Determining the costs of owning a hedgehog can be difficult. The costs of the pet itself usually vary between 100 and 300 $. But of course, there is much more you have to buy to ensure a happy and healthy life for your little friend. In this article, I want to give you an overview of the money you have to spend on the initial setup as well as the ongoing costs per year.
Price of the hedgehog itself
The color of the hedgehog is the characteristic that has the highest impact on its price. After comparing different breeders and pet shops I can come up with the following numbers:
- Salt & Pepper: $100-$200
- Cinnamon: $100-$200
- Pinto: $150-$250
- Blonde: $200-$300
- White: $250-$300
- Black: $250-$300
Have in mind that these are only averages and the actual price can vary. Often reputable breeders charge more than hobby breeders. Sometimes you can find hedgehogs in local pet stores too, but that is not always the case.
Higher prices at a breeder can be reasonable when he takes care of the bloodline. Good genetics often lead to reduced veterinary costs in the long term.
Apart from color and bloodline, another factor might be the personality of the pet and how friendly the hedgehog is.
If you decide to get a hedgehog it can be a good alternative to visit a nearby animal shelter or a hedgehog rescue group. It’s sad, but many people lose interest in their pets after a while and try to get rid of them. By giving these pets a new home you do something good and can save money too as these organizations typically charge between 25 and 50 $ for hedgies.
I recommend getting the basic setup even before you purchase your hedgie. So you decrease the stress level of your new friend as he can settle in his new habitat right away. You will need:
- Hedgehog cage: 60 – 120 $
- Hide away: 5 – 20 $
- Food bowl: 5 – 15 $
- Water bottle: 5 – 15 $
- Exercise wheel: 15 – 40 $
- Heating pads & lamps: 30 – 40 $
- Thermometer to monitor the cage: 5 – 10 $
- Hedgehog Carrier Bag: 15 – 35 $
With 140 to 295 $, I determined quite a large range for the initial setup. Note, that often quality products have their price. I don’t recommend buying the most expensive item in every case, but sturdiness is definitively a factor that pays off over time. In the list, I linked to my roundup reviews where I explain what to consider when buying the product. I also name a winner that I think is the best for each category.
Now I’m going to show you what you will need to spend for ongoing care. Even the different positions look small and affordable when you are at the pet shop, they will definitely add up over the year:
- Bedding: 50 – 250 $
- Hedgehog food or cat food: 50 – 100 $
- Treats: 30 – 50 $
- Cleaning wipes: 20 $
- Toys: 10 – 50 $
As you can see, you can plan with 160 to 470 $ a year. Quite a large sum right? While I don’t recommend buying cheap food, there is a way to dramatically reduce the spending on bedding. Therefore you just have to buy a reusable bedding option like the Guinea Fleece Dad. After the initial purchase, you just have to wash regularly and it will last like forever.
As pet owners, we hope that our little friends are healthy and happy all the time, but we should be prepared. A visit at the vet with a hedgehog can cost between 50 and 100 $ easily and you should take that into account, especially when your hedgie gets older.
If the first signs of illness occur, you shouldn’t wait too long. The treatment of any issue is always cheaper when you take care right away. You can also improve the health of your critter by feeding quality food and offering enough possibilities for exercise. You can learn more about hedgehog care in my article.
Have a look at the overall health situation of your pet before you buy it from a breeder or a pet shop to avoid problems in the near future.
I described the basic costs for all categories you can always spend much more money on buying toys and other accessories.
Tips to keep the costs low
There are some things you can do to lower the costs which I want to discuss in this section:
- Buy used items: Especially when it comes to big items like cages you will find well-preserved ones at Craigslist and Facebook groups.
- Buy in bulks: Food and bedding are always cheaper when you buy large amounts that you stock yourself. Have in mind that food remains more vitamins and minerals when you refrigerate it.
- Buy reusable bedding like the Guinea Fleece Dad I mentioned before. Read my guide on hedgehog cage liners.
- Buy sturdy items: the higher initial cost will definitely pay of in the future
- Go to the vet when the first signs of illness occur
The costs of owning small pets are often underestimated. Beneath the 100 to 300 $ you have to pay for your hedgehog, be prepared to spend an additional amount of at least 260 $ for the basic setup of the habitat. Yearly costs for food, bedding and other supplies will be at a minimum of 160 $. If that doesn’t shock you, you can move on and get your hedgie.