Do Hedgehogs Smell? How Often Should You Bathe Your Precious Pet?

Devangana Rathore
Mar 16, 2023 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Nov 23, 2021
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Hedgehog in the garden.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.4 Min

We've all heard horror stories about different types of pets that appear cute but stink!

For example, a common issue faced by potential pet owners is whether hedgehogs smell. The quick answer is no; a hedgehog doesn't smell.

However, if not correctly cared for, a hedgehog's feces can become nasty. Hedgehogs are generally low-maintenance animals that may offer a lot of happiness to your life. Still, you may be hesitant to have one as a pet for a variety of reasons. Hedgehogs are not suitable as a pet for everyone.

They are, nevertheless, a genuinely unique option. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, meaning that they sleep for most of the day and are most energetic in the evening and early morning. Hedgehogs, unlike skunks and ferrets, do not have scent glands; they are odorless. So do hedgehogs smell bad? Let's discuss!

If you love learning about animals and their unique characteristics, you should check out other fun articles about what a baby hedgehog is called andhow to take care of a hedgehog. Do not forget to share this article with your friends!

What makes them stink?

Hedgehogs don't have a terrible scent and don't generate any because they lack the scent glands found in many other pets and animals.

As a result, they don't have any smelly body scents that may make them stink. They can, however, stink pretty severely because of their excrement and pee due to a variety of reasons.

Other environmental factors may also contribute to a hedgehog's foul odor. As a result, if your hedgie stinks, it most likely just needs to be cleaned. Hedgehogs also don't make any effort to avoid treading in their feces and urinating.

A dirty environment is the most typical cause of a stinky hedgehog. A hedgehog will eventually go to the potty in their cage.

Urine and feces will ultimately accumulate and emit an unpleasant odor. Your hedgehog may not smell bad on its own, but its waste will. In comparison to any other animal, their feces does not smell particularly foul.

If you don't maintain their habitat regularly, your hedgehog will spend its time walking around in its droppings. It won't hesitate to march across puddles of urine or excrement because hedgehogs are animals.

If this continues for long enough, the scent of their feces will pass on to your hedgehog, causing it to smell. Hedgehogs peeing is another explanation for their bad smell.

Hedgehog pee smells very unpleasant. The abundance of ammonia in a hedgehog's feces and urine causes its pee to stink. Thus, their pee is the source of the majority of these pets' unpleasant scents.

Generally, their urine does not have a significant smell, and their poop smells worse than their urination. While pee does not smell as awful as urine, it can leave a strong smell when it soaks into a hedgehog's bedding.

Sickness and diseases can also produce a pungent smell. Hedgehogs may smell bad for a variety of reasons, in addition to excrement and pee.

Infections and illnesses in hedgehogs are one of the explanations. A bad diet is another primary reason for a stinking hedgehog.

It's possible that if you don't give your hedgehog a healthful diet with the right fat and protein ratio, it will affect how your pet will smell. In addition, meals that are high in fat and contain a lot of additives (like cat food) can influence their digestive systems, which will show up in their physical demands.

How do I keep my hedgehog's cage from smelling?

A complete weekly cage clean is essential since pee can readily soak into your pet's bedding and eventually onto the cage floor.

It's critical to cleanse your hedgehog's cage or habitat regularly to keep unwanted odors at bay. Because your hedgehog will use its cage to pee and poop, it may become caught in locations like the cage's borders and floor.

Cleaning your hedgehog's enclosure regularly is one of the most crucial things that you can do to ensure that it never stinks.

Make sure to change your pet's water bowl daily, as it may poop and pee in it if it isn't housebroken. Make sure you're using a gentle soap that's safe to use in a cage.

Always clean the cage properly to ensure that no toxins are left behind, as these might harm your hedgehog's health. Hedgehogs might stink if their bedding isn't changed frequently enough.

As a result, their bedding may be continually wet due to pee and excrement. As a result, you must replace your animals' bedding at least three times a week. In addition, it is recommended that you choose dust-free bedding as well as odor-neutralizing bedding.

Large, cute hedgehog on grass.

How To Stop Them From Smelling Bad

A daily spot clean will go a long way toward ensuring that your hedgehog smells nice and remains healthy.

Carefully go through their cage and remove any urine or feces stains. Many hedgehog owners will give their hedgehog frequent foot washes and replace their pet's bedding regularly to keep the hedgehog from getting smelly.

Try using reusable fleece bedding to keep your hedgehogs from stinking up the place. Because most of the waste will be generated at night, spot cleaning in the morning will aid with smell control. If you cleanse their cages daily, it becomes a habit, similar to feeding them, and they won't be as bad.

Another reason why your hedgehog may have a bad smell is that you do not maintain proper hedgehog hygiene. It will not only make hedgehogs healthy and happy, but it will also keep any bad smells from their cage at bay.

Some owners enjoy giving their pets a short foot bath every day.

Bathing a hedgehog is a great way to eliminate any urine and feces accumulated on the hedgehog. Poop can also get trapped on its feet and underside, which is why it's so crucial to bathe your hedgie.

While bathing is vital, it's also crucial not to over-wash your pet because this might cause its skin to dry up. Furthermore, dry skin can result in skin diseases. Washing your hedgie every couple of weeks is always a great idea.

It's also a good idea to apply an oat wash on your hedgehog's skin because it's calming. Give your hedgehog a foot bath to begin with.

The water ought to be deep enough for your hedgie to walk in. The purpose of this is to soften any poop trapped on its feet, particularly poop matted in its hair. Bathing will help to remove dried poop from your hedgehog's feet.

What can you do about it?

Here are a few tips for maintaining your hedgehog's scent.

One of a hedgehog's favorite hobbies may be a training wheel. Your hedgie can run for hours, but the more energetic they are, the more poop and urine they produce.

As a result, a significant amount of garbage may become lodged in the wheel. As a result, the exercise wheel is one of the main odor-producing items in their cage. Regularly cleaning the wheel and scraping off any dried-up poop will help to reduce unwanted odors.

If you've decided to get a hedgehog as a pet and are wondering how hedgehogs smell, make sure you've done your homework on the food they require. Examine your hedgie's poop when you're not sure if they're on an appropriate diet.

When a hedgehog's poop smells terrible, it's possible that this isn't the proper diet for your hedgehog, and you should look into other possibilities. One of the biggest reasons why your hedgehog stinks is that it isn't eating a well-balanced diet.

The meals your hedgehog consumes have a significant impact on its smell. Fatty foods, a shortage of nutrients, and hard-to-digest snacks may all make your hedgie smell a little bit. Feeding your pet a healthy diet will not only improve its smell but will also promote its health and longevity.

Litter teaching your hedgie can be difficult, but it is certainly possible. Some owners even place a little bin under the wheel, assuming that the pet will perform most of its business when running.

Then, as you spot clean during training, save a few pieces and put them inside a litter box or the location where your pet is supposed to poop.

If your hedgehog still smells after following all of this advice, there's a good chance you're doing something incorrectly. Take a close look back over our instructions and check that nothing is amiss.

It is critical to keep your hedgehog clean, happy, and fed on a proper diet, not only for their wellbeing but also to avoid any undesirable smells.

If you implement all of our tips, your hedgehog should be pleased, robust, and hygienic, with the added benefit of not stinking. Hedgehogs can be lovable pets with a very slight smell.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly factsfor everyone to enjoy! If you liked learning about why hedgehogs smell,then why not learn how long hedgehogs live or some hedgehog facts.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi Raturi picture

Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

Read full bio >