Exercise wheels provide the exercise and fun your small pet needs. The following information can help you choose the best wheel to enhance your pet's home and health.
Allow time for adjustment
Most small pets take to exercise wheels like ducks to water. However, some pets may initially be overly cautious or frightened. If your pet seems hesitant, don't force him to use the wheel. Simply place it in his cage and he'll likely investigate it and learn to use it happily. You can also place a few small treats inside the wheel for added encouragement.
Be aware of potential dangers for babies
If your small pet is still a baby, it is wise to wait to introduce an exercise wheel until he is older (and bigger) to use it without risk of injury. Also, if your pet is due to give birth and you have an exercise wheel already in the cage, remove the wheel temporarily to prevent the babies from accidentally getting trapped in or underneath the wheel. Replace the wheel when babies are big enough to use the wheel safely.
Choose the correct size
If you have a pet destined to grow significantly, you should purchase a range of exercise wheels that allow ample room at any stage of growth. Or, purchase a large wheel that he will simply grow into. If you do not use the proper size wheel, your small pet can suffer painful back injuries. For example, Flying Saucers are available in three sizes, for pets ranging in size from small mice to chinchillas. To ensure your pet has enough room to run comfortably and safely, be sure to check size designations when choosing an exercise wheel.
Discourage tail injuries
If your small pet has a tail, choose an exercise wheel with solid or mesh construction. Otherwise, he can snag his tail and suffer serious injuries. Solid and mesh wheels also offer a more stable footing, which promotes better foot health.
End the "squeaks"
If your pet's wheel becomes a squeaky nuisance, simply place a few drops of vegetable oil or baby oil on its axle. (Be aware, however, that vegetable oil must be periodically cleaned and replaced, since it will eventually become rancid.) You can also use wax from crayons. Avoid using butter, which your pet will likely lick off the wheel before it can have any effect. A Silent Spinner offers your pet all the benefits of an exercise wheel without the noise. Never use mechanical lubricants such as WD-40®; these can be toxic to your pet. Repeat your selected "silencing process" as necessary to minimize squeaking and maximize your sanity.
With a little planning, research, and insight into your pet's needs, you can successfully choose a wheel that provides the entertainment and exercise your pet needs to thrive.