedgehogs (understandable), or they don’t want hedgehogs anymore (disappointing).
Whatever the case, this is a great way to find hedgehogs for sale, and they’re often offered for free or very little money.
Unfortunately, hedgehogs acquired this way haven’t had the benefit of being checked out by a vet, so they may have some underlying health problems that nobody is aware of.
If you decide to adopt a hedgehog this way, then, you’ll need to take it to the vet immediately for a checkup and vaccinations.
- Cost: Typically free, but may have a small rehoming fee.
- Benefits: Hedgehogs frequently come from loving homes, essential supplies are usually included, and you’re giving hedgehogs a second chance.
- Downsides: Not very common, and hedgehogs can have undiagnosed health problems.
Reputable Hedgehog Breeders
If you put the effort into finding a hedgehog in need of adoption but had no luck, you may need to buy a hedgehog that’s actually for sale — not adoption. Reputable hedgehog breeders are the best choice for this.
Hedgehogs are susceptible to several different health problems if they aren’t bred correctly. Fortunately, good breeders put a lot of effort into making sure every step of breeding is safe and optimal.
These breeders are extremely knowledgeable about breeding and caring for hedgehogs, so they’ll use the best practices to produce healthy hedgehogs.
Additionally, genetics can play a role in a hedgehog’s health. If a hedgehog comes from a long line of healthy hedgehogs, it’s more likely to live a long and healthy life itself.
Therefore, the best breeders keep extensive records of their hedgehogs’ genetic histories and make sure that they’re all as healthy as possible.
Many breeders will also take the time to analyze each potential buyer to make sure that their hedgehogs are going to good homes.
There aren’t too many reputable hedgehog breeders out there, but if you can find one, it’s the best place to purchase a hedgehog.
Here’s a list of reputable hedgehog breeders in the US.
- Cost: $100 to $200 typically, with more desirable hedgehogs costing upwards of $300.
- Benefits: Hedgehogs are genetically-healthy and are properly cared for from birth until purchase. They’re also socialized and checked out by a vet.
- Downsides: Brings more hedgehogs into the world when many are without homes.
Pet stores are easily the most common place with hedgehogs for sale that potential hedgehog owners turn to. Unfortunately, they’re one of the worst places to go to!
Hedgehogs that are sold in larger pet stores may not come from the best breeders. These breeders tend to be more focused on volume than optimal living conditions for their hedgehogs.
These pet stores then get all of their hedgehog information from those breeders, often resulting in misinformation to customers and improper care of the hedgehogs.
Not only that, but pet stores often don’t offer the best conditions for their hedgehogs. They’re usually kept in cramped cages, males and females are housed together, and they don’t get their required daily interaction.
There is an upside, though, and it’s that hedgehog breeding/selling is highly regulated. As hedgehogs are considered exotic animals, pet stores must obtain a license in order to sell them.
Because of this gatekeeping, it can actually keep a good amount of bad pet stores out and result in a higher portion of pet stores actually caring for their hedgehogs.
- Cost: $100 to $200 typically, but smaller stores may charge around $150.
- Benefits: Very accessible hedgehogs, and some smaller stores do have healthy, cared-for hedgehogs.
- Downsides: Hedgehogs often come from bad breeders, they’re often not cared for properly, and they can’t educate customers well.
“Backyard” Hedgehog Breeders
Backyard hedgehog breeders are, by far, the worst place to purchase hedgehogs from. If you come across one of these breeders, either turn away or consider reporting it to local authorities.
Backyard breeders are 100% profit-motivated and often times don’t understand good breeding practices. They don’t put effort into ensuring the health and genetic well-being of their hedgehogs.
When you purchase a hedgehog from a backyard hedgehog breeder, you’re almost certainly buying a hedgehog that isn’t vaccinated or fixed, isn’t properly socialized, and will come down with some illness/have a shorter lifespan.
Fortunately, as stated previously, there are a lot of regulations in place that may deter potential backyard breeders from trying to start a business. However, many of these breeders simply don’t care.
- Cost: $100 to $200 typically, but prices can vary greately.
- Benefits: None!
- Downsides: Hedgehogs are genetically unhealthy, not cared for properly, not socialized, and not treated like a living animal.
Identifying A Good Hedgehog Breeder
If you’re looking to buy a hedgehog from a breeder either because no shelters have hedgehogs or because you want a 100% genetically healthy hedgehog, you may be wondering how to tell apart the good and the bad.
Remember, you should only buy a hedgehog from a reputable breeder, not a backyard breeder.
At a quick glance, reputable and backyard breeders may look fairly similar. However, there are a few ways you can tell them apart:
- Backyard breeders won’t let you see the hedgehogs’ living conditions, while reputable breeders make conditions well-known.
- Backyard breeders sell their hedgehogs for cheap in local marketplaces, while reputable breeders operate more legitimately with websites, Facebook pages, referrals, etc.
- Backyard breeders can’t show genetic histories, while reputable breeders happily will.
- Backyard breeders don’t care where their hedgehogs are going, while reputable breeders work to make sure they’re selling their hedgehogs to a good home.
Questions To Ask A Hedgehog Breeder
We’ve come up with 9 questions that you should ask a potential breeder before purchasing a hedgehog from them.
Based off of their answers to these questions, you should be able to identify whether you’re doing business with a good or bad hedgehog breeder.
- May I see your breeding license?
- Do you have references for previous buyers?
- May I see your hedgehogs’ living conditions?
- Can you provide me with your hedgehogs’ genetic histories?
- Do you provide birth certificates with details about the parents?
- What food do you feed to the hedgehogs as hoglets and adults?
- Am I allowed to interact with the hedgehog in person first?
- Do you keep sick/nursing hedgehogs separate?
- Will you be able to answer any other questions I may have about hedgehog care?
Analyzing A Hedgehog’s Health
Another way to tell a good breeder from a bad breeder is through the physical appearance of a hedgehog and their living conditions.
Hedgehogs that come from good breeders should have all of these traits and then some:
- Clean cages, food bowls, bedding, water bottles, etc.
- Calm hedgehogs that don’t become nervous/aggressive when handled
- Healthy spines
- Clean ears, soft ears
- Hard, well-kept nails
- Clear eyes
How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Hedgehog?
Before you purchase a hedgehog, it’s important to note that the cost of a hedgehog isn’t just made up of a hedgehog itself. Instead, it’s made up of the hedgehog and all of its essential supplies.
While you may be able to buy a hedgehog for $100, you also need to house it, feed it, and care for it in several other ways — all things that cost you money.
Make sure that you have the financial means to keep a hedgehog. You need to avoid having to rehome your hedgehog at all costs.
For a detailed cost breakdown of hedgehog ownership, click here. We’ve broken down every possible cost so that nothing surprises you!
In short, though:
- Hedgehogs cost around $100 to $200
- All of a hedgehog’s one-time supplies cost around $200
- Yearly, a hedgehog’s recurring costs can be anywhere from $175 to $300+
Hedgehogs aren’t just pets that you can purchase and neglect — they need as much, if not more care than cats, dogs, and other popular pets.
So, if you’re looking for a hedgehog for sale, make sure that you’re buying it from a good source, and that you’re bringing it into a home that’s prepared for it.