How To Reduce Hedgehog Smell? (FAQ)

✅ Fact Checked
Updated on January 16, 2023
Michael Colt, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
Written by
Michael Colt, Bachelor Veterinary Medicine & Animal Science.
Ella Williams
Fact Checked by
Ella Williams
Dr. Michael Colt is a highly qualified veterinarian and animal scientist. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the care and treatment of animals, and a deep understanding of the latest scientific research in the field. Dr. Colt is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of animals, and is committed to providing the highest level of care to his patients. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Veterinary Medicine from Middle Tennessee State University.

⭐ Fun Fact ⭐
Did you know that hedgehogs are expert climbers and can scale walls and fences with ease? They have strong legs and sharp claws that allow them to climb vertical surfaces and escape from predators. So, next time you see a hedgehog, don’t be surprised if it’s higher up than you expect!
Hedgehogs are adorable and fascinating pets, known for their unique appearance and docile personality. However, despite their endearing qualities, hedgehogs can emit an unpleasant odor. This odor is a result of their diet, which consists mainly of insects, and their natural oil production, which they use to groom their spines. The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce the smell and maintain a pleasant living environment for both you and your pet hedgehog. In this article, we will discuss some tips on how to manage and reduce the smell associated with hedgehogs, making sure you and your pet live in harmony.

1 Understanding Hedgehog Smell

Hedgehogs can emit a distinct odor, and it can be concerning to pet owners. The odor can come from various sources, including the hedgehog’s diet, environment, and general hygiene. Understanding the causes of hedgehog odor can help pet owners mitigate the issue and keep their pet healthy and smelling fresh.

Causes of Hedgehog Odor

One of the primary causes of hedgehog odor is their diet. Hedgehogs are omnivores, and their diet can include insects, fruits, and vegetables. When hedgehogs consume protein-rich foods, it can result in a strong, pungent odor that can be noticeable to pet owners. To reduce this odor, pet owners can consider feeding their hedgehog a diet that is low in protein and high in fiber, such as commercial hedgehog food.

Another cause of hedgehog odor is their environment. Hedgehogs tend to be messy creatures, and their bedding, housing, and toys can quickly become contaminated with urine, feces, and food particles. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria that can contribute to a strong odor. To reduce this odor, pet owners can regularly clean their hedgehog’s cage, bedding, and toys, and ensure that their hedgehog has a clean and dry living environment.

Factors that Contribute to Hedgehog Smell

In addition to diet and environment, there are other factors that can contribute to hedgehog odor. One of these is their natural scent glands. Hedgehogs have scent glands near their anus that produce a musky odor, which can be especially noticeable when they are stressed or frightened. To reduce this odor, pet owners can ensure that their hedgehog feels comfortable and secure in their living environment.

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Another factor that can contribute to hedgehog odor is poor hygiene. Hedgehogs can become dirty and smelly if they are not bathed regularly, and their quills and skin can become contaminated with food, feces, and urine. To reduce this odor, pet owners can bathe their hedgehog regularly, using a special hedgehog-safe shampoo, and ensure that their hedgehog’s quills are trimmed and free of mats.

In summary, understanding the causes of hedgehog odor can help pet owners mitigate the issue and keep their pet healthy and smelling fresh. By ensuring that their hedgehog’s diet is balanced, their environment is clean, and their hygiene is adequate, pet owners can help reduce the odor and keep their hedgehog smelling sweet.

2 Preparing the Environment

When it comes to hedgehog care, preparing the environment for your pet is just as important as providing proper nutrition and exercise. A clean and comfortable living space is essential for your hedgehog’s well-being and will also help reduce the potential for unwanted odors. Let’s take a closer look at two important aspects of preparing the environment for your hedgehog: cleaning the cage regularly and using proper bedding material.

Cleaning the Cage Regularly: Keeping your hedgehog’s cage clean is crucial in reducing odor and promoting good health. A dirty cage can harbor bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can make your pet sick and also lead to an unpleasant odor. You should clean the cage at least once a week, but it’s best to do it every other day or even daily if possible.

To clean the cage, first remove all bedding, toys, and food dishes. Wash the cage with warm water and a mild soap or animal-safe disinfectant. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before adding new bedding. Clean all toys, dishes, and any other items in the cage. You may also want to spot-clean any areas that appear particularly dirty during the week.

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Using Proper Bedding Material: The type of bedding you use in your hedgehog’s cage can also have an impact on odor. Some bedding materials, like cedar and pine shavings, can be harmful to your pet and release strong odors. Instead, opt for a high-quality, soft, and absorbent bedding material that is safe for hedgehogs. Paper-based bedding, such as recycled paper or carefresh, is a great option and is also environmentally friendly.

It’s important to keep the bedding fresh and clean to reduce odors. Change the bedding at least once a week and spot-clean any areas that appear particularly dirty during the week. Additionally, consider adding a layer of recycled paper or other absorbent material on top of the bedding to help absorb moisture and control odors.

By following these tips and cleaning your hedgehog’s cage regularly and using proper bedding material, you can help keep your pet’s living space smelling fresh and clean. A comfortable and odor-free environment is essential for your hedgehog’s well-being, and it will also help to ensure that you and your pet enjoy a pleasant and healthy relationship.

3 Maintaining Proper Hygiene

Maintaining Proper Hygiene for Hedgehogs:

Bathing the Hedgehog
Hedgehogs do not need to be bathed frequently as they are relatively clean animals. However, if they become dirty or develop a skin infection, a bath may be necessary. Use warm water and a mild, unscented soap to bathe the hedgehog. Avoid getting water in their nose and ears and never leave them unattended in the water. After bathing, make sure to rinse the soap thoroughly and dry them completely before returning them to their cage.

Brushing and Grooming
Brushing and grooming your hedgehog on a regular basis can help maintain their hygiene and keep their fur clean and healthy. Use a soft brush to remove any loose fur and avoid pulling at any tangles. Trim any overgrown nails with a pet-specific nail clipper to prevent them from getting caught on anything in their cage.

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Drying the Hedgehog Properly
After a bath or any time your hedgehog becomes wet, it is important to dry them thoroughly to prevent any potential health issues. Use a soft towel to gently pat them dry and avoid using hair dryers as the heat can be too intense for them. Once they are dry, provide them with a warm and dry spot in their cage to help them regulate their body temperature.

So basically, maintaining proper hygiene for your hedgehog involves regular brushing and grooming, infrequent bathing, and proper drying after any wet events. Taking the time to care for their hygiene will help ensure they remain healthy and happy.

4 Changing Diet and Lifestyle

Changing Diet and Lifestyle:

Introducing a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is crucial for the well-being of any animal, and hedgehogs are no exception. They need a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods to meet their nutritional needs. A diet that consists of a high-quality commercial hedgehog food, supplemented with occasional insects and vegetables, is recommended. Avoid feeding them dairy products, avocado, and chocolate, as these foods can be harmful to hedgehogs. Always make sure to provide them with a clean and fresh water source.

Encouraging Exercise and Play
Hedgehogs are active animals and require plenty of exercise and play to stay healthy. Providing them with a spacious cage, as well as toys and activities, can help encourage them to be active and explore their surroundings. You can also let them out of their cage for supervised playtime, but make sure to keep them away from any potential hazards. Regular exercise can help prevent obesity, improve their physical and mental well-being, and enhance their overall quality of life.

Providing a Clean and Comfortable Living Space
It is important to provide hedgehogs with a clean and comfortable living space. Clean their cage regularly and replace bedding, water, and food dishes as needed. Maintain appropriate temperature and humidity levels in their cage and provide them with a hiding spot, such as a cardboard box or igloo, for security. Regularly check their cage for any potential hazards and make any necessary repairs. A clean and comfortable living space will help promote their physical and emotional health and well-being.

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In summary, changing your hedgehog’s diet and lifestyle can have a significant impact on their overall health and happiness. By introducing a healthy diet, encouraging exercise and play, and providing a clean and comfortable living space, you can help ensure they live a happy and healthy life.

5 Alternative Solutions

Alternative Solutions:

Using Deodorizing Sprays and Powders
When it comes to eliminating unpleasant odors, deodorizing sprays and powders can be a highly effective solution. These products work by neutralizing odors and leaving behind a fresh and clean scent. They can be used in a variety of settings, including homes, offices, and vehicles. Deodorizing sprays and powders come in a variety of scents, from floral to woodsy, so you can choose the scent that best suits your preference. Additionally, many deodorizing products are environmentally friendly and made with natural ingredients, making them a safe and sustainable option.

Incorporating Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is another alternative solution that can help eliminate unpleasant odors and promote well-being. Essential oils, such as lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon, are used in aromatherapy to provide a range of benefits, including stress relief, improved sleep, and increased energy. These oils can be diffused using an essential oil diffuser or added to a warm bath for a relaxing spa-like experience. Aromatherapy can help create a soothing and inviting atmosphere, making it a great solution for homes, offices, and other environments.

So ultimately, there are several alternative solutions available for eliminating unpleasant odors and promoting well-being. Whether you choose to use deodorizing sprays and powders or incorporate aromatherapy, both options offer effective and sustainable solutions for improving the air quality in your environment.


How do I make my hedgehog not stink?

Yes, you can make your hedgehog not stink by maintaining a clean and healthy environment for them. This includes providing them with a clean and comfortable living space, regularly changing their bedding, and providing them with adequate exercise and play. Additionally, it’s important to monitor their diet and make sure they are consuming a well-balanced and nutritious meal. By implementing these steps, you can help reduce hedgehog smell and improve their overall quality of life.
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Are hedgehogs a smelly pet?

No, hedgehogs are not inherently smelly pets. However, if their living environment is not properly maintained and their diet is not well balanced, they may emit unpleasant odors. To keep hedgehogs smelling fresh, it is important to regularly clean their cage and bedding, provide them with a healthy diet, and ensure that they have access to fresh water. Regular grooming, such as bathing and brushing, can also help prevent odor buildup. By properly caring for hedgehogs, you can help keep them smelling sweet and healthy.

How do you clean up after a hedgehog?

To clean up after a hedgehog, you should start by removing any uneaten food and waste from its cage daily. Clean the cage thoroughly at least once a week by removing all bedding, toys and accessories, and washing them with a pet-safe disinfectant. You can also use a pet-specific odor control spray to help control any odors. It’s also important to keep the cage and surrounding area well-ventilated to help prevent odors from building up.

Remember: Keeping the hedgehog’s cage and environment clean is essential to maintaining their health and well-being. Regular cleaning can also help reduce any unpleasant odors that may arise.

How often should you bathe a hedgehog?

Hedgehogs do not typically require bathing as they are self-grooming animals. In fact, bathing can be stressful for hedgehogs and can strip their skin of natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation.

If your hedgehog becomes dirty, it is recommended to spot clean their fur with a damp cloth. If you must bathe your hedgehog, it should only be done very occasionally, using a specifically formulated hedgehog shampoo and only with the guidance of a veterinarian.

It’s important to maintain a clean and healthy environment for your hedgehog to help reduce odor and improve their quality of life. This includes regular cleaning of their cage, providing fresh water and food, and maintaining proper hygiene practices.

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7 Conclusion

In conclusion, taking proper care of your hedgehog by maintaining a clean and healthy environment and providing a balanced diet, exercise and play, and grooming and hygiene routine is crucial in reducing hedgehog smell and improving their overall quality of life. Remember, a happy and healthy hedgehog not only brings joy to their owner, but also ensures a clean and odor-free living environment. By incorporating the tips mentioned in this text, you can successfully keep your hedgehog smelling fresh and ensure their well-being. Don’t hesitate to try out these alternative solutions, such as deodorizing sprays and powders, and aromatherapy, for a happier and fresher-smelling pet.

In the end, it all boils down to providing your hedgehog with the proper care and attention they need. By following these simple steps, you can not only reduce hedgehog smell but also ensure your pet is healthy, happy and odor-free.

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