As internship offers start rolling through, one question can weigh on many students’ minds: what will fill the void caused by a lack of Rolla friends in a brand new city? The answer is very simple: hedgehogs. The trend of adopting exotic pets, such as hedgehogs, is increasing in modern culture. Owning these pets can be very entertaining and fulfilling. This venture, however, has its own challenges.
Adorable hedgehog images have become very popular on various social media platforms. Images of these animals curling up in balls during baths and videos of their little paws running on pet exercise wheels are causing hedgehogs to gain popularity quickly. Although not many people own their own hedgehog, the interest in adopting them as pets is growing. Because hedgehogs are considered an exotic pet, people are drawn toward them, especially due to their uniqueness and recent idolization on the Internet.
One important aspect of owning a hedgehog is socializing it. Most people prefer pets that are interactive. If a hedgehog is left in its cage all day, it will not want to socialize when exposed to people, including its owner. A sense of playfulness is a great quality to have in a pet, and this quality is completely dependant on the owner when it comes to hedgehogs. Taking it out of its cage for at least thirty minutes each day helps improve its mood and socialization. Running also benefits the health of hedgehogs. Because the level of playful interaction is based on the owner’s time and attention spent with the hedgehog, having and raising one can be a very fulfilling process. A new adoption would be perfect to initiate during a break from school because more free time is generally available.
Although owning a hedgehog seems easy and appealing, having an exotic pet does require some extra information to make an informed decision. For example, not all veterinarians treat exotic pets. The animal also needs a consistent source of food which cannot be found at a typical grocery store, unlike other pet foods. Locating a store that provides for all the needs of a hedgehog is crucial. Adopting an exotic pet requires more knowledge prior to commitment, mostly because people have not experienced them first-hand before. Owning a hedgehog is no more complicated than owning and training a puppy, but since the process is so unfamiliar to the average person, it does carry a learning curve.
As college students, dogs can be very difficult to own because of the time commitment. Having an animal such as a hedgehog is much more time-friendly, especially with an S&T schedule. Because they only require a bath once a month and they don’t need to be taken on walks, a lack of free time is not a hurdle in owning this exotic pet. Additionally, having an animal as a mood booster can significantly help to raise morale during the school year.
Hedgehogs are adorable, nontraditional pets that would make a great addition to any college student’s home. Owning this exotic animal can foster happiness which might otherwise be rare in the life of a student. Not only are they cute and cuddly, but raising a hedgehog can be a very satisfying opportunity.