Hamster balls can be a wonderful toy for your hamster to play in. They allow the hamster to explore and move around the house without you having to worry too much about them escaping and getting into trouble. The excercise they can get is very excellent for a hamsters health. Despite however fun they may be for you and your friend, they do come along with some dangers that you need to be aware of.
Hamster ball dangers
You should always be supervising your little friend while hes joyfully rolling around in his ball. While being exploring in the ball beats him getting lost outside of it, he can still get hurt or in trouble if your not careful.
Some things to watch out for are:
- Hard floors: You should only use the ball on carpets as the hard floor will cause the ball to move way to fast for your little friend to handle.
- No other pets around: Never let your hammy run around in his ball around other pets. As you can imagine, they might think its a toy made for them leading to detriment for your hamster.
- Once a day and no more than 20 minutes: Dont leave your hammy in the ball for longer than about 20 minutes, and put him in it no more often than once a day.
- No Stairs or other obstacles: Make sure that the hamsters rolling area contains no stairs or other objects that he might fall off of.
- Take him out when the hamster is stressed: If your friend seems upset or purturbed than its best to go ahead and take him out to roll on some other day.
Putting your hamster inside the ball
If your hammy is alert and seems in a playful mood then it might be a good time for a roll around in the ball. Leave him alone if hes sleepy or grouchy, the experience will turn into a negative for you and your friend.
- Step one: Carefully place the ball inside the hamster cage with the door open. Patiently let him sniff and check out the ball, he needs to be allowed to go inside the ball on his own. If he doesnt get in then it means that now is just not the best time for him to roll around
- Step 2: Once he’s in the ball then considerately close the door and put a few strips of tape over it to help make sure it doesnt randomly open while hes playing.
- Step 3: Close off a safe area with as little hard objects as possible and no stairs or other dangerious drop offs. Gently Place the ball on the floor and let him run until he gets tired or 20 minutes have passed.
- Step 4: When he seems tired or hes scratching hard at the ball door, then its time for his play to end. Simply reverse the process, Carefully place the ball back in his cage and remove the tape, then open the door to let him out.
Important: Dont leave him too long in the ball, as he cant rest, drink or eat his food while inside the ball. After the fun rolling time is over, Wash and disinfect the ball with the same disinfectant you use for his cage. Your going to want to keep it nice and sanity for the benefit of both you and your pet.
Choosing the Right hamster ball
The ball needs to be a solid plastic ball with no little holes or openings that your small friend legs can get stuck in and hurt. Your also going to need to the correctly sized ball according to the size and breed of your hamster. While there are no cut and dry rules for size, It needs to be big enough just like his wheel so that his back is not arched when hes running around. However, you also do not want it to be too large for him, because then he wont have enough control over it and just get tossed around like laundry in a dryer.
Generally for dwarf breeds of hamster, the ball should be about 6 inches in diameter. While for the big hamsters like the Syrian/golden hamster your going to want a bigger ball around 8 inches in diameter or so.