This is a very important topic, because not only can the wrong wheel seriously hurt your hamster’s feet, but back as well.
Imagine hundreds of painful infected papercuts on each hand and foot. That’s called Bumblefoot, and it is caused by barred or mesh wheels. It is excruciating, and unnecessary. And Bumblefoot isn’t the only problem. Mesh and wire wheels pose the threat of getting a foot caught, then your hamster is dangling by its leg, which could cause serious injury, or even death. If a hamster is stuck, it will chew off its own leg to get free, then bleed to death. It is preventable; don’t get mesh wheels.
Solid Surface Wheel?
Solid surface wheels are the way to go. They prevent Bumblefoot and caught limbs, and are much more comfortable for the hamster to get exercise. Solid surface wheels look more fashionable, and are usually more stable. Sometimes solid surface wheels are a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it.
One of the biggest wheel problems when people purchase wheels that is too small. When a hamster runs in the wheel its back needs to be straight. If the hamster’s back is curved like a ‘U’ then the wheel is too small, and needs upgrading. The recommended sizes for each species are:
Syrian Hamster: 10″-12″
Chinese Hamster: 8″-10″
Campbell’s Hamster: 6 1/2″-8″
Winter White Hamster: 6 1/2″-8″
Roborovski Hamster: 6″-8″
Those are the recommended sizes, but you can always go bigger. The wheel can big as you’d like, so long as the hamster can still push it.
- Do not get wire wheels; they cause Bumblefoot, back pain, and caught limbs.
- Get solid surface wheels, they are prevent injury and are more comfortable.
- Make sure the wheel is big enough that the hamster’s back is not curving.
And if you’re interested in more hamster-related content be sure to like this post and follow the blog, and I’ll be back on Tuesday with more small pet care, DIYs, recipes, cage setups, stories and more, have a ham-tastic day!