Hamsters may be small, but they're incredibly fast, and these two hamsters just love to run!
If you don't have hamsters at home, then you might not be aware of just how active these little guys are. Hamsters are actually incredibly fast, which makes sense - they're prey, so being able to quickly get themselves to cover could mean the difference in their survival. Problem is, when we have hamsters in captivity, we limit the amount of space available to them.
Enter the hamster wheel. This simple device is responsible for keeping millions of hamsters happy and fit. Just ask the pair of Russian dwarf hamsters in this video. They clearly adore their wheel and spend lots of time showing off their speed. Now if they could just learn to share....
Hamsters are naturally most active during the dawn and dusk hours, but I've also found that they love to run right around midnight. Because of their natural schedules this may mean that you have to cope with the banging and squeaking of a hamster wheel while you're trying to sleep.
When buying a hamster wheel, look for one which runs smoothly. Plastic wheels tend to be quieter than metal wheels, but your hamsters may also chew the plastic wheels so they won't last as long.
If you opt to use a metal wheel, then you may find that the metal stands bang against the bottom of your hamster cage. You can cut out a piece of cardboard to place under the wheel, reducing the noise. You'll also want to grease the wheel regularly, or the squeaking will drive you crazy. I've found that a bit of cooking oil on a toothpick allows you to grease the wheel without getting the oil everywhere.
Hamsters make great pets, but they certainly need their exercise in order to keep them happy and fit.