Overcoming Huffs and Puffs

So you get your hoglet home and peek into her carrier or box, debating mentally whether to let her crawl out of it, or if you should scoop her out. But chances are, you are also hesitating because she is huffing. She is curled up in a tangerine-sized ball of quills and has huffed at you.

This is perfectly normal. While the hoglets are not very huffy with us at Paws and Prickles, a car ride combined with new voices and smells may put them on the defensive. Curling up, huffing, clicking, and the like are all because she is scared. Hedgehogs may seem intimidating with all those prickles, but they really are very little animals and need all the help they can get when it comes to defending themselves in the wild.

Here’s what to do: pick her up anyway. Don’t let her intimidate you! Believe me, she will uncurl for you. And rather quickly too. Our hoglets get a lot of handling and is only huffing because she is scared. She needs to get to know your smell and voice. For the first few days, pick her up several, several, times. Keep it short and sweet. Let her look around, sniff you a bit, and offer her a mealworm or other treat. Talk to her, read her a story, sing to her- let her learn your voice. After she has relaxed, gently set her back in her home. This will teach her that she doesn’t scare you, and eventually, she won’t be scared of you either. After a few days, stretch the handling times to longer and longer. If you can hold your hoglet while watching TV or reading- DO IT! This is so good for bonding. If she falls asleep with you, she trusts you for sure.

In short, be brave and it will be worth it. She is only scared and your reassurance will help her very much!