In this article, we will be taking a look at how to get a hedgehog to use his wheel. Running wheels can be an excellent and cheap form of exercise for your hedgehog. Some breeds of hedgehog have been known to run for up to ten miles each day on their wheels.
A common problem for hedgehog owners is that some hedgehogs simply show no interest in their running wheel. Additionally, some wheels are ususally too small for hedgehogs or too loud when in use. Our hope is that this article will help you solve all these problems quickly and easily.
How To Get A Hedgehog To Use His Wheel
A common reason that your hedgehog won’t show interest in their wheel is due to not understanding what it is or what it’s for. Whereas some hedgehogs will jump on their wheels instantly as run as if it’s second nature to them, others need a little encouragement.
How To Teach A Hedgehog To Use A Wheel
One simple way to help your hog understand what the wheel is for is to put them on their wheel and block their exit for a short time. This can be done by placing something like a book near the side of the wheel. Try to leave a small gap between the book and the wheel to ensure that there is both airflow and no additional friction preventing the wheel from spinning.
As your hedgehog spends more time on the wheel, it is more likely to understand its purpose. If you see any signs of stress of anxiety in your hog instantly remove the book and let it off the wheel if it chooses.
Although it may seem that your hedgehog is not using its wheel, it may just be that your hedgehog is using it when you aren’t around. An easy way to check if your hedgehog is using it wheel while you are not around is to add a thin layer of flour to it.
Each time you pass your hedgehogs cage, check its wheel for signs of footprints left in the flour. It is relatively common for hedgehogs to only use their wheels during the night or when its dark.
Taking Advantage Of Treats
Another common way to attract your hogs attention to its running wheel is to put treats on the wheel. If possible, try jam treats into holes around the wheel to encourage your hog to work and climb to get them. This can teach your hog that the wheel will move and can be a fun form of exercise.
Our ultimate hedgehog food list contains a number of different treats that hedgehogs love. You can use any of these as bait to try and get your hog using its wheel.
Adjusting The Height
Another common problem with hedgehog wheels is that owners often put them too high up. Hedgehogs legs are short and they have no real ability to jump high. Putting your wheel even an inch too high can result in your hedgehog not being comfortable enough to get on and use the wheel.
The below video shows just how much enjoyment a hedgehog can get from their wheel.
If your hedgehog is young (under six months of age) then its various quilling stages may have an effect on its activity levels. Due to this process, your hedgehog can be grumpy and not act like its regular self. Once the quilting process is over your hedgehog should quickly return to its normal self.
Just Not That Into It
Not all hedgehogs are the runner type. No matter what you try, your hedgehog may just prefer to chill out, eat or sleep rather than jump on its wheel and run. If this is the case, there is little that you will be able to do to get your hedgehog running.
The Best Hedgehog Running Wheel
It is has a twelve-inch diameter that is perfect for most hedgehog breeds to run on. Its unique design has been specifically designed for the quietest possible spinning when in use to minimize disruption. It is the perfect way to encourage your hedgehog to exercise and increase its health. Click here to read independent reviews of this wheel from hedgehog owners.
My Hedgehog Stopped Running On His Wheel
As we already touched on earlier in the article, if your hedgehog stopped using its wheel then it may be going through one of its quilling stages. This should stop at around the six months of age mark with your hedgehog returning to its normal self.
Injuries are another possible reason that your hedgehog won’t run on its wheel anymore. If you suspect that your hedgehog may be injured in some way then we advise that you take it to your local veterinarian for a checkup.