Can Hedgehogs Swim? Everything You should Know

Hedgehogs are renowned for their distinctive foraging strategies. They are renowned for their propensity to rummage through bushes or hedges in search of tiny animals like worms, mice, snails, and insects.

Hedgehogs make excellent pets and are growing in popularity, but many owners wonder Can Hedgehogs swim, yes, Hedgehogs can swim But you must realize that their ability to swim has nothing to do with their ability to survive. They need a ledge or other platform that provides an easy way in and out of the water because they would struggle in water with a strong current.

These creatures are tiny, but they are covered in air-filled spiky quills. If they fall into water, this helps them float.

Can Hedgehogs Swim?

Yes, Hedgehogs can swim. Hedgehogs are excellent swimmers who actually use their quills to help them float in the water.

Despite being strong and durable, these quills have a network of air chambers that keep the hedgehog buoyant in the water.

The hedgehog can swim relatively easily as a result of having almost no body weight to support it.

The fact that hedgehogs do not require swimming for survival must be kept in mind Hedgehogs are capable of living their entire lives without ever swimming.

Not all hedgehogs occasionally go swimming. The only ones who swim are those who live near a body of water.

Is It Dangerous For Hedgehogs to Swim?

Hedgehogs are known to be excellent swimmers, but they can still have trouble in the water.

It can actually be a literal death trap for wild hedgehogs to enter your garden or yard at night if you have a pool or pond.

The sides of a pool or pond are frequently too steep for a hedgehog to climb out of when it falls in.

They will continue swimming for as long as they can before becoming fatigued and eventually drowning.

It’s a good idea to cover any ponds you have at night or to make one side of the pond slope or ramped so that hedgehogs can easily exit.

Can Hedgehogs Swim? Everything You should Know

If you have a swimming pool or pond, you can still build a ramp at one end of the pool or pond by putting down a hard plastic sheet or even using chicken wire.

The hedgehog will need to travel further to reach the exit, and it could still be extremely dangerous.

The risks are significantly reduced if you keep a hedgehog as a pet and let it swim under your supervision.

Can All Hedgehog Swim?

Yes, all hedgehogs can swim well, though different individuals will swim better than others.

This may depend on a variety of elements, such as size, weight, breed, age, and gender.

Additionally, all hedgehog breeds, including the four most popular breeds—the African Pygmy Hedgehog, the European Hedgehog, the Egyptian Long-Eared Hedgehog, and the Indian Long-Eared Hedgehog—can swim.

Can Baby Hedgehogs Swim?

Yes, baby Hedgehogs also known as hoglets, can swim. However, It’s not advised to just throw them into a pool or pond because it can take them some time to develop the strength necessary to swim.

It is also not advised to use this method because it can stress them out if they are having trouble swimming.

To get the baby hedgehog used to the idea, we advise placing it in a shallow sink of water.

They shouldn’t actually need to swim to move around in the water because it should be shallow enough.

Do Hedgehogs Need to Swim?

Hedgehogs don’t actually need to swim, and some species, like the African Pygmy hedgehog, may never swim at all during their entire wild lives.

Hedgehogs don’t require swimming or baths to stay clean, so only give them a bath if they are exceptionally filthy.

Hedgehogs actually lick themselves to keep clean, and they maintain a respectable level of grooming.

Swimming can be helpful for a variety of reasons, as we mentioned below in the article, but that’s very different from them having to swim and it being required.

Do hedgehogs need to swim to keep themselves clean?

If you’ve had a hedgehog as a pet for some time, you may be aware that, in contrast to other pets, they don’t require regular bathing. Hedgehogs are like cats in that they can clean themselves by licking their entire body, and they do not require water to do so.

If they get into something filthy that produces a strong odour, that’s the only time you might need to give them a shower. In these circumstances, you can give them a warm water bath in a small tub or under a shower. Ensure you thoroughly dry them off after giving them a bath as well.

Is it important for a hedgehog to swim?

No, swimming is not necessary for hedgehogs. They can live without swimming and still be active. Swimming has no bearing on their ability to survive. In fact, if the opportunity does not present itself, a hedgehog can go their entire life without swimming.

If you let your hedgehog swim in the water, be sure to keep an eye on them. Hedgehogs can’t swim for very long, so their chances of drowning from exhaustion are high. Make sure your hedgehog can easily access dry land when it gets tired.

The Advantages Of Letting Them Swim

There are few advantages of letting your pet hedgehog swim. First off, if you give your pet enough time to get used to the water and always keep an eye on him/her when in or near any water source, swimming can be enjoyable for both of you. Your little pet will get plenty of exercise by swimming. Hedgehogs may not be able to participate in yoga or spin classes, but the majority will benefit greatly from occasional swimming.

Can Hedgehogs Swim? Everything You should Know
Wild Hedgehog

Allowing your pet hedgehog to swim has the additional wonderful benefit of stimulating their mind, body, and spirit. Hedgehogs in the wild typically spend a lot of time searching for food while attempting to avoid any nearby predators.

1. Fitness

Many hedgehog owners give their pets foods with an excessive amount of fat. Without sufficient regular exercise, those calories will accumulate, causing your bored and unfit hedgehog friend to put on weight and possibly even develop morbid obesity. It’s never good for a small animal to do this.

It can be a great idea to incorporate swimming into their routine on a weekly or biweekly basis to promote movement and activity. To ensure that your pet is comfortable and eager to go swimming again in the future, always give them time to get acclimated to the water first. Your hedgehog can stay healthy and strong by participating in regular exercise and eating a balanced, low-fat diet.

2. Enrichment

Hedgehogs, like other pets, require mental stimulation. When living in the wild, hedgehogs are inherently wary. However, if a hedgehog is kept as a pet, this instinct may weaken, which could lead to boredom and restlessness in your pet. Swimming can provide your pet hedgehog with enough mental stimulation to keep them from becoming bored or lazy.

A hedgehog can let its guard down because the majority of pet hedgehogs do not have to worry as much about a natural predator trying to make them its next meal. Your pet will eventually stop being motivated, but occasionally going swimming can help keep them alert and focused.

Hedgehog owners should also provide their pets with entertaining and stimulating toys to keep them interested and to get them moving. To prevent boredom from becoming a problem, rotate the toys. Make sure any toy you give your hedgehog is appropriate for use with these tiny creatures. If you’re unsure, ask your veterinarian.

Can Hedgehogs Swim In Swimming Pools?

Yes, Hedgehogs can swim in swimming pools.  However, avoid splashing chlorinated water into your hedgehog’s eyes, ears, or mouth at all times. If your pet wants to just float and relax for a while, have something in the water that they can climb onto.

Simply be cautious when allowing your hedgehog to swim in your pool, and limit swim sessions to no more than a few minutes. Additionally, only permit your hedgehog to swim about once every two weeks.

Rinse your hedgehog off thoroughly with water that is at room temperature after they’ve enjoyed themselves in the pool. Any potentially irritating chlorine will be removed by this.

The skin of your delicate hedgehog can become irritated by too much chlorine. When near any pool machinery, such as the filter or heat pump in a warm water pool, exercise extra caution. For small animals like hedgehogs, these things can be harmful.

Can Hedgehogs Swim In The Bathtub?

Yes, hedgehogs can swim in the bathtub, and the bathtub is likely the most common swimming spot for hedgehog pets.

As opposed to being hot like it would be when you are taking a bath, make sure the water is lukewarm.

To make sure it’s just right for your hedgehog, check the temperature with your wrist.

Should The Water Be Hot Or Cold For My Hedgehog to Swim?

Regardless of the type of water source your hedgehog will be swimming in, it is best to keep the water lukewarm. Too hot or too cold of a water temperature can quickly cause serious harm to your child. Never let your pet into the water without first testing the temperature.

Your hedgehog may learn to love swimming with their beloved owner staying close by with the right supervision and safety measures. Swimming can give your pet mental stimulation and general exercise, keeping it safe, healthy, and content for the rest of its life.

How Long Should My Hedgehog Swim For?

Only allow your hedgehog to swim for a total of five minutes; this should be more than enough.

If your hedgehog is learning to swim, it’s a good idea to remove them from the water every 30 to 60 seconds so they can take a quick break.

Additionally, you must use your judgement to determine whether your hedgehog is becoming stressed or exhausted while swimming.

Is it normal for hedgehogs to panic in the water while bathing?

Yes, hedgehogs exhibit this behaviour quite frequently. Some hedgehogs may even urinate and poop while submerged in water. There’s no need to be concerned because once they get used to the routine, it will change.

Can I Leave My Hedgehog Alone While Swimming?

No, even if they appear at ease, you should never leave your hedgehog alone while swimming.

Even if your hedgehog is a seasoned swimmer and comfortable in the water, there is always a chance that something could go wrong, and the repercussions simply aren’t worth the risk.

Can Hedgehogs Swim? Everything You should Know
Adorable Hedgehog pet

Even if they are swimming in your bathtub, this rule still holds true.

Hedgehogs can become exhausted and start to struggle very quickly, and if you’re not there to watch over them, things could go south quickly.

Steps On Teaching A Hedgehog to swim

If you own a hedgehog pet, you should be aware that it is risky and unwise to let it swim without teaching it how to.  The animals can actually have some temperamental problems that make them a little challenging to handle. When you let them into the water, you must exercise caution.

Below are the steps to teach your hedgehog pet how to swim:

  1. Fill a small water tub or the kitchen sink with water until the hedgehog’s legs are submerged. Use water that is lukewarm at all times.
  2. Give the hedgehog some time to explore the water. Increase the water level gradually after ensuring that the hedgehog is at ease.
  3. Check to see if the hedgehog is floating. If it is calm and floating, raise the water level and give it time to develop its paddling skills.

The hedgehog should never be left alone in the water. If the hedgehog begins to exhibit any signs of anxiety, remove it right away and thoroughly pat dry with a towel.

Things to know before letting your hedgehog into the pool for a bath

You should be aware of the following things before allowing your hedgehog to take a swim in the pool.

  • Give your hedgehog enough time to get used to the water before entering it.
  • If the spines are still tight, It’s a sign that your hedge is frightened.
  • Avoid washing your hedgehog with soap or shampoo.
  • Never allow water to get near your hedgehog’s mouth, ears, nose, or eyes.
  • If you don’t thoroughly rinse the soap or shampoo off of its skin, your hedgehog might develop allergies.
  • After a bath, dry your hedgehog using a warm towel.
  • Never blow dry a hedgehog’s body with a hair dryer.
  • Additionally, make sure the towel is not too warm.
  • To prevent your hedgehog from getting the chills, dry him or her off with the warm towel.


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