While hedgehogs are adorable little creatures who are generally friendly, they can certainly pose a danger to your dog if you encounter them while on a walk.
Dogs can get excited when they see these tiny mammals. If this happens, it is possible for them to get hurt.
Sometimes, dogs will jump on hedgehogs because of their instinctual nature. This is a tempting temptation for breeds such as the terrier, which were once hunter-prey dogs.
If dogs try to get the spikes in their mouths, they can cause severe bleeding to their gums. Furthermore, hedgehogs can also carry fleas and ticks that can be passed onto canines, TeamDogs reports.
If a dog’s mouth is cut, they could also be at risk of contracting ringworm from the hedgehog, as the open wound is an entry point for the disease.
Grace Johnson, hedgehog officer at Hedgehog Street said: “With their keen sense of smell, dogs often detect hedgehogs before we humans spot them.
“Sadly some dogs can harm or even kill hedgehogs, when instinct tells them to hunt prey.”
Her advice is to steer dogs away from thick undergrowth and long grass on walks, especially at dawn or dusk when hedgehogs are most active.
Grace continued: “Accidents do sadly still happen though, and injuries aren’t always visible, so if you think your dog may have harmed a hedgehog, it’s best to contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society for advice on 01584 890 801.”
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It might be worth getting a muzzle for your dog if they like to chase small animals.
It is also a good idea to start training your dog early on in order to prevent them from getting into this behavior.
Although you may be tempted to give the hedgehog attention, move your dog away from any situation that could cause harm to everyone.
It’s not just on dog walks either, you also need to be wary in your own private garden.
Hedgehog Street advises to keep your dogs away and to try and warn the hedgehogs by turning on an outside light a minute or so before letting your dog out.
You might consider keeping an eye on your dog while they are outside to ensure their safety.