Okay, it took me ages to answer. Please don't mind.

Quote Originally Posted by CThogs View Post
I'm going to tell you my point of view on this anyway and see if it makes sense. I generally think there is more than one way to do things and the hedgehogs are all different so sometimes you have to try different things
If you ask me, that's just the right way to take it. If any explanations for the German way seem necessary, I will be happy to point them out.

Quote Originally Posted by CThogs View Post
In the US a lot of us are required to be USDA licensed and wood enclosures are not allowed unless they are sealed because they can't be sanitized. You can be written up if even one little part of it is not sealed.
That is something I did not know. But be assured, every wooden vivarium here IS sealed, there are multiple ways to do so. If you don't, the little cuties will see to it becoming uninhabitable. It would become something you would not want to have inside your house.
The difference is that there are no laws prohibiting the use of unsealed wood. People just don't. Also the ones that don't want to pay for a vivarium use normal pet cages (which is often frowned upon).

Quote Originally Posted by CThogs View Post
5X2 is a nice size, but harder to heat. I have had some hedgehogs that really did like to be out and about every day roaming the house so I understand that, but I have also had a lot that really liked the security of their cage more.
Heating is not the problem. Since the German weather is not that warm most of the time, a heating lamp is necessary anyways. Normally used in combination to a ThermoControl, so that there always is the right temperature inside.
It is also important to give the hedgehogs the opportunity to decide for themselves whether they want to be out and about or inside the vivarium. Some even had great experiences using cat doors.

Quote Originally Posted by CThogs View Post
Cooked meat and veggies are fine, but I don't think everyone has the capability to do that and the hedgehogs do fine on a lot of the commercially available foods
You are right, this kind of food does cost a lot compared to the commercially available kind. But as far as I know people just say: People who cannot afford caring for exotic animals and offering the food they need should just stick to guinea pigs and the like.
At least the insects are said to be the most important part of the hedgies' nutrition schedule.

Quote Originally Posted by CThogs View Post
I don't ever recall bathing coming up as part of a vet visit here so it may be a cultural difference
Same here. Sometimes ill hedgehogs need to be bathed for some treatment. Other than that they just say that bathing a hedgehog is never the right thing to do. Hedgehogs in Germany are most commonly allowed to sand bath at all times (which they love). And if there is a lot of dirt, you shrub that off by using an old tooth brush, but not by putting the hedgie inside a puddle of water.

I think part of the buttomline might be that over here hedgehogs are not treated like common pets. They are still seen as very exotic ones.