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Pet Peeves: My Hamster Hates Her Wheel!

Q: My hamster, Nibbles, doesn't ever seem to want to go on her wheel. I never hear it squeaking at night and I'm constantly watching her during the day, and she hates it. When I try to coax her on, she hops right off – my mice were always on their wheel, what's wrong with this hamster of mine?

A: My first tip would be to test out some new wheels. If you own the plastic or wire version with rungs (or this grid pattern), it could be turning off your hamster – these can be painful for small pets because tiny feet can get stuck between the rungs or in the gaps so some animals will hesitate to hop on. I'd recommend testing out a solid plastic type (such as this one) to see if you have any more success.

If you're not into buying a new wheel, though, create a quick fix by removing the existing wheel and weaving a sheet of paper in and out of the rungs or securely attaching it around the outside, making the surface flat and creating a solid wheel instead.

Lastly, some pets prefer different forms of exercise, just like people – you couldn't catch me on a treadmill! If you feel your furry friend isn't getting enough exercise, try giving her more space to roam or even a Run-About Ball instead.

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