Pet of the Day

July 9, 2010

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Annabelle, the Pet of the Day
Name: Annabelle
Age: One year old
Gender: Female
Kind: African Pygmy Hedgehog
Home: Troy, New York, USA
   Annabelle deserves to be Pet of the Day because she is the very first pet I ever had that was all mine. We have always had lots of animals, but they belonged to everyone in the family. When I moved out of my parents' house to attend college in NY, I wanted a pet of my own, but couldn't get one because only fish were allowed in the dorms. Then I got an apartment last summer that allowed small animals, and immediately started researching which pet would be right for me. I knew someone who had a hedgehog and had loved playing with him, so I did some research and decided that a hedgehog was indeed a good fit for my lifestyle. Luckily, I was able to locate a breeder nearby. I brought Annabelle home in August 2009, when she was three months old.

    Annabelle is a great pet because she is quiet, playful, curious, and relatively easy to take care of. She is most active at night, but still loves to come out of her cage for snuggles and attention at any time of the day. Hedgehogs are supposed to enjoy eating store-bought insects like mealworms and crickets, but Annabelle does not like them. However, she loves her cat food, especially when it's topped with yummy flax seed oil to help moisturize her dry skin! When she was barely six months old, Annabelle was diagnosed with Secondary Liver Disease. Liver disease is common in hedgehogs, but it is not a death sentence and can be managed with proper diet and veterinary care. Despite her chronic yellow coloration, Annabelle has been going strong with SLD for nearly a year now; she has a great appetite, and runs full speed ahead on her wheel all night. This April I adopted a second hedgehog, Lily, who Annabelle gets along with very well. They live in separate enclosures, but seem to like being around each other during playtimes.

    My beloved Annabelle is proof that hedgehogs do make wonderful pets, as long as the potential owner is willing to provide for their unique needs and doesn't mind getting poked by an errant quill every now and then!

Annabelle, the Pet of the Day

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