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Finding the Right Exercise Wheel for your Chinchilla

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Rodents make excellent pets. There are people out there who pride themselves on being rat kings or queens; many people had gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, and chinchillas growing up and enjoy having them as pets. If you own a chinchilla, you’ll want your pet to be a happy camper.

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Rodents make excellent pets. There are people out there who pride themselves on being rat kings or queens; many people had gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, and chinchillas growing up and enjoy having them as pets. If you own a chinchilla, you’ll want your pet to be a happy camper. Here are some tips for finding the right exercise wheel for your chinchilla.

Chinchilla Cage

Choosing the Right Cage and Accessories

When you purchase a cage for your chinchilla, there should be some chew toys, a television and a wheel for exercise. That way, they’ll have plenty of things to do while they’re in the cage.  In order for the wheel to fit in properly, you should measure the door of the cage. Even though your pet will still get their outside exercise, a cage is strongly recommended for indoor exercise.

Chinchilla Wheel

Getting Used to the Wheel

Sometimes, your pet chinchilla may not adapt to the wheel right away. Don’t fret – sometimes it may take them a while to get acclimated, especially since it’s new to them. Older chinchillas don’t adapt to change well, and it may take them longer to get used to it. It could take weeks, or even months for them to get acclimated to the device. When they do, they usually like it and take a liking to the wheel, especially when they realize that it’s benefiting them.

Chinchilla House

Take Safety Precautions

Another aspect of having a wheel in your pet’s cage is safety. You have to make sure that they are able to exercise on a running surface. The surface should be solid or made from mesh. The measurements should be no more than a ½ inch X ½ inch – anything more than that can result in the chinchilla having leg, foot or toe injuries. Their lower extremities are very delicate and can result in amputation if not attended to properly.

As with chew toys, the wheels should not be made of plastic.  Plastic can harm your pet by causing issues with their intestinal area. The pet can chew and ingest the plastic pieces which can cause this.  If you use a wheel with spokes, you are asking for trouble.  Not only can your pet chinchilla face injury to their arms or legs, the risk of having their limbs amputated increases.

Chinchilla

Even your pet can sense when there’s danger with these types of wheels. When that happens, they’re reluctant to exercise on them. These wheels are not recommended to be installed in their cages; if you do use them, you are not looking out for your pet’s best interests. Another type of wheel, called a safe wheel, has screws in the inside centre. They seem to have more fun on this type of wheel because of the decreased danger.

If you find abnormal issues with your pet after getting on the wheel, you should stop until your find out what’s going on. If you are unsure about what type of wheel to purchase, contact your local pet store or consult with your local veterinarian.

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