Made of a safe material, with a closed running surface and sufficiently large: these are the most important characteristics for a species-appropriate hamster wheel.
What should you look for in detail when buying a hamster wheel? We tell you.
Hamster Wheel As The Basis Of A Species-appropriate Hamster Enclosure
You’ve probably already read up on your future pet – and learned that it’s an extremely active rodent.
For this reason, the cage for the hamster, made of wood or glass, must have minimum dimensions of 100x50x50 cm. However, the area is still not enough to satisfy the strong urge to move. Therefore, the basic equipment in the hamster enclosure necessarily includes a hamster wheel.
In Case Of Doubt: Choose Bigger!
The wheel must have an inner diameter of at least 25 centimeters for dwarf hamsters and at least 27 centimeters for golden hamsters. Larger is always better!
The reason: If the wheel is too small, the rodent must run in a stooped position. This leads to pain and physical impairments in the long term. Only those who give a home to a particularly small dwarf – for example a Roborowski – can use the 20 centimeter small wheels.
Important: Dealers usually specify the outer diameter with the impellers. Therefore, you still have to subtract something from the measurements if you want to buy a hamster wheel and find out the inner diameter.
The Material Question: Hamster Wheel Made Of Wood, Cork Or Plastic?
If the nocturnal rodent is in your bedroom, the hamster wheel should be quiet. This requirement is met by wheels with a cork running surface, which also protect the hamster’s paws while running. Mostly such a hamster wheel is made of wood. Alternatively, you can also choose a complete wooden wheel without cork insert.
Important for hamster keeping: The wheel must always have a closed running surface. Struts and interruptions in the wheel can cause the hamster to injure itself or run its paws bloody.
The advantage of cork is that it is comparatively easy to clean if your hamster is a wheel-pincher. This also applies to plastic alternatives. These are usually cheaper, but not as quiet.
No-Gos With The Wheel
Whether plastic wheel or hamster wheel made of wood: The important “piece of furniture” of your hamster must not have a scissor effect.
This means that one side of the wheel should be completely open. Solid struts on the “exit side” or an additional stand can lead to dangerous injuries.
A running plate for the hamster is also not an alternative to the plastic or wooden running wheel. This should be offered at most under observation in the free run as a nice addition.
A sufficiently large running wheel with a closed running surface and without a scissor effect will bring joy to your rodent. If the hamster wheel should be quiet, we recommend the variant with cork. On the other hand, the plastic alternatives are budget-friendly.