When to help a hedgehog

Hedgehogs are nocturnal, they sleep during the day. They also hibernate throughout winter. This is usually November to mid-March but is dependent on temperature. They can sometimes be seen out and about during the day and during the winter but this is quite rare.

Cause for concernWhen to help a hedgehogWhen not to help a hedgehog
Seen during the dayHog is staggeringHog is moving with purpose – mums will take the opportunity to find food and nesting materials whenever she can find it
TicksOver 10 ticks is a cause for concern. Any ticks on a baby is cause for concernFewer than 10 ticks on an adult hog is acceptable, they will drop off when full
Baby seen aloneIf no sight of mum after 2 hoursMonitor to see if mum appears, if mum turns up then all is well
Hog is scratchingIf scratching seems excessiveHogs scratch a lot, they often scratch off ticks and their new spines can cause itching when working through the skin
Hog appears deadIf hog is cold outside of hibernation then it probably needs helpWhen hibernating hogs are cold and barely breathe so can appear dead, please do not bury until absolutely certain
  • Garden gloves – hedgehog spines are sharp and they could also have ringworm or ticks. Protect yourself by wearing thick gloves when handling the hog.
  • A high-sided cardboard box – hedgehogs are escape artists and very good climbers.
  • Kitchen roll – white kitchen roll is useful for showing up blood if the hog is bleeding from a wound you haven’t noticed.
  • An old towel – you will need this to put in the cardboard box so the hog has somewhere to hide.
  • Water – please provide water but not food unless advised by a rescue.

When ready put on the gloves and gentle scoop up the hedgehog. Place the hedgehog in the cardboard box with a sheet of kitchen roll on the bottom and lay the towel over the top of the hog. Keep the box in a warm quiet area. A cardboard box is a short-term solution, the water will get tipped over and the hog will poop all over it, please get the hog to a rescue as soon as possible.