An active Hedgehog is a happy Hedgehog. In the wild, Hedgehogs are very active in running, finding food, and digging burrows. In order to provide them plenty of activity when owned as pets, the running wheel seems like a natural solution.
The wrong size of the wheel or even a jammed wheel can stop your Hedgehog from using it. A Hedgehog that is ill or has an injury may stop running on their wheel. Also, your Hedgehog might sometimes get easily bored of the wheel. Lastly, a Hedgehog may never use its wheel just because it is not in a proper place.
You must watch your Hedgehog closely, it will help you reveal their issue. Whatever explanation is founded by watching your little pet’s behaviors or actions, you need to appropriate steps to solve the issue.
No matter what the cause is, the rest of this article will help you get to the root of the problem (and help you fix it).
The Wheel Might Not Be Of The Right Size Or Design
Each hedgehog has a different shape and size. Therefore, you need to make sure that the wheel you get for your Hedgehog is of the right size.
If the wheel of your Hedgehog is too big, then there are high chances that it will have a hard time pushing the wheel around.
On the other hand, if the size of the wheel is too small, then it will compel your Hedgehogs to curve its back while running on the wheel. A curved wheel can also cause pain and spinal problems to our Hedgehogs.
If your Hedgehog is pretty large, then I would recommend a wheel at least 8 inches in diameter. If you’ve got a particularly large Hedgehog, then you may even need to go bigger than that.
If you have a smaller Hedgehog, you’ll need a much smaller wheel. A wheel with a diameter between 4.5 and 6.5 inches should work for most small Hedgehogs.
The Wheel Might Be Jammed
There are high chances that your Hedgehog is not using its wheel because it is jammed.
Such problems are highly common amongst the silent spinner wheels. There are several owners who chose to use such wheels because they do not want to be bothered by constant wheel squeaking.
If you have provided your Hedgehog with one such wheel, then take the wheel out of the cage and check if it spins easily.
If it’s stiff and takes considerable effort to move it, you should consider buying a new wheel.
Your Hedgehog Might Be Injured Or Ill
If your Hedgehog is injured or ill, then there is a high probability that it will not use its wheel.
Listed below are some of the signs that will tell you that your Hedgehog is sick:
- Usually falling of its quills
- Runny nose
- Watery discharge from eyes
- Dull and sunken eyes
- Lethargic behaviour
- No interest in food or water
Now, listed below are some of the signs that will tell you that your Hedgehog is injured:
- They do not use a particular leg
- Constant screaming while walking
- Visible bloodstains
- Visible cuts or scrapes on your pet’s body.
If you notice any of these signs, you should consider taking your hedgehog to the vet. Unfortunately, it’s tough to diagnose what the actual problem is yourself. It’s best left to a trained professional.
Your Hedgehog Might Have Be Bored Of The Wheel
There are chances that your Hedgehog might get bored of their wheels over time.
If your tiny pet has ample space in their cage, then they might prefer running around in the open to running on a stationary wheel.
You can try spending some time observing your Hedgehog and see if it’s active while it isn’t on the wheel.
You must not worry if your Hedgehog is running around and seems to be getting regular exercise. Just leave the wheel in place; your Hedgehog may go back to wheel-running eventually.
The Wheel Might Be Causing Pain To Your Hedgehog
While local pet stores will tell you that your Hedgehogs can use all types of wheels, in reality, not all wheels are suitable for our little pets.
Make sure that you do not get a wheel that has a wire mesh bottom. Wired bottoms make it pretty easy for Hedgehogs to lose their footing and slip their foot through the gaps between the wire.
Such experiences can be harrowing and scary for your Hedgehog. If your Hedgehog has had any terrible past experiences, then it might avoid using the wheel for fear of it happening again.
To solve this problem, you should get a wheel that has a solid bottom. You will see that your Hedgehog is less sacred of using the wheel if it knows it won’t slip while running at full speed.
You Might Not Be Noticing Your Hedgehog Using The Wheel
There are chances that your Hedgehog is probably using its wheel, and you are not around to see it. Also, there is a possibility that your Hedgehog tends to use the wheel only when no one is around.
In such cases, you must spend more time with your pet Hedgehog. It will help you determine if your pet is using its wheel.
You can also choose to set up a video camera near your Hedgehog’s cage and check if it is running on the wheel when you are not around.
Do Hedgehogs Like To Run On Wheels?
Hedgehogs are pretty active animals who love to run around. In the wild, Hedgehogs can run several miles a day.
Hedgehogs have an instinct to run, and the exercise wheel is the best way to fulfill their natural behavior.
Wheels allow Hedgehogs to cover the distance they would have done in the wild, within the confined space of a cage.
Besides this, wheels also help reduce boredom as this can often become a problem for Hedgehogs housed in a cage with few toys or opportunities for exercise.
How Long Do Hedgehogs Run On Their Wheel?
The amount of time your Hedgehog spends on his wheels depends on many factors.
If your Hedgehog is used to being super active and getting adequate water and nutrition, it can spend running hours on its wheels.
The age of your Hedgehog, its health, and the type of wheel also play an essential role in determining the time they spend on the wheel.
Hedgehogs are even known to run up to ten miles a day. Therefore, it’s normal to see your Hedgehog run up to six-eight miles on their wheel.
How Do I Get My Hedgehog To Run On Its Wheel?
There are several things that you can do to make your Hedgehog run on its wheel:
- Make sure your Hedgehog’s wheel is of the correct size
- Check for signs of injury or illness of your Hedgehog
- Try a different wheel size for your Hedgehog
- Try rearranging your cage supplies
- Place some treats on the wheel to encourage your pet