Choosing a Hamster Ball
Although hamster balls might all seem the same, subtle differences can have a huge impact on your pet’s experience, so you need to keep your eye on several features before making a purchase.
When shopping for hamster balls, you’ll notice that they come in many different sizes. It’s critical that you pick a ball which matches the size of your hamster, as too large and they’ll struggle to move it, and too small and they’ll struggle to get in it. Make sure to check what the full adult size of your hamster’s breed is to avoid making a big (or little) mistake!
Colour isn’t just an aesthetic when it comes to hamster balls, and some designs are far better for your pet’s health than others. Dark colours naturally absorb more heat, which means when used to decorate a ball they could potentially expose your hamster to overheating. Dark colours also make it more difficult to observe your pets welfare in the ball and so it really is best to go with light-coloured and transparent options.
Due to the high energy hamsters are creating in their ball, heat can build up quickly as well as any ammonia from their droppings. This can put them under threat of dehydration and inhaling noxious fumes. To combat this problem, hamster balls should really have at least a few large holes to help ventilate and circulate the air.
Hamster balls can get very dirty very quickly thanks to your pet leaving droppings and the ball’s ventilation allowing it to pick up lots of dust. Therefore they need cleaning before and after every use, so try and choose one which is easy to take apart and fast to clean.
Why Hamster Balls Are Useful
Hamsters are incredibly active creatures in the wild and can amazingly clock up to 6 miles a day. However, when kept as pets, we keep them in a cage to ensure they don’t get lost, meaning there’s no way for them to act on their biological instincts. Hamster balls, therefore, help them fulfil this instinct and also provide a host of physical benefits.
Due to hamsters living in a cage and being given free food by you, there’s a very real chance they could become obese without exercise! Regular activities such as an exercise ball can help a hamster maintain a healthy weight. A lack of exercise causes a whole host of health issues in your pet, including problems such as bone and muscle degeneration, which can in severe cases lead to paralysis!
Hamster balls also offer a fun way to interact with your furry friend and can also be used as a convenient space for them to be housed while you clean their cage.
How To Use A Hamster Ball
Using a hamster ball is not as simple as just chucking your hamster in and letting them run wild. They are rules to using them effectively, so make sure you’re aware of them before you purchase!
Keep lid secure
It’s integral that you make sure any lids are doors are twisted tightly shut to ensure there’s no way of your hamster falling out at high speeds. If the ball is not secure, your pet could potentially injure themselves
Hamsters should be supervised by an adult at all times when in an exercise ball to make sure they are happy and are staying active and alert. This is important especially if there are small children or other pets in the house, as non-gentle handling of the ball cold harm the hamster inside.
Limit roll time
A common misconception about hamster balls is that they can be used for long periods of time. Although hamsters have high energy, leaving them in a ball for longer than 30 minutes is cruel as they can become overtired and stressed very easily.
You should also never force a hamster to roll in their ball or get in if they seem agitated, nervous or sleepy! Sometimes they just don’t want to exercise!
Direct sunlight can cause a hamster to overheat very quickly when inside a plastic ball!
Avoid stairs and heights
It goes without saying that falling down a flight of stairs in a hamster ball could very well be a fatal activity. Keep hamster balls on the floor or in a penned off area where they are away from heights that could cause serious damage.