Your hedgehog will require regular baths to maintain hygiene and reduce smells. Most owners give hedgehog a bath in a sink or a bathtub but some prefer to use a special bowl or baby bath. It is important to maintain a baby temperature so your hog remains comfortable and safe. Using your elbow or underside of your wrist is a good way to test the temperature. Hedgehogs may relieve themselves in the bath so cleaning the bath area after your hedgehog is finished will be essential. Some hedgehogs enjoy swimming and prefer the bathtub or fuller water area. Despite being avid swimmers you should never leave your pet unattended for safety.
Bathing is done on a regular basis and should be part of your care routine, hedgehogs vary in the need, some have parties and use their wheel for toilet showers, others anoint with smelly and colourful items, each hedgehog is unique and you will learn your hog’s needs in time. Bathing can be done too often causing excessively dry skin.
You may choose to follow what most exotic vets advise and use just water but many opt for mild soap or products to help in cleaning and soothing skin. Remember your hog is an individual and their skin needs monitoring for signs of irritation to products. A home-made oatmeal soak can be used by placing a handful of oatmeal in muslin or tights and dredging it under the warm, running water and squish the oatmeal to release the milky coloured emollients into the bath water. These are great for quilling and dry skin. Most tear-free baby shampoos are safe to use on your hedgehog.
Aveeno, oatmeal or baby shampoo are a top choice in store bought products. Remember less than a pea size of your chosen product on a soft bristle toothbrush will clean your pet. The toothbrush will clean any mess off feet, quills, bellies, and get down to their skin. Be sure to rinse all product off your hedgehog to keep skin fresh and irritant free.
Your pet will need at least half an hour in a towel to dry off and ensure there is no catching a draft. Temperature monitoring is important to prevent illness and hibernation attempts that can be scary at minimum and dangerous.
After a bath and nail trim owners hydrate their hog with humilac spray or coconut oil. Sparingly is key to avoid fungus and infection. Less tends to be more. Additionally some owners have used flaxseed oil capsules cut open on the skin and on food to treat dryness. When in doubt of normal dry skin please visit your exotic vet for advice.
Bathing your APH Hedgehog is a good way to bond with them
Never bath a hedgehogs that you suspect could be attempting hibernation.