You must bring a transport carrier when you pick up a new hedgehog from me. A passenger may decide to handle the hedgie during the trip, but the DRIVER SHOULD NEVER HANDLE THE HEDGIE DURING TRANSPORT. There are many options available to transport your hedgie:
- A simple box with holes cut into the sides or top works fine for short trips. Be sure your box has a top that can be taped or secured shut. Even baby hedgehogs can escape out of the top of many boxes, and they feel more secure when they are not exposed.
- Cat carriers are another good option.
- Small Sterilite containers with holes drilled into the top are my personal favorite choice. Be sure to use the type with clamping lids to prevent escape.
It is highly recommended to put some type of bedding in your travel carrier to help absorb messes. Layers of paper towels, an old fleece blanket, and newspapers all work well. I prefer to use cage bedding in my transport containers. Shavings and other commercial bedding products absorb messes, and odors, and are easily thrown out when you reach your destination. Loose bedding such as shavings does better in a box or Sterilite tub since it has a tendency to escape out the front of cat carrier. Refer to my care page for more information on different cage bedding options.
A Place to Hide
Hedgehogs are shy by nature and traveling can be stressful time. A hiding place can help reduce stress during transport. Sometimes the carrier itself can provide the place to hide, but most hedgies will feel even more secure with a small swatch of fleece to hide under. This can also provide protection from drafts and cold.
Since African pygmy hedgehogs are native to warm climates, a few extra precautions should be taken when traveling in the cold. It is advised to warm up the car ahead of time, and keep exposure to the cold at a minimum. Carriers with solid sides, such as sterilite tubs, will help block cold drafts and wind. A swatch of polar fleece makes a nice warm blanket. I also usually provide a little hand warmer for additional warmth.
Water and Food on the Road
It is NOT recommended to provide food or water during the trip. Hedgehogs are nocturnal so they don't usually eat and drink during the day. Due to the vibrations of the car, water bottles will drip and leak causing a wet mess in the carrier. Water bowls are even messier in the car. If you plan on traveling for more than 4 hours, water and food can be offered during your fueling stops.
Handling During Travel
Hedgehogs usually feel more comfortable during their trip if they can hide in the carrier. Many will feel secure enough to sleep in their carriers on the road. If you choose to handle your hedgie during transport an old towel on your lap is recommended to protect your clothing. Hedgehogs will poop on you and will often poop a bit more when stressed. Tissues or paper towels to clean up messes and hand sanitizer are also handy to have in the car. While on the road hedgehogs will often be quite active and try to find a hiding place. Allowing your hedgie to burrow into the towel, or hide in a snuggle sack will help alleviate travel stress.