Why are hedgehogs so expensive?

  • Hedgehogs are Exotic Pets, typically any pet that is exotic costs more than pets that are not. Breeders put a lot of time, money, and care into their hedgehogs and making sure they find great homes with caring owners.
  • Pet stores generally charge the same price or more than a breeder, but it is very rare for you to get a pedigree, cage discounts, animal’s medical history or any warranty. (If they do offer these, make sure to get it in writing!)
  • Breeders that are UDSA Licensed are likely to charge more for their babies due to the additional costs and procedures implemented for this. Responsible breeders have breeding stock from a variety of different bloodlines. To get new bloodlines means traveling very far or paying for shipping to get new stock from other reputable breeders.
  • Be wary of Craigslist or other advertised hedgehogs that are not from reputable breeders. While you may get a great deal on a hedgehog please consider that you are getting a hedgehog with no background or person to contact if you have any trouble. If the hedgehog’s sire or dam develops WHS the breeder would be unable to inform you. The care the hedgehog has received will play a vital role in the lifespan of the hedgehog. The seller might advertise you are getting a 1 year old hedgehog but you end up with an aging 4 year old that has been fed a poor diet and has many health concerns.
  • Breeding is not cheap! By the time the breeder would purchase breeding stock, cages, accessories, high-quality food, breeding software, vet checks, equipment and the many fees, breeders make just a small profit. Breeders mostly breed hedgehogs to help improve bloodlines and because they enjoy placing their hedgehogs in perfect homes.
  • If you find a hedgehog (especially for a relatively cheap price) do some research on the person or place you are purchasing from. Be sure to ask:
    • Does the hedgehog have a pedigree?
    • Did you breed the hedgehogs sire and dam, may I see them?
    • How much time do you spend with your hedgehogs, what is your daily schedule?
    • Do you have a health guarantee or any warranties?
    • Can I have any health records that my hedgehog has?
    • Are your hedgehogs vet-checked? How often?
    • If I change my mind can I bring the hedgehog back?
    • Do you have your USDA License or have supporting documents stating that you are in the process? (USDA License is required for 3 or more Females)
    • Do you offer any cage set ups, if so do you offer discounts?
    • Do you offer after sale support?
    • May I see where you keep/breed your hedgehogs? (Generally even good breeders will not let you see their hedgehog room due to stress on the mothers, but this is still a good question to ask)
    • Ask them care questions, test their knowledge. Do they give you complete answers or  beat around the bush/hedge? (ha ha)
    • Do they provide supplemental information on hedgehogs? Good breeders will provide all the information that they possibly can.