One of the most common questions that come up when taking care of pet chinchillas is being talked about, is if they do need exercise. The brief answer is yes. So, can wheels and balls for chinchillas be effective?
A simple explanation says that they need consistent exercise because being confined inside their cages may result in stress. A daily routine of physical activities is highly encouraged to keep their muscles toned and maintain their respiratory and circulatory health. Alongside a healthy diet and a secure home, adequate exercise plays a very crucial role too in achieving the best quality of life for our pets.
You may be wondering if it matters to include toys in their daily habit of exercise. They don’t necessarily need any of them but this decision solely depends on you. Running and jumping freely for an hour outside their cage can already be helpful daily. However, if you want to be a little extra pet owner and want to invest in toys, we surely support you.
As rodents, you may think of wheels and balls as the perfect playthings for your pet chinchilla. In this article, we will help you read through some essential information that you need to know before getting wheels and balls for chinchillas.
Exercise Wheels and Balls
Chinchillas have different preferences when it comes to their physical activities. Some may be a lot more active than the rest, and some might enjoy the toys more than others.
Generally, chinchillas love running and wheels can be of great help in this. Wheels allow your pets to run at full speed as a form of strenuous exercise. Furthermore, this can be a good way of alleviating stress.
The regular running wheels we see in the stores are not appropriate for chinchillas, though. This is because of the materials used, structure, design, and size which can hurt your pets. Our chinchillas are generally bigger than other pets that also use such running wheels. With this being said, they also need bigger wheels that would support their running activities without doing them any harm and causing any injury.
Issues like slipping their foot through the gap while running, gnawing on harmful materials, and damaging the wheels in no time, are some of the common results that may come out if we give them the wrong type of wheels. So, it matters to give them a toy that best suits their needs when it comes to fun and exercise.
The following are the recommended features of the exercise wheels that would be perfect for your chinchilla to avoid any issues.
- Minimum 14 to 16-inch diameter
- Strong running surface
- Minimum 5-inch-wide running surface
- Bolts or other materials in the side of the cage to secure wheels
- Built with safe and chew-proof materials
As to exercise balls, although they can be an alternative for wheels which we also find available in most pest stores, they are highly discouraged to use.
Balls can be dangerous for your rodents and here are some of the reasons why.
- Have slats that your pet’s feet may dangerously slip through
- The structure does not allow enough ventilation and may cause heatstroke
- Small interior surfaces influence your pet to run in an unnatural posture
Although we want our chinchillas to get the best exercise with fun and enjoyment, as pet owners, we also have to be wary of certain issues that may occur when we let them play with the mentioned toys.
Toys such as wheels and balls can be a good prompt for our pets to remain curious and active. However, a little carelessness may harm our pets and that is something that has to be avoided.
Before we make any purchases, it helps to do our little research. Above everything else, we want our chinchillas safe.
For the pet owners out there, keep in mind that one of the best ways to provide a quality life for our chinchillas is by creating a safe environment for them to exercise and do all their necessary activities.