Should Gerbils Have A Wheel? (What I Found)

So you want to get a gerbil but aren’t sure if it’s the right move or not. Well, if this is your first pet, then you really can’t go wrong with a gerbil. They make wonderful, fun, and exciting pets. Not only is there the cute factor, but they are amusing to watch, and they have the endearing quality of forging a tight bond not only with other gerbils but with their owners.

Still, there are some questions that you probably need to be answered before you decide for certain that this is the pet for you. Why should gerbils have a wheel? The answer to that is an absolute yes.

Should Gerbils Have A wheel?

Why Gerbils Should Have a Wheel

The number one reason gerbils require a wheel to run in is so that they can satisfy their daily exercise needs. Also, gerbils extremely enjoy running inside their wheel. Along with giving them away to burn up all of that excess energy that they have, it provides them with a fantastic form of entertainment.

Allowing them to run free indoors instead is not the best idea. Keep in mind that no matter how vigilant you are, you will simply not be able to ensure that your gerbils can run about the house without making a break for it, or that you won’t be interrupted while trying to keep an eye on them. 

This can result in them getting into mischief, running into other household pets that might not treat them as delicately as you would, or causing injury to themselves. If you love your pet, buy them a wheel.

Which Type of Wheel Should You Buy For Your Gerbils?

When you select a wheel for your gerbils, it’s essential to make sure that they have one that is the proper size, and made of solid plastic or mesh. Both of these things are crucial to the future happiness of your gerbils. Gerbils can’t run sufficiently in a wheel that is too small for them, and if they aren’t provided with a solid wheel then you run the risk that their tails can become entrapped in the wheel, which is horribly painful.

While you love your little buddies, gerbils are tricky little rascals and so you have to be constantly aware of what they are doing. They might just surprise you by chewing on their plastic exercise wheel. Chewing on things besides their dinner just comes naturally to gerbils, so they will eventually nibble on any available accessories found in their cage.

Knowing this, you should make an effort to choose wheels that are made from safe materials and have no toxic substances in them. You can, however, prevent — at least some of the time — your gerbils from chewing their plastic exercise wheel by buying extra toys for them to chew on instead. That should keep them busy…for a while.

Size and Shape of the Wheel For Your Gerbils

Hamster wheels are not for gerbils. this is because hamsters are smaller than gerbils, so in most instances, wheels that are sold specifically as being for hamsters aren’t large enough for gerbils to successfully run in. 

What makes an ideal size for a gerbil wheel is one that is around 7 or 8 inches in diameter. This gives your furry friends ample room to run to their heart’s content without having to do so at a disagreeable angle, which would effectively turn your gerbils off exercising. 

Plus, the wheel should be large enough so that your gerbil’s back can be held fairly straight while running.

Rather than a wheel with spaces between the rungs, gerbils must have a solid wheel with no openings around the running edge. A wheel with rungs is exceedingly dangerous for gerbils, as their tails can get caught in the openings as the wheel is spinning. It’s something that you don’t often hear about having happened, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur.

Risks Associated With Wheel For Your Gerbils

Any wheels that you consider buying for your gerbils should have a solid surface and a solid back wall. Never buy a wheel with rungs or cross-supports, as your gerbil’s tails or other body parts can easily become caught in and severely injured on wheels like these. 

Above all, keep in mind that gerbils have a habit of placing their heads inside of things in order to explore them, so wheels should certainly not come with spaces wide enough for your gerbils to poke their head inside. Furthermore, the wheel you choose should have no middle shaft design, because this can also harm your gerbil’s spine or tail.

Additionally, make certain that it is easy for your pet to get on and off of the wheel without snagging afoot, or otherwise injuring themselves. Just look how small their paws are. Accidents take only seconds to happen, so it’s always best to try to prevent them before they happen. Not only that, but it can save you a costly trip to the vet too.

Final Thoughts

So now you know that the answer to the question should a gerbil have a wheel is yes. Hopefully, this article has alerted you to some things you might not have known concerning gerbils. 

While all of the above information may make you wonder if gerbils aren’t more of a nuisance than you originally thought, the truth of the matter is that they aren’t very much trouble at all, as long as you are willing to take the necessary precautions to protect their health and well being that you would for any other pet. 

No pet is going to come with a label that says “needs no care” and that is why you should think carefully before getting any type of pet. But it’s all common sense and the charm and amusing antics, and the love gerbils give back to their owners make going that extra mile well worthwhile. 

They make such interesting and entertaining pets that you are going to find yourself wondering. what you ever did without them.

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