African hedgehogs are small, fascinating animals that make great pets. But what makes them even more eye-catching is their native origin in sub-Saharan Africa and their remarkable ability to navigate challenging climates. African hedgehogs have prickly spines and soft, fuzzy bellies and can reach up to 10 inches in length when fully grown. They belong to the insectivore family, like mice and shrews, meaning that they enjoy a diet of insects.
Africa is home to a variety of hedgehogs, with the most common and popular being the four-toed hedgehog. This type of hedgehog is a native of East Africa and is recognized for its distinctive white ear tufts and dark spots. Further north, you can find the long-eared hedgehog, which has two-tone coloring and, as the name implies, two larger ears and four-to-six shorter ears. The most unusual of the African hedgehogs is the desert hedgehog, which is found in the semi-arid regions of Africa and is the only known species to inhabit deserts.
Despite their tiny size, African hedgehogs have a range of personalities, from playful to shy. They have an endearing habit of huffing and puffing when excited or scared and love to play hide-and-seek or tunnel through shavings and warm, clean blankets. They may also appreciate interactive toys, such as tunnel toys, mirrors, and balls.
It's important to keep in mind that African hedgehogs, as well as their habitat needs, are quite different from their European counterparts. African hedgehogs have different dietary requirements, are relatively heat tolerant, and require low humidity. Furthermore, they can be sensitive to loud noises and bright lights, so these should be kept to a minimum. Furthermore, hedgehogs should have access to climbing structures like branches and logs, and covering like blankets and hides.
Lastly, it goes without saying that any pet should have adequate safety measures in place, and this especially applies when it comes to hedgehogs. Using a sturdy pet carrier or tether and safety gate, in addition to a microchip, can help protect your pet from harm.
At Pet Piaza, we understand the unique needs of African hedgehogs and are here to help you give your new pet the best possible start. Visit us for more information, advice, and safety equipment, and get ready to start enjoying your new companion!