Adding a pet to your household completes your family if you are a pet lover. I love variety and this was one of the reasons why I considered a hedgehog instead of a guinea pig. But I was intrigued to find out whether hedgehogs are like guinea pigs or not, just to satisfy my curiosity.
So, are hedgehogs like guinea pigs? Hedgehogs and guinea pigs have different personalities due to their genetic differences and environmental backgrounds. While hedgehogs are solitary animals, guinea pigs are sociable and will not mind human handling. Also, these creatures will respond differently to threats. A hedgehog will roll into a ball if threatened while a guinea pig will abruptly jump.
Other differences include the noise they produce and the style of maintenance. A guinea pig makes loud squeaks while hedgehogs make hissing noises when angry or scared. In terms of maintenance, a hedgehog will require you to bath it while a guinea pig will bath itself.
If you want to know whether hedgehogs are like guinea pigs, this is the ultimate guide for you. We will help you know whether hedgehogs and guinea pigs get along, whether a guinea pig can live with a hedgehog, whether hedgehogs eat guinea pig food, whether it is better to have a hedgehog or guinea pig for a pet, and which animals a hedgehog gets along with. Read through the rest of the sections for more interesting info.
Do Hedgehogs and Guinea Pigs Get Along?
If you have a hedgehog or guinea pig, you are probably thinking about getting a partner to deal with its loneliness. However, before doing this, it is important to know whether these pets can get along in the first place.
Hedgehogs and guinea pigs have so many differences and will not get along in most cases. A guinea pig is social, while a hedgehog is solitary. These personality differences may spew up fights if you put the two together, as the hedgehog will find the guinea pig disrupting its peace.
Also, while hedgehogs are active during the day and will sleep at night, guinea pigs will actively spend their night eating and doing other activities.
Can a Guinea Pig Live With a Hedgehog?
Getting more pets is a desire by most pets. However, this is usually not possible due to limitations in terms of food and space. You may end up hosting a guinea pig and a hedgehog in one enclosure, but you should find out whether the two can coexist before doing this.
Housing a hedgehog and guinea pig in one cage is possible but not advisable. This is because of the higher chances of either pet hurting the other. For instance, the guinea pig may chew on the hedgehogs’ spines if housed together. This will expose the hedgehog to infection, which could be fatal. The two pets may even fight and kill each other, making it a bad idea to house them together.
If you insist on housing your guinea pig and hedgehog together, you should get a big cage to house them. You should also meet your pet’s needs independently in terms of their toys, food, water bowls, and a wheel for the hedgehog.
Another concern with housing hedgehogs and guinea pigs together is the risk of disease transmission. A disease affecting the guinea pig could exhibit minor or no symptoms yet fatal if transmitted to the hedgehog. Thus, before putting your pets together, you should quarantine the new pet for up to a month to be sure it is free of disease.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Guinea Pig Food?
If you plan to keep both a hedgehog and guinea pig, you should invest in their food separately, as these animals have nutritional requirements. Guinea pigs are herbivores, while hedgehogs are insectivores.
If you want your hedgehogs to grow healthy, you should not feed them on guinea pig food. Guinea pig food is rodent food and comprises vegetables such as hay and carrots. Hedgehogs, on the other hand, require meat to grow healthy. A hedgehog food should comprise quality cat food, mealworms, fruits, and vegetables.
However, if you house your guinea pig and hedgehog together, your hedgehog may occasionally take a bite of the guinea pig’s food. Therefore, you should never allow this to be its staple diet, as your pet will not benefit nutritionally. This is because guinea pig food lacks meat which is necessary for a hedgehog to sustain life. Constantly feeding your hedgehog on guinea pig food will cause malnutrition and eventual death.
What Is Better? A Hedgehog or a Guinea Pig for a Pet?
Owning a pet comes with additional responsibilities depending on the pet. Some pets require the most attention, while others are comfortable staying on their own. For this reason, you should buy a pet that matches your personality and schedule.
Whether a hedgehog or guinea pig is good as a pet depends on you as a pet owner. If you prefer petting and cuddling your pet, then a guinea pig will be appropriate. On the other hand, you will need a lot of patience if you keep a hedgehog for a pet before it can trust you to allow you to carry or pet it.
Also, once your hedgehog trusts you, it will want you to repeat the routine such as play, failure to which it will become frustrated and antisocial.
Depending on your schedule, you may have to choose between a guinea pig and a hedgehog since each demands different levels of attention. Hedgehogs require attention in grooming and feeding, and you need to be around them most of the time, unlike guinea pigs. This makes them unsuitable for individuals with a tight work schedule or still in school.
What Animals Do Hedgehogs Get Along With?
While hedgehogs are solitary pets, it is not a good idea to let them live alone in the cage throughout their lives and ignore them. This is given that in the wild, they are active and will do most activities such as climbing and running several miles to stay healthy. In captivity, they will do well alone but allowing supervised interactions with your other household pets might do good for your pet.
Hedgehogs can get along with cats and dogs. However, they will not make good friends, and, if you want them to interact, you should do so under close supervision. In most cases, hedgehogs will poke these pets before they can trust them. Some pets will avoid future interactions after this poke, while others will coexist but keep their distance to prevent such reoccurrences.
Cats can coexist peacefully with hedgehogs, especially if they discover their bodies are covered with quills. However, this is dependent on how you introduce the two pets to each other. If you want to introduce a cat to a hedgehog, you should hold the hedgehog and allow the cat to come to it. Also, having a person on standby during this introduction to remove the cat fast in case of a negative reaction will prevent injury.
However, in the case of a few pokes, cats are very quick learners, and the discomfort they get from the spikes will make them avoid pushing the hedgehogs beyond limits. Even the most active and stubborn cats will distance the hedgehog if they get a poke on their nose or pads of their feet.
Small dogs will exhibit a similar reaction to cats when you introduce them to your hedgehog, and you should aim at protecting both pets during the introduction. However, if you have a bigger variety dog that is unlikely to stay away after a few pokes, it is safer not to introduce it to your hedgehog.
This way, your hedgehog will feel safe in your home. Hedgehogs will also get along with rats, but this is not recommended, and you should limit such interactions to a play area under supervision. If any of the above creatures bite your hedgehog while interacting, you should take your pet to the vet for a checkup.
Hedgehogs and guinea pigs can coexist peacefully. However, if you prefer to keep these pets, it is advisable to have each in its enclosure and only allow interaction under close supervision. This is because these pets can fight and injure each other. In most cases, the guinea pig will bite your hedgehog quills, predisposing it to infections.
Also, while allowing your hedgehog and guinea pig to interact, you should not feed them on the same diet. A hedgehog requires meat to grow healthy. Since guinea pigs are herbivores, feeding your hedgehog on their diet will result in malnutrition and eventually death.
Finally, despite hedgehogs being solitary creatures, they can coexist with cats and dogs. This coexistence is solely dependent on how you introduce your pets to each other. You can hold your hedgehog and call your cat or dog to it. While doing this, have someone hold and remove your cat or dog since the hedgehog may throw a few pokes if it feels threatened. Also, depending on the dog’s species and size, it is safe not to introduce them late to your hedgehog to avoid scaring it.