How To Get A Hedgehog To Use His Wheel!

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Hedgehogs are unique pets and can live an average life span from 5 years to 8 years. They are a quiet pet to have because they are often asleep in their cages; they are also entertaining when they are awake and alert. Since hedgehogs sleep for almost 18 hours in a day, they need to have their exercise because they become obese with no activity. They are mostly asleep during the day and will be hungry during nighttime or late evenings. 

Things To Consider When Buying A Wheel For Your Hedgehog

  • The wheel should be big enough so the rotation is better.
  • Check the product used for the wheel and see if any protrusions may hurt your hedgehog while the wheel is rotating.
  • Wheels need to be sturdy and do not topple easily.
  • Wheels should not be too noisy.
  • Wheels should have a solid bottom to avoid a hedgehog wheel accident.
  • The wheel must be easy to maintain and clean.
Our Recommended

Hedgehog Wheel

One of the main reasons that we see hedgehogs not running in their wheels is due to the wheel that they are provided with having been designed for another type of animal. If you do own a hedgehog then the Exotic Silent Runner is probably one of, if not the best option on the market right now. Hedgehogs tend to love using it and as it has been specifically designed for hedgehogs, they tend to be able to jump right now it and run as they please. The wheel also has a ton of great independent reviews from other hedgehog owners that you can read about the wheel too.

Benefits Of The Wheel To Your Hedgehogs

  • Not only that, it serves as an exercise for your hedgehog, but it will also improve his overall being, eventually.
  • The wheel is great stimulation for your hedgehog, especially at night when it is awake, and just there in his cage, with a wheel, he will while away his time.
  • Obesity decreases with the use of the wheel.
  • It avoids fatty liver because of constant exercise.
  • The wheel is an excellent addition to his cage.

Here Are The Top Reasons Your Hedgehog May Suddenly Stop Playing With His Wheel.

  • The wheel may not be right for your hedgehog. To the simple size of the wheel, to the wheel rotation difficulty, it may mean an enormous difference to your hedgehog.
  • Hedgehog may have a hard time using his wheel. Is it a newly installed wheel, did you do something with it or have you cleaned it recently? You should also check for dirt, as these may also contribute to the rotation process.
  • He may have some health issue that is not easily noticeable. Your hedgehog perhaps is feeling under the weather. You should notice changes in his weight, diet, and behavior.
  • He may have a weight issue. You should know his weight gain or weight loss. If he is gaining weight too fast, it must be his diet. You should check if you need to give him less food or find a nutritious alternative.
  • He might be bored with what he’s doing. Hedgehog can be like people that sometimes they get irritated or bored with continuous activity with no other alternative activity in view.
  • Other environmental factors. A minor reason such as your house was newly painted, or you have bought a fresh home fragrance can be a reason your hedgehog is acting differently. Sometimes an acquisition of a new pet can be the reason behind and your hedgehog is still adjusting.

Other Exercise Activities For Your Pet Hedgehog 

Soccer ball – buy a compact soccer ball for him to play with, you can put up a makeshift goal for your hedgehogs to play for a few minutes while he is active and wide awake.

Domino playing – in his play area, you can place distinct shapes of wood that are neither thick or heavy but should be manageable by a hedgehog. Place it like in dominoes where one can push succeeding pieces when one stumbles on to the next piece.

Bowling – there are toy stores that sell mini bowling pins, this can be used by your hedgehog as an exercise tool. 

Running around – you have to let him out of the cage once in a while and let him play in the play area, this will ensure that he is getting enough exercise even just by running around the four corners of his playpen. 

And the most important exercise activity for your hedgehog is their wheel.

Hedgehogs need a wheel so they can run and exercise, that is what they love to do which is running for a long period. You need to double-check the quality of the wheel though, and what is it made of before you buy a wheel for your hedgehogs. Some wheels cause injury to their legs, and feet and their back, most especially if the wheels have wide gaps, or if there are protruding wires that may cause your hedgehog to trip or get his nails in these wires. Hedgehogs don’t immediately get accustomed to using the wheels inside their cages but since they are awake most of the night, it is, therefore, advisable to get them to use their wheel. 

Hedgehogs need to be wide awake before you can teach it some new tricks, it will just be a waste of time if your pet is still hazy from sleep then you will teach him how to wheel. He should be active while training is in session.

Next, you can then place him on the wheel and show to him the wheel movement by holding one hand in front of the wheel acting to push it forward. Hedgehog will probably pick up this training as long as you will keep on showing him how to use the wheel, he will soon pick it up. You may need to do this in an area away from the cage so you can have more room for movement. You can fix a designated area for your hedgehog to serve as his play and training area.

For you to confirm whether your hedgehog is using his wheel, you may have to wake up in the middle of the night and check on your pet since they are awake most of the night and this makes them pass the time.

Or, you may decide to have a distinct wheel to install such as wheels that can make a small sound while it is being used. That way, even if it is in the middle of the night, you will have an idea at least of how your hedgehog is spending his time.