Why should I buy from a breeder and not a pet store?
Not every pet store is bad, but there have been certain problems with some hedgehogs purchased at pet stores.
Pet stores have been known to keep male and female hedgehog babies together past the age of sexual maturity. If you purchase a female hedgehog from a pet store you may run the risk of having an unwanted pregnancy in a very young hedgehog. Breeders will separate the males from the females at 6-7 weeks of age to prevent this problem.
Breeders will make sure that hedgehog babies are eating and drinking well after weaning. This will help make a more successful transition to your home. This is not always done with hedgehogs reared in pet stores.
Hedgehog breeders know their hedgehog’s lineage going back through the generations and breed based on a good health history. Most pet stores do not.
Most breeders will offer some type of sales support through e-mail or telephone so that you will have the answers you need regarding care of your hedgehog. In addition, they will know more about each hedgehog’s personality traits and qualities to help you choose your hedgehog. You will not get this individual attention at a pet store.
It may cost a little more to buy a hedgehog from a breeder, but this difference is usually only the cost of a vet visit or a few bags of food or bedding. Once you bring your hedgehog home and fall in love with it, you will agree it was worth every penny!
If you cannot buy from a breeder and wish to buy from a pet store, here are a few questions to ask:
Are you USDA licensed? Pet stores must be USDA licensed if they sell even one hedgehog or other exotic pet.
Were the hedgehogs born here? If they say they were, ask to see mom She should be kept in the back and not out on the sales floor.
Were the hedgehogs from a local breeder? If they say they were, ask for the contact information for that breeder and contact them.
I do not sell to pet stores and most other small and medium scale breeders do not either.
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