If you want to learn where to buy a hedgehog you’re not alone. The number of people who want to get a pet hedgie is growing like crazy these days!
But as a result of the sudden interest in popularity, there are a bunch of sellers coming out of the woodwork as well (and some aren’t very reputable).
This means it can be a little tricky to tell the difference between a trustworthy hedgehog seller and a low-quality one.
That’s where this guide comes in.
Below you’ll learn all the best places to get a hedgehog so you can start things off on the right foot with a happy and healthy pet.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Why Buying From A Respectable Source Matters
Before we go into each place where you can buy a hedgehog, we need to explain why it’s important to get one from a trustworthy and ethical seller.
With more and more stores and breeders looking to cash in on the hedgehog craze, a certain percentage don’t truly care about the animals. It’s all about the money to them.
This means there’s a higher likelihood that the level of care and quality of life they provide is substandard at best. Not only is this unfair to the hedgehogs they’re selling, but it’s also unfair to the buyer.
The animals aren’t in perfect health which means they suffer and their new owner has to spend more time, energy, and money on them. There’s also a strong possibility that these poor hedgehogs won’t reach their typical lifespan (and definitely not exceed it).
It’s just sad all around. We’ve heard from plenty of people over the years who purchased their hedgie from a bad seller and, while they loved their pet, wished they had bought from a reputable source instead.
One of the reasons people fall for this is money. A lot of low-quality sellers offer pet hedgies for super cheap.
But here’s the thing, hedgehogs don’t cost very much when you do it right. By trying to save a few bucks initially you’ll probably end up spending more in the long run addressing various health or behavioral issues.
And this is where it gets worse.
By purchasing from stores or sellers that don’t take care of their hedgies it only encourages them to keep doing the same thing. There’s no incentive for them to improve the level of care they provide or drop out of the industry entirely (both are fine with us).
Now that we’ve gone over the importance of buying a hedgehog from the right place, let’s get into your options.
Where To Buy A Hedgehog
There are a number of options on the table when it comes to where you can buy a hedgehog. In our opinion, some are better than others (we’ll get into why below) but they’re all worth considering.
Breeders (Our Favorite Method)
If you’re wondering how to get a hedgehog, an experienced breeder should be at the top of your list.
There are a number of advantages that buying from breeders can bring you that make the ownership process a lot easier.
A reputable breeder that has been selling pet hedgehogs for a while is the ideal place to get a hedgehog. When you buy from them you have a low risk of genetic health issues and a trusted resource you can turn to if you have questions.
No matter if you’re a new owner or have had hedgies for a while, this makes a big difference.
The problem is there are a lot of people out there who claim to be experienced breeders, but really aren’t. Buying from the wrong breeder can lead to a whole bunch of headaches that you really don’t want.
This is where word of mouth comes in. We’re going to be adding a full breeder recommendation resource on our site very soon, but in the meantime here’s what to do:
First, buy a hedgehog from a breeder with a USDA license.
While there are definitely some good breeders out there that don’t have this license yet, this is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you’re dealing with someone who’s trustworthy.
It’s also a good idea to take a look online. There are a bunch of great hedgehog forums out there where owners will share their experiences with different breeders and recommend ones they trust. Even if the breeder doesn’t end up being in your area, there’s a good chance you can place an online order and get your pet transported to you!
If you would rather stay local (this is what we prefer doing) then compile a list of the breeders in your area and ask around. See what kind of credentials and experience they have, and see if anyone else has bought from them too.
There are a couple of advantages to buying a hedgehog from a local breeder instead of one that’s far away.
The first is that it’s a lot safer for the hedgehog. These animals are sensitive and there’s always an element of risk involved when you need to transport one from far away.
The other is you can meet who you’re buying from and get a chance to see the babies before you purchase. This is a good way to establish a relationship and also begin forming an early bond with your hedgie.
Pet stores are a popular place for people to buy hedgehogs. However, you need to be very careful if you’re considering this.
We would say that the majority of pet stores are not a good place to purchase these animals simply because of their lack of experience and commitment to the species. For most of them, hedgies are just another product to sell.
They probably don’t have malicious intent, there’s simply a lack of expertise. Unfortunately, that’s all it takes to seriously impact the health of these animals.
So while it might seem tempting to hop online or shoot over to your local store and come back with a hedgehog that same day, we don’t think it’s worth it. There are too many risk factors associated with store-bought hedgies that we can’t recommend it.
There are definitely some stores out there (usually local) who specialize in exotic pets and have a good amount of knowledge about this species. However, identifying them can be a major challenge.
Adoption is one way to get a hedgehog that a lot of people don’t think about. While this does come with downsides, it can be an incredibly rewarding process.
There are plenty of current owners out there who can’t take care of their hedgie anymore. Whatever the reason, they (and their pet) need someone who’s willing to step up and help.
The upside of doing this is you’re able to do some good and get a hedgehog at the same time. This is also a great way to save money as well since you should be able to get most of the necessary equipment for free (since the current owner doesn’t need it anymore).
But there are obviously some downsides to this as well.
If you’re adopting an adult that means you might not have them for very long before they pass away (it depends on their age). It is possible to get a baby hedgehog through adoption as well, but that’s far less common.
The other disadvantage is that you need to vet the person you’re adopting them from. This means asking questions about their background and where they bought their hedgehog from initially. This process is necessary but can be kind of awkward (plus you can’t be 100% sure they’re telling you the trust).
It’s important to make sure you’re not getting duped into adopting a hedgehog that’s unhealthy or sick. If the current owners are transparent about that and you’re willing to take on the challenge then we applaud you. But that needs to be clear up front.
Lastly, this is definitely the slowest option on the list. Adoption opportunities don’t come around very often, so if you’re hoping to get a hedgehog in the near future then you should consider another method.
Exotic Animal Shows
Trade shows and conventions are another option where you can buy a hedgehog. These meetups happen all over the country and bring in large groups of experienced sellers.
You’ll have the opportunity to get hands-on with hedgehogs and talk directly to the people selling them.
However, this method isn’t foolproof.
You’ll need to be prepared ahead of time and know what questions to ask. Just because the people at these shows might be experienced, it doesn’t mean they’re not trying to make a buck!
Be direct, ask the right questions (pertaining to breeding practices and care), and you might find a good fit. Don’t feel pressured to leave with a hedgie though, there are plenty of other options on the table if you don’t get a good vibe.
Your Local Vet
Last but not least, you can talk to your local exotic pet veterinarian for referrals and advice. This is something that a lot of people overlook but it can be incredibly helpful during the research process.
While we would rather you do your own research and find a USDA-approved breeder, you can run some questions by your vet to see what they think. If you hear anything that sounds a little weird (or simply don’t know how to articulate a question) your vet might be able to help you.
Ultimately no matter where you choose to buy a hedgehog, you need to find a vet near your home for routine checkups anyway. Might as well create a relationship early on and get some advice out of it!
If you’re looking into the adoption option vets can serve as a good middleman as well. Let them know you’re willing to adopt hedgehogs who need a new home, and when the time comes you might just get a phone call!
Figuring out where to buy a hedgehog can be one of the more intimidating parts of ownership if you’re new to the process. Without a strong base of knowledge, it can seem like you don’t know who to trust!
We hope that this resource helped point you in the right direction and listed out your options to help you make a decision.
In our opinion, getting a hedgie from a trusted breeder is the way to go. Hop online, find a licensed breeder, and you’ll be happy with the outcome!