Do Hedgehogs Need Chew Toys for Their Dental Health? Expert Guide!

Before we dive into the importance of chew toys, it’s essential to understand hedgehogs’ teeth. Hedgehogs have 36 to 44 teeth, depending on the species. Their teeth are sharp and pointy, designed for biting and chewing insects, snails, and other small prey in the wild.

Hedgehogs’ teeth grow continuously, just like other rodents. However, unlike rodents, hedgehogs’ teeth don’t have a layer of enamel, which makes them more prone to wear and damage.

Without proper care, hedgehogs’ teeth can become overgrown, leading to dental problems such as malocclusion, gum disease, and abscesses. That’s why providing chew toys for your hedgehog is crucial for their dental health.

Why Hedgehogs Need Chew Toys

The Importance of Chewing for Hedgehog Dental Health

Chewing is essential for hedgehogs’ dental health because it helps wear down their constantly growing teeth. When hedgehogs chew on something, the friction between their teeth and the object helps file down their teeth and prevent them from becoming too long.

Chewing also helps to stimulate blood flow to the gums, which promotes healthy tooth roots and prevents the buildup of bacteria that can cause gum disease.

The Risks of Not Providing Chew Toys

If hedgehogs don’t have access to chew toys, their teeth can overgrow, leading to dental problems and pain. Overgrown teeth can cause discomfort and difficulty eating, which can lead to malnutrition and weight loss.

In addition, if hedgehogs don’t have chew toys, they may start chewing on other objects in their enclosure, such as plastic or metal, which can damage their teeth or even pose a choking hazard.

Types of Chew Toys for Hedgehogs

There are several types of chew toys that are safe and suitable for hedgehogs:

Wooden Chew Toys

Wooden chew toys are a popular choice for hedgehogs because they are safe and natural. Hedgehogs enjoy chewing on wood, and it helps to wear down their teeth. However, make sure the wooden chew toy is untreated and does not have any varnish or paint, which can be harmful to hedgehogs.

Mineral Chews

Mineral chews are another great option for hedgehogs. They are made from minerals such as calcium and help to wear down hedgehogs’ teeth while also providing essential nutrients.

Non-Toxic Rubber Toys

Non-toxic rubber toys can also be a good choice for hedgehogs. Make sure the rubber is high quality and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Rubber toys can help to stimulate hedgehogs’ gums and promote healthy teeth.

Choosing the Best Chew Toys for Your Hedgehog

Factors to Consider When Choosing Chew Toys

When choosing chew toys for your hedgehog, there are several factors to consider:

– Safety: Choose toys that are safe for hedgehogs to chew on and don’t contain any harmful chemicals or materials.
– Size: Choose toys that are appropriate for the size of your hedgehog. Avoid toys that are too small and could pose a choking hazard.
– Durability: Choose toys that are durable and can withstand your hedgehog’s chewing.
– Texture: Hedgehogs have different preferences when it comes to texture, so try out a few different types of toys to see what your hedgehog likes best.

Recommended Brands and Products

Some recommended brands and products for hedgehog chew toys include:

– Kaytee Perfect Chews for Small Animals: These chews are made from natural wood and help to promote dental health.
– Niteangel Natural Wooden Lava Block: This chew toy is made from natural wood and lava stone and is safe and durable.
– Ware Manufacturing Willow Branch Ball: This chew toy is made from natural willow branches and is safe and fun for hedgehogs to chew on.

How to Introduce Chew Toys to Your Hedgehog

Gradual Introduction for Hedgehogs

When introducing new chew toys to your hedgehog, it’s essential to do so gradually. Start by offering a small piece of the toy and monitor your hedgehog’s reaction. If they seem interested and start to chew, you can gradually increase the size of the toy.

Tips for Encouraging Hedgehogs to Use Chew Toys

If your hedgehog is hesitant to use chew toys, try these tips:

– Offer a variety of toys to see what your hedgehog likes best.
– Place the toys in different areas of their enclosure to encourage exploration.
– Offer treats or food on or near the toys to make them more appealing.
– Play with your hedgehog near the toys to encourage interaction.


Final Thoughts on Hedgehog Dental Health and Chew Toys

In conclusion, chew toys are essential for hedgehogs’ dental health. Without access to chew toys, hedgehogs’ teeth can overgrow and cause dental problems. By providing safe and appropriate chew toys, you can help to keep your hedgehog’s teeth healthy and promote overall well-being.

When choosing chew toys for your hedgehog, consider factors such as safety, size, durability, and texture. Make sure to introduce new toys gradually and encourage your hedgehog to use them through play and positive reinforcement.

By taking care of your hedgehog’s dental health, you can ensure they live a long and happy life. And as for the keyword “how long do hedgehogs carry babies,” hedgehogs carry their babies for about 30 days before giving birth to a litter of 3-4 babies.

ThePetFaq Team