Animal behavior researchers and pet owners might differ on several things, but there is one element they both appreciate. This is that hamsters love their exercise wheels.
Some people opt out of getting a hamster when they realize their pets will spend a lot of time on the wheel. This is because most of the running happens at night since hamsters are crepuscular creatures.
The nighttime runs for them, therefore, mean annoying squeaking sounds that disturb their sleep. You need not negate the exercise wheel from your hamster’s cage or place the cage too far from your sleeping quarters.
The right choice of a hamster wheel ensures your pet can get enough exercise without making noise.
Here is a guide to guarantee you pick the best possible wheel for a dwarf hamster.
Best Dwarf Hamster Running Wheels
With so many brands on the market for exercise wheels, it is easy to get confused when shopping. Below is a review of the five leading alternatives for your dwarf hamster’s running wheel.
1. Zacro Silent Running Hamster Exercise Wheel
You can choose to mount it onto a cage’s wall or onto the stand that comes with it.
The lack of corners in Zacros’s hamster wheel design means there are no corners in which dust and pet droppings can accumulate then affect your hamster.
- The transparent design of the Zacro hamster wheel and its open design make it easy for you to clean.
- The wheel’s design does not have a center rod in which your hamster can entangle its tail.
- The wheel has ball bearings made of stainless steel, meaning that it can move smoothly and thus quietly.
- It is super easy to assemble the wheel.
- The wheel is exceptionally sturdy, so you should not worry about your hamster falling off.
- A hamster that chews heavily on things might easily break down the acrylic cover on the wheel’s metal.
2. Prevue Pet – Wire Mesh Hamster Wheel
The wire mesh hamster wheel by Prevue Pet Products has a six-inch diameter and a standalone design that allows its installation anywhere in a hamster’s cage.
The wire mesh is appropriately designed so that your pet’s paws do not get stuck in it, nor does the animal have a risk of falling through the mesh.
- A simple design that will make its cleaning easy.
- The wire mesh will withstand the chewing and gnawing of a hamster.
- There are four color options for the product, making it easy to match with the other accessories in your pet’s cage.
- You can use it inside and outside a hamster cage.
- The wire used to make this wheel is quite durable.
- The wheel is inexpensive when compared to similar ones on the market.
- The wheel might need constant oiling so that it does not squeak.
- It cannot be directly attached to the sides of a plastic cage.
3. Ware Manufacturing – Hamster Tread Exercise Wheel
Hamsters love the contraption since it looks like an open invitation for them to play.
With a height of 7.5 inches, a depth of 5 inches and an 8.75-inch width, the tread exercise wheel will fit into even small cages and leave plenty of space for your hamster to play.
- Has a pet tread to guarantee your hamster’s paws do not get caught in the wire mesh.
- The wheel has a powder coating, and the metal wire is chew-proof making it durable.
- This product is sturdy, so your hamster will not fall off it when exercising.
- Easy to clean.
- Will need constant oiling to prevent squeaking.
4. JEMPET Silent Running Wooden Exercise Wheel
This wheel is made of 100% wood that, unlike metal and plastic, has smooth motion meaning minimal noise.
You can opt for the small or mid-sized product from JEMPET for your hamster.
The small JEMPET exercise wheel measures 6.5×3.7×7.09 inches in length, width and height, respectively.
The medium-sized option has a length, width and height of 8.2, 4.72 and 9.2 inches, respectively.
- The wheel is super quiet.
- There is no risk of your hamster’s paws getting snagged into the wheel’s indentations.
- The wheel’s spinner is strong and durable.
- The wide and thick wooden base gives a reliable base support for the wheel.
- The closed back will keep your hamster from falling off when using the exercise wheel.
- If your hamster is a heavy chewer, it might chew through the wheel.
5. Petzilla Quite Hamster Exercise Wheel
The wood used in the Petzilla hamster exercise wheel guarantees its silence since the multiple parts included in metal and plastic wheels are negated.
The wheel comes with an implement for its attachment to the hamster cage and a stand that allows its independent use.
- The petzilla hamster wheel is silent.
- The materials used for the wheel are pet-safe and will not let odors linger.
- A solid running surface guarantees your pet’s delicate paws are not snagged in the wheel.
- The running tracks on the wheel are slip-resistant and offer an exceptional grip for your hamster’s paws.
- The metal stand might generate some noise when the wheel is in use.
Why Do Hamsters Run On The Exercise Wheel?
Hamsters are naturally active and have a lot of energy to survive in their natural environment, where they are food for several animals.
You thus should have a cage environment that supports exercise for the hamster to mirror its natural habitat.
Here are some reasons why hamsters will spend a lot of time running on their exercise wheels:
- Natural instinct: In the wild, hamsters will run for miles at night looking for food or escaping their predators. In captivity, there is little space in the cages for hamsters to run. The exercise wheel is meant to make up for the lack of space in the cage such that the hamster can run on it to cover the miles they would in the wild. This makes the animal comfortable in the cage and reduces its escape attempts.
- High energy diets: A hamster’s diet in captivity often comprises high-energy feeds that will make it hyperactive. Running on an exercise wheel is among the best ways to release this energy and burn calories to maintain a healthy weight when hamsters are placed in a cage.
- Boredom: An exercise wheel helps relieve the boredom associated with staying in the same caged surroundings for a long time. This is particularly important if there are no other toys to keep the hamster engaged.
How Much Do Hamsters Run On The Exercise Wheel?
The American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that hamsters can spend several hours on their exercise wheels and use them to cover the equivalent of a 6-mile run.
The hamster will, however, not cover this distance continuously. It will take several breaks for water and food before getting back on the wheel.
What Is The Best Wheel Size For A Dwarf Hamster?
The size of a hamster exercise wheel affects your pet’s health. If the wheel is too large, the hamster will be uncomfortable and might not use it as much as it should. On the other hand, when it is too small, the hamster will arch its back when using it.
This arching harms the hamster’s health since a straight back properly stretches the animal’s legs on the wheel. For a dwarf hamster, the ideal wheel should be at least 6 inches in diameter and should not be larger than 12 inches.
With the information above, you now know why your hamster needs an exercise wheel and are well-placed to pick the best one for it. Though beneficial, too much time on an exercise wheel can harm your hamster.
It can cause blisters and soles on the pet’s feet, lead to the hamster neglecting its young ones and cause extreme physical exhaustion.
To keep your hamster from getting addicted to its exercise wheel, include other toys in its cage to divert attention from the wheel. You can consider scattering food in different sections of the hamster’s cage so that it forages for it as it would in the wild.
This will keep it busy and help burn some energy. A few minutes daily outside the cage will also give the hamster a chance to run around while supervised and burn some energy without using the exercise wheel.