For an exotic animal, hedgehogs are surprisingly affordable. Prices for these critters start at $100 to $500, depending on the color or species you want to get.
If you’ve ever wanted to own this exotic pet but are worried about the costs of keeping one, I’ve created a guide you can use while starting out.
Get to know how much hedgehog prices are in the market today, how much you’ll spend each year taking care of them, as well as other important considerations about owning your first hedgehog.
How Much Are Hedgehogs? Plus Price Info for Different Hedgehog Species
A hedgehog’s price starts at $100 to $500. Other factors that can affect the price include color, where you buy them, their age, gender as well as the species.
There are 17 species of hedgehogs in the world, but only a few are considered to be domesticated enough to become pets.
The two most popular species kept as pets include the African Pygmy Hedgehog and the Algerian Hedgehog. Although rare, some people also keep the Indian Long-Eared Hedgehog and the Egyptian Long-Eared Hedgehog as pets.
The African Pygmy Hedgehog is a favorite because they are smaller compared to the long-eared species. They measure between 5-8 inches long, have 4 toes on their back feet, and only weigh less than a pound.
Meanwhile, long-eared hedgehogs are known to be more aggressive. When they are threatened, they don’t ball up but instead, run away. What’s more, their price in the market can be higher compared to the African Pygmy or the Algerian Hedgehog.
To give you an idea, I’ve compiled estimated prices below for some of the most popular hedgehog species:
African Pygmy Hedgehog
Estimated Price: $100 – $500
The African Pygmy hedgehog is a small mammal with a long snout and the upper part of its body is covered with short, protective spines. An African Pygmy Hedgehog can grow up to 6 to 11 inches long and weigh around 18 to 25 ounces.
Estimated Price: Starts at around $900 – $1,500 (hard to find in the United States)
The long-eared hedgehog is a species of hedgehog native to Central Asian countries and some Middle East countries such as Egypt and Iraq. The long-eared hedgehog is naturally prone to parasites and can carry diseases. Therefore, you should only purchase from a reputable breeder.
North African / Algerian Hedgehog
Estimated Price: $200 – $350
The North African or Algerian hedgehog is a species of hedgehog in the family Erinaceidae native to countries like Algeria, Libya, Malta, Spain, and Tunisia.
Little is known about this species, although most common hedgehog breeds are a result of crossing a four-toed hedgehog with a North African hedgehog.
Will the Color of the Hedgehog Affect the Price?
Yes, a hedgehog color has a bearing on how much it will cost. Some colors are more common while others, like black, are harder to find. These prices aren’t fixed though since where you buy your hedgehog could also affect the amount of money you’ll pay.
Some of the most common African Pygmy shades are found below with their corresponding prices.
- Cinnamon Shade: $100 – $200
- Pinto Shade: $150 – $250
- Blonde Shade: $200 – $350
- Black: $250 – $500
- White: $250 – $500
- Salt & Pepper Shade: $100 – $250
Initial Costs of Hedgehog Ownership
The first thing you spend on when owning a hedgehog is the price of the animal itself, around $100 to $500 if you’re going with the African Pygmy variety. After that, you’ll need several important items on hand from the moment you bring home your new pet.
Luckily, the items and the prices for these are flexible. You can spend the bare minimum of your budget or splurge – it’s up to you.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the items and costs from the first day of hedgehog ownership:
|Hedgehog||$100 – $500|
|Pet or Animal Carrier||$10 – $25|
|Cage or Enclosure||$30 – $150|
|Shallow Food Bowl||$3 – $10|
|Water Bottle||$3 – $10|
|Hut or Burrowing Place||$5 – $15|
|Heat Emitter or Heating Pad (no light)||$20 – $35|
|Cleaning Wipes and Other Accessories||$3 – $10|
|Digital Thermometer (clips on cage)||$5 – $10|
|Total Cost||$179 – $765|
All in all, you’re looking at an initial cost of $179 – $765.
Annual Expenses of Owning a Hedgehog
The yearly expenses of hedgehog ownership have to do with buying daily or weekly supplies like food as well as once-a-year costs like veterinary checkups.
These expenses are also variable. For instance, if you can find a good supplier of food or bedding and buy in bulk for cheaper, then you can lower your expenses.
Here are some of the most common items you’ll spend on as well as the estimated amount you’ll spend each year for them:
|Food||$50 – $100|
|Sanitizing Wipes for Enclosure||$10 – $15|
|Pellet Litter for Hedgehog||$10 – $50|
|Treats||$15 – $30|
|Bedding (depends on the type of bedding you want to use)||$50 – $200|
|Veterinary Visits||$50 – $150|
|Total Cost||$185 – $545|
All-in-all, you can expect to spend between $185 and $545 per year.
Other Potential Expenses
There are optional or extra expenses you might incur when taking care of your new hedgehog. Some of these are the following:
Shipping (from the breeder)
Estimated Cost: $15 – $320
When you first purchase a hedgehog from a reliable breeder, chances are, it will be shipped to your location unless you go to pick it up or buy locally. The hedgehog price usually doesn’t include freight charges and other necessities, like the health certificate for travel.
The price for air freight is between $210 – $320. For a health certificate, it’s around $15 and then a kennel cab for around $20 – $25.
Toys and Accessories
Estimated Cost: $2 – $50
Hedgehogs are playful creatures. These items almost fall under the necessity to ensure your animal is physically healthy and active.
Examples of this include an exercise wheel, feline balls, or other small toys designed for hamsters or cats. Prices for these can be anywhere from $2 – $50, with the top end being spent on a quality, high-end exercise wheel.
Estimated Cost: $6 – $12 per month
Pet insurance costs start around $6 – $12 per month or around $80 – $100 per year. Depending on the company and the extent of coverage, the cost could be higher or lower.
Getting pet insurance for your new hedgehog is a good way to make sure you’re covered when your hedgehog ends up with health issues. Basic coverage often includes accidents, illness, examinations, and lab fees and sometimes, it will cover pre-existing illness.
Common Health Issues for Hedgehogs and Cost of Treatment
Like all animals, hedgehogs are prone to certain health issues. And these will add to your expense if your animal does end up suffering from them.
I’ve listed down some of the most common health problems your animal might encounter and the estimated cost of the treatments.
Estimated Cost of Treatment: Exercise / Careful Diet ($0 – $30)
*If the condition is severe and requires veterinary intervention, it could cost more.
Obesity is common in adult hedgehogs. As a result, the hedgehog becomes inactive which leads to them suffering other metabolic and health issues. If you’re not careful about feeding your hedgehog just the right amount of food, they will overeat.
Some hedgehogs have become so fat that they cannot curl into a ball – a common defense mechanism. Solving this problem could be as simple as carefully watching over what they eat or making sure they get enough exercise and activity.
Dental Disease (Gingivitis, Tartar or Oral Tumors)
Estimated Cost of Treatment: $100 – $1500 (depending on the issue)
It’s surprising but hedgehogs are prone to suffer from a lot of dental diseases. This can be anywhere from tartar, gingivitis, tooth fractures, or tumors. Prices for treating them will vary depending on the type of dental issue your hedgehog will encounter and the veterinarian.
What’s tricky with hedgehogs is that they will require anesthesia when they undergo certain treatments because they scare easily and curl up. Anesthesia alone can cost $30 – $75 depending on the vet. That amount is on top of the cost of treatment.
Ectoparasites (Fleas, Ticks, or Mites)
Estimated Cost of Treatment: $20 – $75 (vet visit and a vial of Revolution – medication for ticks/fleas)
Although rare in domesticated hedgehogs, fleas, ticks, and mites can become a huge pain for owners if their pet hedgehog ends up with them.
Not only will it make the hedgehog uncomfortable but it takes time to treat. Some signs a hedgehog might be suffering from ticks and mites include quill loss, itchy and dry skin, or irritability.
Neurological Issue (Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome)
Estimated Cost of Treatment: $100 – $350 (no cure, only for managing the disease)
Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome is unique to hedgehogs. It’s a neurological issue affecting the animal’s motor control. It will start from the hind legs then spread to the body.
When there is a loss of motor skills, the muscles will atrophy and result in weight loss for the hedgehog as well. There is currently no cure for this disease but it can be managed with veterinary care.
Urinary Tract Infection
Estimated Cost of Treatment: $40 – $350
Urinary tract infection can cause hedgehog urine to turn brown or bloody. It can be caused by diet or by bladder stones.
To find out if your hedgehog is suffering from a urinary tract infection would require a culture, urinalysis, and even a bladder ultrasound. Plus, there’s the possible medication if she tests positive and requires treatment.
Money-Saving Tips for Hedgehog Parents
Having a hedgehog won’t be as expensive as owning a dog or a cat. That’s a plus, but there are still places where you can save money to keep your expenses down. Here’s a quick list of money-saving tips if you’re a new hedgie parent:
Money-Saving Tip #1 – Buy second-hand equipment like cages and enclosures from your local neighborhood, Facebook, or Craigslist. Of course, you have to make sure the equipment is in good condition with no rust or damage.
Money-Saving Tip #2 – Use extra-large plastic storage bins as alternative cages. Instead of buying expensive enclosures that can cost from $30 – $150, you can purchase large, clear, plastic storage bins as a cage.
The only thing you need to add are holes for ventilation and air circulation (or just leave them without a lid), and you would have a great space for your new pet.
Here’s a quick video of how to set up a budget-friendly hedgehog cage using a plastic bin.
Money-Saving Tip #3 – Save up on bedding by purchasing them in large quantities. Just keep the rest of the items you’re not going to use in storage in the meantime. Bedding can cost around $10 – $20 per bag from a pet store, and sometimes you have to buy twice a month.
Save money by buying large bags that can last for several months at a time. Buying from the local farm or tack shop can also help save you money.
Another alternative is to DIY your hedgehog bedding by using cut and stripped fleece blankets, which you can find in thrift shops. These will be washable and recyclable so perfect for long term use.
Money-Saving Tip #4 – There are items worth investing though like a reliable heating source and a quality exercise wheel. Make sure to buy from quality brands with a proven track record so you won’t have to keep replacing them over time.
Money-Saving Tip #5 – Don’t skip on the yearly veterinary checkup. You can shop around for a reliable veterinarian that specializes in exotic animals like hedgehogs.
Not all vets will have the same price for checkups. Also, yearly checkups will help in catching any issues at the onset so treatment can be provided right away before it gets worse and more expensive.
Places to Find Hedgehog for Sale and Adoption
Finding a reliable hedgehog breeder or adoption center is important. Always choose to buy a hedgehog from a breeder with a USDA License. It’s an extra layer of guarantee the person you are getting your animal from knows what they’re doing.
Depending on the country or state you are living in, you might need to acquire a license to own a hedgehog of your own. Here are some licensed breeders you can check out:
- Hedgehog Central – List of Breeders in the USA
- Hedgehog Central – List of Breeders in Canada
- Hedgehog Central – List of Breeders in the UK
- Tranquill Hedges
- AZ Hedgies
- Florida Hedgehogs
- Hurricane Hedgehogs
- Panhandle Exotics
- Morning Star Hedgehogs
Instead of buying, you can also adopt or rescue a hedgehog. Adoption or rescues are usually cheaper compared to buying the animal from a breeder. You can find a list of hedgehog rescue or adoption centers below:
Is it Legal to Own a Hedgehog in Your State/Country?
It depends on the country or in the case of the United States, it depends on the state. Before buying, do research on whether it’s legal to own a hedgehog in your area or if you need a permit.
In the United States, the following states do not allow hedgehog ownership:
- New York
Meanwhile, there are two states that will require you to obtain a permit or certificate if you decide to have a hedgehog as a pet:
- New Jersey
The rest allow legal ownership of hedgehogs as pets. Overseas, in the UK, ownership of a hedgehog is legal and allowed provided owners can offer a healthy and proper home for the animal.
Meanwhile, countries like Australia, Singapore, and Spain completely ban the ownership of any species of hedgehogs, considering them as exotic invasive species.
The majority of countries around the world allow the African pygmy hedgehog (or the four-footed hedgehog) as pets but don’t allow the European hedgehog as pets.
What to Know Before Buying a Hedgehog?
First things first, research if it’s even legal to own a hedgehog as a pet in your country or state. It’s also important to find out more about hedgehog’s habits. For instance, a lot of first-time owners are surprised that hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and prefer to be alone.
Some may like the idea of playing with their pet in the mornings but the truth is, they sleep during the day and you should let them. They only become active at night. This makes them a perfect pet for those who work 9-5.
It’s also important to understand hedgehog behavior. Usually, they hiss, puff, or even spit, then curl into a ball when they feel threatened. Try not to handle them and let them be until they relax again.
Give them hiding spots inside their cage, and if within budget, have space where they can climb or even swim.
Do Hedgehogs Die Easily?
In the wild, hedgehogs live about 2 to 3 years, but as pets, they can live from 5 to 8 years provided they have great housing, a proper diet and lots of care from their owners.
However, there are cases when hedgehogs die without warning. They might be suffering from an illness without any visible signs or symptoms until they suddenly die. Hedgehogs are also sensitive to toxins which could be a cause of them dying without warning.
It’s always important to not skip out on the vet checkups at the slightest hint something is wrong so you can catch any possible disease or health issues before it gets worse.
Another thing that can be crucial to your hedgehog’s life is maintaining the ideal temperature in their habitat. Hedgehogs prefer a warm environment, between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius.
The temperature shouldn’t drop under 18 degrees or go above 28 degrees; otherwise, the hedgehog could go into hibernation, causing starvation and organ failure which leads to death.
Do Hedgehogs Make Good Pets? Are They Good for Kids?
Yes, hedgehogs can become great pets, even for families with children. It’s best though if the child is older and understands the responsibility of caring for the animal and knows how to handle them.
Once a hedgehog gets used to being handled, these animals can be quite tame and very loving. They are active yet low maintenance pets in general. Children can also learn a lot of responsibility while caring for their own hedgehog.
Should You Get a Male or Female Hedgehog?
In terms of price, there’s hardly any difference between genders. Some owners who sell hedgehogs for breeding might price females slightly higher but it shouldn’t be a big difference.
In terms of temperament, while there’s no huge difference between male and female hedgehogs, there are a few things to consider.
If you want two hedgehogs at the same time and in the same cage, it’s important both of them aren’t male because they will not get along. Two females can get along with each other, so it’s more ideal.
It’s still recommended when you have two hedgehogs in one cage that they’re constantly monitored because one could become aggressive without warning. What’s more, you shouldn’t mix male and female hedgehogs except for breeding purposes only.
However, if you know you will be housing a hedgehog by itself, then the gender of the animal shouldn’t be a major consideration.
As you can see, hedgehogs make affordable exotic pets. The initial purchase cost is only between $100 – $500 and the annual maintenance of taking care of the animal is also reasonable compared to caring for other pets.
They also have wonderful temperaments. Hedgehogs make great pets both for families and single individuals.
As long as you do a good amount of research beforehand and make sure you are ready to commit to taking care of this unique pet, you’ll have a wonderful and loving relationship with this little critter.
Over time, a hedgehog will recognize you as their owner and will return your affection in their own unique and special way.