For a Christmas present my boyfriend is going to get me a pet. I've been giving some serious thought to a hedgehog, but I'm a little nervous about the maintenance one would require.
Currently, I am a night shift worker, so I would be up when my hedgie would be up, but I also go to school 13 hours a week. My schedule on weekdays is about as follows:
-Go to school around 3
-Come home at 7
-Stick around home until about 11
-Get home from work around 4 - 5 in the morning
-Go to bed between 6-7
That only leaves me about 5 hours a night on weekdays to be home with my hedgie. My boyfriend gets home from school at 5, so he'd be with our pet a couple more hours than me. And on weekends we're generally home all day and night. But even so, would that give my pet enough attention or would it be compromised by my busy schedule?
In addition to time concerns, I'm worried about exotic pet bills. I am aware that hedgehogs are prone to a variety of different diseases and illnesses, and that they get sick fairly often and/or easily. I've heard that you should get them checked for cancer biannually, which shouldn't be a problem. I'm more concerned with frequent, random doctor visits that could potentially leave me in debt. I don't mind paying for a few, but if there tends to be 5 or 10 in a few months time, I can't do it. Is this a common problem, or can this be prevented with super good parenting? If it is common, generally, how much are the doctor bills, and how frequently do they occur?
Basically, I'm looking for a pet that requires moderate maintenance that won't be neglected due to my busy schedule, and my lack of hundreds of dollars to throw away. I would absolutely adore having a hedgehog, but I wouldn't want it to be mistreated nor do I want a pet that is a money-consuming endeavor.
Is my hedgie feasible or a fantasy?
Thanks for your time. :)