We all want our pets to survive as long as we do. In fact, we wish they could live longer. But unfortunately, they tend to live shorter lives, and there is nothing we can do about it.
A pet owner will always wonder about how long will their pet survive. Especially, when we are talking about a small creature like a hedgehog, it is not easy to figure out without any information.
How Long Do Hedgehogs Live as Pets? Pet hedgehogs live longer than wild ones. A hedgehog can be expected to live an average life of 3-5 years without any uncertainties if proper care is given.
Hedgehogs tend to live shorter lives than most animals. It is natural, and their lifespan can only extend so much. But there are several reasons that can add to either expansion or contraction of their lifespan. Let us discuss them and have a better idea.
Lifespan of a Hedgehog
A pet hedgehog is usually expected to live for 2-7 years. Hedgehogs generally live up to an average life of 3-5 years, which is common, but some exceptions are there of hedgehogs living up to 8 years or more.
While this is the case for pet hedgehogs, hedgehogs in the wild only live for 2-3 years. It is mostly the case as they constantly face and are targeted by predators. Also, wild hedgehogs have a wider chance of injuries and diseases because of their environment, unlike pet hedgehogs that live in rather welcoming surroundings.
We see hedgehogs have a pretty short life. Lucky are those who live through 5 years or more. In most cases, even pet hedgehogs cannot survive more than 3-5 years. This reality is sometimes indefensible because of the illness factor. Hedgehogs are highly prone to illness and diseases. And most hedgehogs at the age of 3 suffer from cancer and tumors that are not easily curable.
But that does not mean you will stop caring for your hedgehog expecting certain death. Even though the illnesses are very common and most times incurable, there are other factors as well that can affect its lifespan.
Factor’s Affecting a Hedgehog’s Lifespan
Illness is the greatest enemy of all living things. But the hedgehogs are a little more on the edge concerning illnesses. Cancer, tumors and especially, WHS (Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome) are common illness factors that can affect a hedgehog’s life severely.
WHS causes progressive paralysis and degrades its muscles. Once a hedgehog is diagnosed with WHS, it gradually loses its life within the next 24 months. It is not curable but consulting a vet and providing proper care can elongate its survival time.
Cancer and Tumors in hedgehogs are also very common. It is similar to human diagnosis. Early detection and providing professional care might help in increasing and improving its lifespan.
Other than illness, genetics and diet also play a very important role. However, genetic factors can be prevented if the breeder takes proper care and breeds with conventional measures. In the case of diet, just like a human, providing proper nutrients and vital minerals will help a hedgehog live a healthier life and enable them to fight diseases and extend their lifespan.