Hedgehogs life span
A hedgehog is a spiny mammal naturally found in Europe, Africa and Asia. It is interesting that they live in New Zealand too, but hedgehogs were introduced there. Today, they are 17 different species of this cute animal. These species remained almost the same for more than 15 million years. Hedgehogs are obedient and they have amusing nature which makes them perfect pets. This is the reason why so many people are getting hedgehogs as pets. Those interested in owning a hedgehog are probably wondering how long do hedgehogs live.
How long do hedgehogs live?
When they live in the wilderness, hedgehogs live between two and three years. Of course, aging is not the main reason why they die so young – they are usually killed by predators. Even though they have a specific defense system, experienced predators know how to pass this system.
Since hedgehog pets were not common in the past, there are different reports related to their life span when they are kept as pets. Experts agree that when they are in captivity, hedgehogs can live ten years. However, it is good to know that these cases are very rare. The same experts say that a 5-year-old hedgehog is like a 75-year-old human. So, their ideal life span is between five and seven years, but most hedgehogs live between three and five years. There is a wide range of factors that contribute to their wellbeing, health and life expectancy and we will mention some of them in this article.
Factors that contribute to the life expectancy of the hedgehogs
Nutrition can decrease of increase life expectancy of your hedgehog. They need a balanced and healthy diet to live longer. In addition, hedgehogs that don’t have a proper diet have greater chances of developing diseases which will decrease their life span.
Furthermore, exercise is another important thing that hedgehog owners should keep in mind. Out in the wilderness, hedgehogs can walk for a very long time to find food. Spending some time playing with your hedgehog, providing relatively large cage space and installing a wheel inside the cage should be sufficient to keep your hedgehog physically active and healthy. Don’t forget that this exercise will make them happier too.
The bedding is also important because the hedgehog spends a lot of time on it. It should not contain toxins and it should not be made of a material that is prone to accumulation of dust and dirt. Female hedgehogs can live shorter lives if they are breeding very frequently. It is natural to breed, but they shouldn’t be carrying baby hedgehogs all the time. In addition, their genetics can affect their lifespan. If the texture and appearance of the stool are changing and if the hedgehog is grouchy and nervous all the time, this means that it experiences high levels of stress. This anxiety and stress will affect its health and reduce its life expectancy. Try to create an environment where your animal will feel happy and de-stressed.
So, hedgehogs live between 3 and 5 years, but there are things that owners can do to extend their life expectancy.