The pet European hedgehog has a more popular cousin, the African pygmy hedgehog, but you will still find this larger variety in homes around the world.
European hedgehogs are from the western parts of Europe along with the southern parts of Scandinavia and east into Russia. They are also the largest variety of hedgehog in the world and are extremely active, traveling up to two miles in one night foraging for food in the wild.
European Hedgehog Diet
European hedgehogs, like their smaller and more popular cousins African hedgehogs, are insectivores. They eat a variety of insects with younger hogs being more adventurous and less picky and the older hogs being a bit more choosey in what they will eat.
Gut loaded prey such as crickets, mealworms, beetles, and other insects are typically offered to hedgehogs in addition to a prepackaged, formulated diet specifically designed for hedgehogs. Wild European hedgehogs have been known to eat some plant material as well as frogs, small mice, and even eggs, but these non-insect foods do not seem to be necessary to the captive hedgehog diet.
European Hedgehog Housing
Hedgehogs are active little mammals and need a good amount of space to move about. Smaller hogs will fit in large hamster wheels that are designed for large pocket pets but most European hedgehogs are too large for these wheels. This means you need to give your hog plenty of run around time outside of his cage.
His enclosure should be large enough to provide separate areas to eat, sleep, and eliminate. Cages built for rabbits and guinea pigs are usually appropriate for hedgehogs but I don't recommend cages with wire bottoms since they have small, fragile legs that can fall through the wire spacing.
European Hedgehog Health
Pet hedgehogs are prone to a variety of ailments.
European hedgehogs are not for cuddling but they can become quite friendly if handled regularly from a young age. They make very unique little pets and are good alternatives to pet guinea pigs, ferrets, and other pocket pets.