But this begs the question, can dogs catch things from hedgehogs? Are there certain diseases, conditions, or sicknesses that your pup can get from being too close to your tiny, little hedgehog?
Unfortunately, yes, your hedgehog can definitely spread things to your pup. Some of these ailments, conditions, and all-out-ewww things include fleas (hedgehogs are notorious for having fleas), mites (sarcoptic, demodective, psoroptes, and chorioptes), salmonella, and ringworm!
There are definite things you can do to help your two pets co-exist, and there are certain signs you should absolutely look out for with your dog to make sure he's not contracting any ailments from your hedgehog.
It's important to remember that while a lot of pets can transfer illnesses, hedgehogs might not be the right choice for your household if you have an animal companion or a human family member whose immune system is compromised or weak.
Signs Your Dog Has Caught Something From Your Hedgehog
Your hedgehog can definitely transmit both fleas and mites to your pup, which can be both uncomfortable and unhealthy for your dog. If your pup has either of these things, check to see if he's inordinately itchy, has hair loss, has developed mange, loses his appetite, has a fever, or has scabs or sores on his skin.
Your dog can also contract salmonella from your hedgehog, especially if your doggo has a weaker immune system. Some signs your dog may have contracted salmonella include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, dehydration, depression, and a lack of interest in activities.
Your dog can also contract ringworm from hedgehogs. If you think your dog might have ringworm, look for signs like hair loss, broken hair and poor hair coat, red skin, crusty skin, and lots of itchiness.
- Sores or Ulcers
- Crusty Skin
- Red skin
- Lethargy and Fatigue
- Decreased Activity
- Loss of Appetite
- Itching and Scratching
- Loss of hair
The History of Dogs and Hedgehogs
People typically love to buy exotic pets, and because they're tiny, cuddly, and pretty cute, the hedgehog is a natural choice. They're curious, adorable, and pretty cheap to care for, making them relatively ideal for those who are looking to be a bit out there with their pet choice.
But there are obviously things to consider as buying an exotic pet definitely has an impact on the wild hedgehog population, a fact many people don't consider when searching for the perfect hog. Additionally, the vast array of diseases and conditions they can carry and spread are often things people overlook when purchasing a pet hedgehog.
The Science Behind Dogs and Hedgehogs
If you haven't heard the phrase zoonotic infection before, that's okay! It may sound complicated, but it simply means that a disease can be contracted or spread from animal to human.
One of the biggest examples of this with hedgehogs is the spread of a disease called salmonella. You can catch this, but also, your dog can, too. If he does, you can expect severe dehydration, sepsis, lethargy, dehydration, and depression.
How to Train Your Dog and Hedgehog to Get Along (and Stay Healthy)
For example, handling your hedgehog and handling your dog should be done with caution - always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap after touching your hedgehog before you feed or pet your pup, and ensure that other guests do the same before they pet your pup.
It's important you clean up after your hedgehog, too. Don't take them into areas where food or drinks are prepared (out of the kitchen, always). Additionally, don't snuggle or kiss a hedgehog, and especially don't do that and touch your dog. Also, keep your dogs away from hedgehogs if they have any kind of immune deficiency or poor health condition.
You'll want to train your dog to stay away from the hedgehog at your command. In this case, obedience commands like "no," "stay," and "leave it," are crucial when owning a hedgehog.
How to React If Your Dog Has Caught Something from Your Hedgehog
Contact your vet immediately.
Create a better system for cleaning your hedgehog and his area.
Implement stronger rules about hedgehog and dog interactions.
Keep your hedgehog and dog separated.