Do Pet Rats Need a Wheel?

Do Pet Rats Need a Wheel

While pet rat wheels aren’t necessary, there are many on the market to choose from, and they provide a healthy form of exercise. Once you decide your pet rats need a wheel, you’ll want to evaluate the options to choose the right pet rat wheel.

Today we’re discussing pet rat wheels to see which option makes sense for your furry friends and their cage. We’re going to share detailed information such as what to look for in a pet rat wheel, how to buy a pet rat wheel, and why your pet rats may want a wheel. This information will help you determine whether you wish to provide your pet rats with an exercise wheel or not.

Do pet rats need a wheel?

The number one reason people feel that pet rats do not need a wheel is that it can damage their spin, harm their tail, or curve their body. The problem with this negative thought of whether pet rats need a wheel or not is that exercise wheels have come a long way since pet rat wheels were created.

Manufacturers of pet rat wheels have created them with the pet rat’s long tail, feet, and body in mind. While we can all agree that your pet rats need exercise, the pet rat wheel isn’t the only exercise option; therefore, it’s not a necessity. The pet rat wheel is an accessory that you can purchase as an additional exercise option for otherwise healthy and active pet rats.

Tips for buying pet rats a wheel

Rat Wheel

With so many pet wheels on the market, it’s easy to think that pet rats need a wheel. The various options of pet wheels must provide safety for the pet rats’ tail, their fur, and little feet. Some pet rat wheels come with additional options, such as a rough surface for your pets to wear down their nails. Other pet rat wheels provide a cover to keep your pet rat’s tail protected during exercise.

Now that you’ve decided that your pet rats need a wheel make sure the wheel is no less than 12″ in size. This will reduce the risk of your pet rats’ spine curving too much during exercise. Your pet rat’s new exercise wheel should not be made of mesh or wire. Materials such as mesh or wire increase the risk of your pet rat’s tail and feet being harmed during exercise.

Another consideration for buying pet rats’ wheel is to see if they have a silent option. Your pet rats will be awake all night long, so a noisy wheel is going to drive your house crazy. There are options for pet rat exercise wheels that make little to no noise. The Silent Runner is a brand that some purchase on Amazon for the best low-noise option pet rat wheel.

What is the perfect size wheel for my pet rat?

If you’re still determined that your pet rats need a wheel and would like to buy our pet rat the perfect size wheel, then let’s discuss this more. The perfect size wheel for your pet rat would be a minimum of 12″, but ultimately the size of the wheel is determined based on the size of your pet rat.

You’ll want the pet rats’ wheel to be large enough for your pet rat to exercise and move around comfortably without getting injured. A larger pet rat will need a larger silent runner-style exercise wheel. Below we have the three-wheel size options for pet rats based on the size of your furry pet.

  • For Small Pet Rats – The small pet rats need a wheel that’s 11 inches
  • For Medium Pet Rats – The medium pet rats need a wheel that’s 12 inches.
  • For Large Pet Rats – The large pet rats need a wheel that’s 15 inches.

Safety issues that arise from small pet rat wheels

There are some safety issues to think about when you decide your pet rats need a wheel. If your pet rats’ wheel is too small, they can suffer from muscle, nerve, spine, and back injuries. These injuries could be permanent for your pet rat.

This is why you must read all reviews of each of the pet rat wheels you’re debating the purchase of. You’ll want to make sure your pet rats’ cage has ample room for the particular exercise wheel. You’ll need to make sure the wheel is made for pet rats, not for pet mice or other pet rodents.

In what ways can pet rats get exercise without a wheel?

There are plenty of other ways your pet rats can get exercise if you’ve decided your pet rats don’t need a wheel. You can provide your pet rats with a room that’s rat-safe for them to run for at least thirty minutes each day.

Provide your pet rats with cardboard boxes, tunnels, and other toys so they can enjoy stimulated playtime while running around with each other. Some pet rat owners purchase a playpen that’s pet rat safe such as those used for pet bunnies or puppies inside. You can let your pet rats exercise with or without a pet rat wheel; choose whether your pet rats need a wheel or not based on their current lifestyle and activity level.

Deciding if you need a wheel for your pet rat

In conclusion, some people feel pet rats need a wheel while others steer clear of this exercise option. Pet rats that are given ample time to run outside of their cage and wear off their energy regularly may not benefit from a pet rat wheel inside their cage.

The key to deciding whether or not your pet rats need a wheel is to consider all of the information we shared above, read the reviews of each pet rat wheel you’ve been looking at, and make a decision based on what you feel your pet rats need most.

Use our size references above to purchase the 12-15 inches size pet rat wheel, and keep a close eye on your pet rats when they first use the wheel to ensure the product is perfect for your furry pets.

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Emily Sanders

I'm Emily Sanders, an avid lover of pet rats and small household pets. Most of all, I adore my fancy pet rats and love sharing insightful and helpful information with others willing to learn about rats. If you're new to the world of pet rats, you'll find many of my pet rat guides of great use for getting acquainted. I hope to help you become an avid pet rat lover too.

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