What To Wash Hedgehogs With? (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 able to run up to six miles per hour? Not only are they cute, but they’re also pretty fast on their feet! This impressive speed helps them to escape from predators in their natural habitats. And, when they’re feeling threatened, hedgehogs will curl up into a tight ball, using their sharp spines as a defense mechanism. So, if you ever see a hedgehog running, be sure to give them plenty of space and let them continue on their speedy journey!
As a pet owner, it’s important to keep your hedgehog clean and healthy. Regular bathing can help prevent skin conditions and remove dirt and debris. But, it’s crucial to use the right kind of products to wash your hedgehog. The wrong type of soap or shampoo can cause harm to their sensitive skin and leave them feeling uncomfortable. In this article, we’ll go over the best options for washing hedgehogs and provide tips for making the process as stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.

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So, what exactly should you use to wash your hedgehog?

1 Overview of Hedgehog Cleanliness

Hedgehogs are popular pets due to their adorable and distinctive appearance. As a hedgehog owner, it is essential to ensure their cleanliness and hygiene to maintain their overall health and well-being. A clean and healthy hedgehog will have a shiny coat, good appetite, and plenty of energy, while a dirty and unhealthy hedgehog may exhibit signs of stress, depression, and illness.

A. Importance of Keeping Hedgehogs Clean

Keeping your hedgehog clean is important for several reasons. Firstly, hedgehogs have a natural tendency to hoard food and other objects in their living quarters. This can lead to unhygienic conditions and attract harmful bacteria and parasites. Secondly, hedgehogs are prone to skin infections and mites, which can cause itching, hair loss, and other skin problems. Regular cleaning and grooming can help prevent these issues. Finally, hedgehogs have a delicate immune system, and exposure to harmful bacteria and parasites can weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to illness and infection.

B. How to Maintain Hygiene for Hedgehogs

There are several steps you can take to maintain the hygiene of your hedgehog. Firstly, clean their cage and bedding at least once a week to remove any feces, urine, and food remnants. Use a pet-safe disinfectant and rinse thoroughly with water to ensure that no chemicals are left behind. Secondly, give your hedgehog regular baths in lukewarm water using a mild, pet-safe shampoo. Avoid getting water in their ears and eyes, and make sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any soap residue. You can also use a soft brush to gently remove any dirt or debris from their fur during bathing. Finally, trim their nails regularly to prevent overgrowth, which can cause discomfort and make it difficult for them to move around. You can also check their ears for any signs of infection and clean them if necessary.

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So ultimately, maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of your hedgehog is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Regular cleaning and grooming can help prevent harmful bacteria and parasites, skin infections and mites, and strengthen their immune system. With proper care and attention, you can ensure that your hedgehog remains happy, healthy, and clean.

2 Appropriate Bathing Methods for Hedgehogs

Appropriate Bathing Methods for Hedgehogs

When it comes to bathing hedgehogs, it is important to follow some guidelines to ensure their comfort and well-being. Here are some key points to consider when bathing your pet hedgehog.

Frequency of Bathing: Hedgehogs are generally self-grooming animals, so they do not need frequent baths. However, if your hedgehog is experiencing any skin issues or has gotten dirty, a bath may be necessary. It is important to note that excessive bathing can strip the hedgehog’s skin of its natural oils, so it is best to keep it to a minimum.

Water Temperature: The ideal water temperature for hedgehog baths is around room temperature, between 70-80°F. Anything hotter can be uncomfortable for the hedgehog and anything colder can cause shock. It is important to test the water temperature with a thermometer to ensure it is safe for your pet.

Bath Time Duration: The bath time for hedgehogs should be brief, no more than 5-10 minutes. Any longer can cause stress and discomfort. Make sure to supervise your hedgehog during the entire bath to ensure their safety.

Bathing Tools and Products: It is important to use gentle, pet-friendly products when bathing your hedgehog. Avoid using soaps and shampoos that contain harsh chemicals, fragrances, and dyes. Instead, opt for specially formulated pet shampoos that are designed for small mammals. You will also need a shallow container for the bath and a soft towel for drying.

So essentially, appropriate bathing methods for hedgehogs include considering the frequency of bathing, water temperature, bath time duration, and the tools and products used. By following these guidelines, you can ensure your hedgehog’s comfort and well-being during bath time.

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3 Choosing the Right Shampoo for Hedgehogs

When it comes to bathing hedgehogs, choosing the right shampoo is just as important as the frequency and method of bathing. Hedgehogs have sensitive skin and require gentle, mild products that will not irritate them. Here’s what you need to know about selecting the right shampoo for your pet hedgehog.

A. Types of Shampoo

There are several types of shampoo available for hedgehogs, including:

  • Mild, Unscented Shampoo
  • Oatmeal Shampoo
  • Medicated Shampoo

Mild, unscented shampoo is the best choice for most hedgehogs, as it will not irritate their skin. Oatmeal shampoo is also a good option, as it soothes and moisturizes skin. Medicated shampoo is used when your hedgehog has a skin condition that requires treatment.

B. Factors to Consider When Selecting a Shampoo

When choosing a shampoo for your hedgehog, consider the following factors:

  • Ingredients – Avoid shampoos that contain harsh chemicals, fragrances, and dyes. Choose a shampoo that is made with natural, safe ingredients.
  • Skin Condition – If your hedgehog has a skin condition, such as dry skin or dandruff, choose a shampoo that is designed to treat that specific condition.
  • Sensitivity – Consider your hedgehog’s individual sensitivity to different products. If they have a history of skin reactions, opt for a gentle, unscented shampoo.

C. Recommended Shampoo Brands

When it comes to selecting a shampoo for your hedgehog, look for reputable brands that are trusted by other hedgehog owners and pet professionals. Some recommended brands include:

  • Johnson’s Baby Shampoo
  • Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo
  • Furo-Med Shampoo

Remember, when selecting a shampoo for your hedgehog, it is important to read the label and avoid any products that contain harsh chemicals, fragrances, and dyes. Choose a gentle, mild shampoo that is designed for sensitive skin, and always patch test any new products before using them on your hedgehog.

4 Alternative Cleaning Methods for Hedgehogs

A. Dry Bathing
Dry bathing is a simple and convenient alternative to traditional bathing for hedgehogs. It involves dusting the hedgehog with a specialized dry shampoo or talcum powder, which helps to absorb any dirt or oil buildup on their skin. Dry bathing is especially useful for hedgehogs who are sensitive to water or for those who do not enjoy being bathed. To dry bathe a hedgehog, simply sprinkle the dry shampoo or talcum powder over their entire body, including their quills, and use a soft brush to gently massage it into their skin. Once the dry shampoo or talcum powder has been fully absorbed, the hedgehog can be shaken off to remove any excess powder. Dry bathing is typically recommended once every 1-2 weeks to keep your hedgehog clean and healthy.

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B. Cleaning with Wipes
Another alternative to traditional bathing is cleaning with wipes. Hedgehog-specific wipes are readily available in pet stores and are designed to gently clean and deodorize a hedgehog’s skin. To clean with wipes, simply remove a wipe from the package and gently wipe down your hedgehog’s body, making sure to get all areas, including their quills. Wipes are especially useful for spot cleaning or for quick cleanups between baths. They are also a great option for hedgehogs who are sensitive to water or who do not enjoy being bathed.

C. Using a Dust Bath
A dust bath is a natural and effective way for hedgehogs to keep clean. It involves filling a shallow container with a specialized dust made of sand, soil, and other natural ingredients. The hedgehog will then roll around in the dust, which helps to absorb any dirt or oil buildup on their skin. Dust baths are especially useful for hedgehogs with dry skin, as the dust can help to moisturize and condition their skin. To give a hedgehog a dust bath, simply place the shallow container filled with dust in a quiet and secure area, and let the hedgehog explore and roll around in the dust. Dust baths should be given once every 2-3 weeks to keep your hedgehog clean and healthy.

5 Precautions When Bathing Hedgehogs

A. Health Risks of Over Bathing

Bathing hedgehogs is important for their hygiene, but over bathing them can have serious health consequences. Over bathing can strip the hedgehog’s skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and itchy. This can lead to skin infections, hot spots, and other skin problems. Over bathing can also weaken the hedgehog’s immune system, making it more susceptible to diseases. To avoid these health risks, it’s important to limit the frequency of bathing and to use appropriate shampoos.

B. Avoiding Stress During Bathing

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Hedgehogs are naturally shy and nervous animals, and bathing can be a stressful experience for them. It’s important to take steps to reduce stress during bathing to keep your hedgehog healthy and happy. Some ways to reduce stress during bathing include making sure the water is the right temperature, using a quiet and calm environment, and providing plenty of treats and positive reinforcement. Additionally, be gentle when washing and rinsing your hedgehog, and make sure to dry it thoroughly after bathing.

To summarize, bathing hedgehogs is important for their hygiene, but it should be done with caution to avoid health risks and stress. By following these precautions, you can ensure that your hedgehog stays healthy and happy.


Can I use Dawn dish soap to wash my hedgehog?

No, it is not recommended to use Dawn dish soap to wash your hedgehog. Hedgehogs have delicate skin and using a harsh soap, such as Dawn dish soap, can cause irritation and strip away their natural oils. It is recommended to use a pet-specific shampoo, which is pH balanced and formulated specifically for their sensitive skin. In addition, hedgehogs also have a strong sense of smell and using a strong-scented soap can also cause stress and discomfort to them. To maintain your hedgehog’s hygiene, it’s important to use a gentle and unscented pet shampoo.

Are you supposed to bath hedgehogs?

Yes, it is recommended to bathe hedgehogs, but it is important to do so properly and with care. Regular cleaning helps to maintain their hygiene, especially when it comes to their skin and quills, which can easily become matted and dirty. It is recommended to use a shallow dish filled with lukewarm water, a specialized pet shampoo and to avoid over-bathing. It’s crucial to ensure the hedgehog is not stressed during the bathing process and to thoroughly dry them afterwards. Proper and limited bathing can help keep your hedgehog healthy and comfortable.
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How do you clean hedgehog skin?

To clean hedgehog skin, it’s recommended to use a gentle, unscented soap and warm water. Avoid using any soap that contains harsh chemicals or fragrances, as these can irritate the hedgehog’s delicate skin. It’s important to avoid getting soap in the hedgehog’s eyes, nose, or mouth. After washing, thoroughly rinse the hedgehog and gently towel dry. Brushing the hedgehog can also help remove any loose dirt or debris from the skin. It’s important to maintain the hygiene of hedgehogs, as they are prone to skin infections if they are not kept clean.

How often should I wash my hedgehog?

Hedgehogs do not require frequent bathing as they are naturally clean animals and are equipped with the ability to groom themselves effectively. A general rule of thumb is to only bathe hedgehogs when it becomes necessary for hygiene purposes, such as when they get dirty from playing in the soil or get into sticky substances. Over-bathing can strip their skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and skin irritation. If you need to bathe your hedgehog, it is recommended to use a gentle, unscented, and chemical-free soap that is safe for use on animals.

7 Conclusion

When it comes to maintaining the hygiene of hedgehogs, it is important to choose the right products and methods. A key takeaway is to avoid using soaps and shampoos meant for humans as they can be harmful to hedgehogs. Instead, opt for specialized shampoos designed for small animals or use alternative cleaning methods like dry bathing or cleaning with wipes.

Final thoughts, bathing hedgehogs is not a necessary task but it can help keep their coat clean and healthy. However, it’s important to approach it with caution and to take steps to avoid stress. Over-bathing can also have negative effects on their health, so it’s important to be mindful of the frequency of baths.

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Maintaining hygiene for hedgehogs is essential for their overall well-being. By choosing the right products and methods, you can keep them clean and healthy, while also minimizing any potential health risks. As a hedgehog owner, it’s important to stay informed and to make informed decisions when it comes to their care.

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