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Safety Tips for Hamster Runabouts

June 15, 2016

Do you have a pet hamster? If so, you have an adorable little pal! One thing that has become more popular for hamsters is the runabout, or exercise wheel. Runabouts can be lots of fun for Hammie, but they can also be very dangerous if not used properly. In this article, a Thorold, ON vet offers tips on letting your hamster use his exercise wheel.

Shop Wisely

Do some research before you buy a runabout. Be sure to choose one that is the correct size for your pet. Your furry pal could be seriously hurt in an exercise wheel that is too big or too small for him! Look for one with great reviews and safety ratings.


Don’t leave your hamster in his little wheel for too long. About 10-15 minutes at a time is plenty. Even if your tiny furball loves his runabout, it’s better to offer him multiple shorter sessions than run the risk of exhausting him.

Flat Surfaces Only

Never let your pet roll around in his runabout near stairways. Hammie could be seriously hurt if he rolls down a staircase! We don’t recommend bringing your pet’s exercise ball outdoors, but if you do let Hammie play outside, watch him closely, and keep him away from pools, hills, and other potential dangers.


You’ll need to wash and disinfect your hamster’s exercise ball after each use. Use hot water and dish soap. Rinse well, and then pat it dry with a paper towel.

Safe Zone

If you have other pets, keep Fido and Fluffy in other rooms when Hammie is out and about in his ball. Your dog or cat may not be able to resist batting your hamster around, and could seriously hurt the little guy!


Never let Hammie roll around unsupervised. Keep a close eye on your furry pal when he’s in his runabout.

Let Hammie Choose

Just like any other animal, hamsters all have their own individual personalities. Some of these little furballs love being in runabouts, while others find the experience terrifying. Watch Hammie closely, and see how he reacts. If your tiny pet seems scared, put him back in his cage, and get him a new toy instead.

Please contact us, your local Thorold, ON animal hospital, with any questions about hamster care. We are here to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs!

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