Hamsters need regular exercise to stay healthy, and one of the best ways to provide that is with a wheel for hamster.
Where things get complicated is that it can be difficult to choose the right wheel for your little furry friend as there are so many options available on the market. However, it is an essential accessory to integrate in their cage. Here is an overview to help you choose the best wheel for your hamster.
The hamster wheel? An indispensable tool for their physical and mental health
Hamsters are nocturnal animals that need to exercise regularly to stay healthy. In fact, in the wild, they travel long distances each night to search for their food. The wheel for hamster allows you to reproduce this natural behavior by offering your pet a fun and stimulating activity.
The use of the wheel thus helps to maintain a stable weight in the hamster and to prevent problems related to the overweightsuch as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. In addition, it also promotes their well-being It is a psychological tool that avoids the boredom and stress associated with inactivity.
What size wheel fits my hamster?
Choosing the right size wheel is crucial to your hamster's comfort and safety. A wheel that is too small may cause back and spine problems for your pet, while one that is too large may discourage your pet from using it.
The first thing to consider when choosing the size of the wheel is its diameter. Here are some general recommendations:
- Dwarf Hamsters: For small species like Roborovski or Campbell, a wheel of 16 to 20 cm in diameter is recommended.
- Syrian Hamsters : These larger hamsters require a wheel of at least 25-30 cm in diameter to avoid bending their backs.
- Chinese Hamsters : These hamsters are slightly smaller than Syrians and can use a wheel of 17-20 cm in diameter.
Don't forget to consider the adult size of your hamster if you have a young animal, and adjust the diameter of the wheel accordingly.
Width of the wheel
The width of the wheel should also be sufficient to allow your hamster to run comfortably without the risk of entrapment. A width of about 5 cm is usually adequate for most types of hamsters.
Type of material: plastic or metal?
Hamster wheels are available in different materials. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages:
Plastic wheels are lightweight, easy to clean and often less expensive than metal ones. However, they can break or crack over time, especially if your hamster likes to chew on them. Also, some plastic wheels have bars, which can cause injuries to your pet's paws.
Metal wheels are generally more durable than plastic ones and are less likely to be damaged by your hamster's teeth. They also offer better ventilation. However, they can be noisy when in use, and some models can also pose a risk of leg injuries.
Choose a wheel that is solid, sustainable and safe for your hamster. Make sure that the materials you choose are non-toxic and that they will resist your pet's bites.
Type of wheels: open or closed?
Hamster wheels come in two main forms:
This is the most common wheel. It can be attached to the cage walls or placed on the floor. Please note: it is important to make sure that the spaces between the bars are narrow enough to prevent your hamster from getting its tail or legs stuck.
Therefore, choose models with plastic bars and with a spacing adapted to the size of your pet.
Enclosed wheels, also known as silent wheels, have a fully enclosed running surface with no bars, which greatly reduces the risk of injury. They are also often quieter than open wheels. However, ventilation may not be as good in this type of wheel, and some animals may be reluctant to use them at first if they don't see an exit.
When choosing between open and closed wheels, consider both your hamster's safety and activity level. Some hamsters prefer closed wheels, while others will not use them at all.
Cleaning and maintenance
To ensure the safety (and comfort) of your little one when using his wheel:
- Check the condition of the wheel regularly and replace it if you notice any signs of wear.
- Place the wheel in a quiet, out of the way area heat sourcessuch as near a radiator or a sunny window.
- Clean the wheel regularly with a damp cloth and a non-toxic cleaner to prevent the growth of bacteria.
To facilitate the access to the wheel and encourage its use, think also to arrange the environment of your hamster:
- Make sure your cage is large enough to accommodate the wheel and allow your pet to move freely.
- Create a play area with tunnels, pipes or bridges to stimulate your hamster's physical and mental activity.
Beware of the noise!
Finally, consider the noise level the wheel makes when your hamster runs on it. Many hamster owners complain about the noise caused by the wheels at night, as these nocturnal animals like to run for hours on end. A silent wheel can be an excellent investment to ensure the peace of mind of your home.
Choosing the right wheel for your hamster requires consideration of size, materials, wheel type, maintenance and noise level. By studying these criteria, you will be able to select the best wheel to ensure the well-being and development of your furry friend?