Often, people ask themselves what the best design of a running wheel for their hamster is. However, before you even get to that point, it is essential to consider whether or not your hamster should have one at all. If you are not sure, please take some time to read about why hamsters love to run on the wheel and how to pick out one that will be perfect for your furry little friend.
Why Hamsters Love Running on the Wheel?
All hamsters have the instinct to run. A running wheel gives them a safe and secure place to run while observing their surroundings. Hamsters that are not provided with access to wheels tend to become depressed and ill. You see, their legs are short and if they can not exercise properly, they could develop health problems. Hamsters are very active nocturnal animals. During the day, they sleep, but at night they are awake and very curious. They may share your bed with you at night!
Hamsters are very social animals, and they enjoy spending time together, especially during the night hours. When you provide them with a wheel, they will run-racing against each other (in their minds) and give you great entertainment. They make funny screeching noises, chatter their teeth, and the wheel itself makes a loud whirring sound. These noises will keep you awake at night if you do not have a wheel for your hamster! Believe me! I did not have a wheel for my hamsters, and they kept me awake at night. I had to get a sound machine, and that helped too.
The Benefits of Hamster Running Wheels
Hamster running wheels give hamsters the exercise, fun, and stimulation they need to stay healthy and happy. They are made with solid wire mesh to ensure the pet’s safety. The wire mesh is smooth for your hamster to run on, but it cannot chew through it. There are also many designs, shapes, and sizes of wheels available for you to choose from.
Running, in general, is suitable for your hamster’s health. It improves its cardiovascular health and makes it easier for them to breathe. It also stretches out their back and joints, making it easier for them to sit still. If you notice your hamster has a hard time sitting still, then using a running wheel is a must.
Running on a wheel can help your hamster lose weight as well! When they exercise on the wheel, they are burning more calories than sitting around all day doing nothing. The wheel makes them exercise, and they get pleasure from running around on it. Some hamsters like to add a tire (or plaything) on the wheel for enrichment, which makes the wheel even more fun. All this fun and exercise is great, but you also need to remember that a wheel can be a little dangerous for your hamster. If your hamster is not safe on a wheel, it could hurt either its internal organs or bones.
The downside to owning a hamster running wheel is that you have to clean it. If the pet ingests any food or other foreign objects, you will need to clean the wheel thoroughly. You can do this by removing all food and solid objects from the running wheel; it does not need to be disinfected. Then, hose down the inside of the wheel with plain water until it is scorched. There are specialized products on the market for cleaning wheels called Wheel Cleaner and Wheel Wash (available at your local pet store). You can use these products or allow your hamster to clean itself in the wash basked area in his cage.
How to Choose a Good Exercise Wheel for Your Hamster?
When you are ready to buy a hamster running wheel, it is best to buy the one with good instructions for operation and use. Also, always ask your pet store or vet for advice on which brand of wheel they recommend. If you do not know what type of wheels there are, I would search the internet and compare the different brands and designs. Make sure the wheels have quality wood or plastic, making them chew proof and safe for your hamster’s health.
Choose a good quality exercise wheel that is designed with safety in mind. Wheels usually come with weight limiters so as not to go too fast either way, as well as soft bumps so as not to damage your pet’s delicate feet. If you decide to make your wheel, this is great for you and your hamster. You can take unused items from your home or craft store and modify them. You can even take toys that you do not want anymore and turn them into a wheel.
If you plan to make your wheel, I would suggest using toys less than one inch in diameter not to tear up your pet’s feet. If you choose to buy a commercially made wheel, then look for one with solid wheels so the hamster’s feet will not slip off even if they are running at high speeds.
The wheel you choose should be in the right size for your hamster. If you have a dwarf hamster, then an exercise wheel for a Syrian hamster will not work so well. Proper sizing is essential when it comes to wheels. The wheel should provide room for running but not be so big that your hamster will lose sight of his cage. For example, if you have two or more hamsters, they should have either their wheel or at least one wheel per hamster.
The wheel you choose should have a solid wire structure that does not have any holes in it. That is important because it will protect your pet from eating things that fall through the wire and possibly becoming ill or injured. Lastly, remember that any exercise wheel should have safety mechanisms so the hamsters cannot get stuck. Your hamster should be able to open the door quickly, and the slide should not be too small for it, or it could cause injury.
Hamster running wheels are great for both your hamster’s exercise and fun. Some hamsters are so social that they will run against each other in their minds while racing on their wheel. If you do not have a wheel, your pet may become depressed, which can lead to illness or even death. Also, your hamster may become overweight if they do not have a wheel for exercise, which is unhealthy. Hamsters need to be kept happy to avoid disease, so get them an exercise wheel today!