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Pets and hedgehogs

Do cats and dogs pose a threat to my hedgehogs?

Dogs can and sometimes do attack hedgehogs. Often adult hedgehogs will be sufficiently protected by their spines but sick or young hedgehogs may be killed. Try to keep dogs away from any hedgehogs in your garden as an encounter could lead to both animals being hurt.

If you know your dog is prone to attacking hedgehogs then try to warn hedgehogs visiting your garden when the dog is being let out e.g. turn on an outside light a minute or so before letting the dog out. For the dogs final patrol of the evening consider putting your dog on its lead or supervising the trip into the garden to prevent any attacks. Hedgehogs do also have their own routine i.e. they appear at a certain time from a certain point. If you know the routine of the hedgehogs visiting your garden then keeping your dog in during those times will also benefit your dog and the hedgehog.

Cats are less of a threat as they will usually leave hedgehogs alone after investigating them.

Cats chilling with a hedgehog by Hedgehog Champion Steve Burke from Dorset

Will the hedgehogs give my pets fleas?

Hedgehogs are renowned for having fleas. However, the fleas found on hedgehogs are actually hedgehog fleas (scientific name: Archaeopsylla erinacei) which are host specific, meaning they will not survive for long on any other species, be it pets or people.

If I put a hole in my fence, will my pets escape?

A 13cm x 13cm hole will be too small for most dogs. Many cats can climb fences. If you are worried about them going through a hole, turn the hole into a tunnel e.g. with a breeze block. Low tech savvy!

Hedgehog expert Pat Morris pioneered this low tech solution making your hole cat-proof using a breeze block - clever puss!

I want to do more to help hedgehogs!

→ PLEDGE to make a hole for hedgehogs

or MAP a hole you’ve already made.

Hedgehog