Fitness in the Cage: the Balance Bike for the Hamster

Hamsters are nimble, agile and prefer to be on the move a lot. In the wild, they have to be too, since it is a matter of getting food without becoming the prey of natural enemies at the same time. The nocturnal animals therefore often travel long distances after dark. When kept in a cage, many small mammals do not have the opportunity to pursue their urge to move.

Accessories for Hamsters Put an End to Boredom

The result: obesity and the resulting health problems such as digestive disorders and heart and circulatory diseases. In fact, it has been proven that boredom and indolence significantly shorten the lives of animals. Controlled free run is therefore important when keeping hamsters, but at least as much a varied cage with species-appropriate accessories for hamsters. The classic shouldn’t be missing here: the balance bike. Hamsters love to use this, the uniform type of movement suits them very well. Nevertheless, you should pay attention to a few points – when you buy the bike and later when it is offered to the animal.

Experts Recommend Using a Hard Plastic Impeller

There are different materials, experts rather recommend the variant made of hard plastic instead of a wooden impeller, as this is quiet, easy to use, and does not lead to overexertion. But you should make sure that the bike is big enough. The diameter for a golden hamster should be at least 25 to 30 cm, for dwarf hamsters a minimum diameter of 20 cm is recommended. Otherwise, the hamster can have back problems because its spine flexes too much when running. Because of the risk of injury, it is also important that the walking surface is closed. The hamster could become trapped and seriously injured on wheels with rungs. Furthermore, the rear wall should be closed and the entry side without cross braces, because these too can lead to massive injuries.

When Will the Balance Bike Be Offered?

The right model is sure to be enthusiastically accepted by your animal darling. However, you have to make sure that it doesn’t run all the time and uninterruptedly. If he turns out to be a true “balance bike junkie” and can no longer be moved away from the play equipment, do not offer this exercise option around the clock, but only from time to time. If the wheel is not available, the hamster should still know what to do in its varied play world in the cage.

Rats Also Appreciate the Accessories for the Hamster

Incidentally, rats also appreciate the balance bike. You should choose a special rat wheel, however, since legs and tails can easily become trapped in hamster wheels that are too small. A suitable model has a smooth running surface and has no cross struts.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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