Keeping a hedgehog warm while travelling requires you to think outside of the box. Without a heat mat or lamp, you have to get creative.
The following are 9 easy ways to keep a hedgehog warm during travel:
- Warm your vehicle before introducing your hedgehog (if travelling in a car)
- Use a smaller travel container rather than a large one
- Add plenty of bedding to the travel carrier
- Put a secure lid on your hedgehog’s container
- Cover your hedgehog’s container in a blanket
- Use a hot water bottle
- Use hand warmers
- Use microwaveable heat packs
- Make a home-made warmer from a socks and rice
In this article we will discuss each warming technique in detail.
Why is your hedgehog’s temperature important and how warm should the travel container be?
As I’m sure you are aware, hedgehogs are hibernating creatures. In the wild they will hibernate during winter to avoid the stress of the harsh, cold environment.
A hedgehog should remain between 24ºC and 27ºC (75ºF to 80ºF) for maximum health. If your hedgehog’s temperature falls below this then he may start to hibernate.
Be sure to use a thermometer to check the container is at a comfortable temperature.
Warm your vehicle before introducing your hedgehog (if travelling in a car).
This is a no-brainer.
If you are travelling on a cold day, warming the car before bringing your hedgehog in will avoid him getting a chill.
Furthermore, the warming techniques below will be more effective if the car is already warm.
Just make sure that the heater vents aren’t blowing directly onto your hedgehog’s container. This may cause him to overheat.
Use a smaller travel container rather than a large one.
A smaller travel container will be easier to warm up and keep warm than a larger one.
Additionally, a smaller container will re-create the feeling of being inside a safe little burrow, which your hedgehog will appreciate.
Just ensure that your hedgehog has enough room to move around.
Add plenty of bedding to the travel carrier.
There are many different materials that you can use. These include clothes, paper towels, newspaper, towels or some of your hog’s usual bedding.
You can even use a mixture of materials. Just be sure to use enough so that your hedgehog has something to nestle into. This will provide him with insulation to keep him warm, and will also soak up any waste.
Furthermore, bedding will provide your hedgehog with comfort and security whilst he is away from home, and thus, minimise stress.
Put a lid on your hedgehog’s container to trap heat.
Putting a lid on your hedgehog’s container will keep the warm air inside. An open top carrier will be harder to keep warm as hot air can easily escape.
Of course, just ensure that there are plenty of holes in your hedgehog’s carrier for ventilation. You don’t want your spikey friend to suffocate!
Cover your hedgehog’s container in a blanket.
Insulation is your hedgehog’s friend!
Similarly to putting a lid on your hedgehog’s container, a blanket will stop heat from escaping. The darkness will also help your hedgehog stay calm while travelling.
Just ensure the blanket you use is breathable and allows enough ventilation for your hedgehog.
Use a hot water bottle to heat your hedgehog.
Hot water bottles work well to provide heat for many hours.
Just make sure that it isn’t too hot for you to hold. If it’s too hot for you to hold, it’s too hot for your hedgehog.
If your hot water bottle doesn’t already come in a cover, always wrap something around it. Additionally, make sure that the lid is on securely, you don’t want any hot water to leak onto your hedgehog and injure him.
Use hand warmers to heat your hedgehog.
Hand warmers are another great option that provide lots of heat for up to 10 hours!
It’s very important to note that hand warmers should only be used OUTSIDE the carrier. NEVER place them inside the carrier. Firstly, they can get too hot and burn your hedgehog. Secondly, most of them work by a chemical reaction using air, therefore, they can end up suffocating your hedgehog.
Instead, pop them in a sock or wrap them, and place them next to or on top of your hedgehog’s travel carrier.
Use a microwaveable heat pack.
These are a simple way to provide warmth to your hedgehog.
You just have to pop them in the microwave for 1 to 5 minutes (depending on your heat pack) and they’re ready to go!
These are ideal for long journeys as they can stay warm for many hours, depending on the quality of the pack. Some can last between 8-10 hours after only 5 minutes in the microwave!
Again, just ensure that they are not too hot to touch as they could burn your hedgehog. If they are very hot, wrap them in a cloth, some clothes or a blanket.
Make a home-made warmer from a socks and rice.
How to make a sock warmer:
- Fill a sock 3/4 with rice.
- Tie the top so no rice escapes.
- Pop it in the microwave on high for a minute until hot.
VOILA! So simple!
A heated sock will stay hot for a couple hours.
If the sock is too hot to touch, pop it in another sock so that you don’t hurt your hedgehog.