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 Exercise for Small Animals 
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Exercise for Small Animals
by: Gordon Bloomfield

Exercise for Small Animals

Rodents, being part of the mammal family, are curious and intelligent little creatures. Because of this they can get bored very quickly! When boredom sets in they can become destructive to their environment, gnawing and chewing on their enclosures. This is why it is important to give your little companion plenty of things to do, by providing him or her plenty of exercise. There are lots of ways to do this, all of which are fun and rewarding for both you and your pet!

Gnaw Toys

Rodents need to keep their teeth in check. Gnawing is a part of their daily routine and if they don’t have anything interesting to chew they will use bowls, water bottles and even their enclosures. Providing a gnaw toy will prevent this and give your little friend something to think about. There is a wide variety and it’s best if they type of chew you provide is changed regularly, to keep your pets interest. You should also replace the toy when it has become old or over chewed!

Kabob Mini Salad bites are perfect toys for all small animals, made from wood they come in a variety of interesting shapes. They are even better teamed with the Kabob for small animals, which you can slide multiple gnaw toys on as well as treats to provide hours of fun for your rabbit or guinea pig. If you prefer something more natural, willow rings or willow balls are interesting objects that won’t only keep your pet’s teeth in check but will also give somewhere to hide in or clamber through. Playstix are another good toy, which consists of bendable log strips, providing a gnaw-able refuge for your pet. You can also provide interest to your rodents diet, by adding small amounts of vegetables and other hard treats, such as dried fruit or rodent biscuits. Slat and mineral licks attached to the cage also provide interest and give your pet a good source of extra nourishment.

Out and About

On top of gnawing, rodents need to be able to travel. A hamster can run up to 10 miles per night, which goes to show how active our small pets can be! On top of handling items should be placed in the cage or given to your pet when being handled to allow your little friend to carry out this active lifestyle. There are a number of toys that can help you do this.

Hamster balls and wheels.

For smaller rodents, such as hamsters, you can buy hamster balls, allowing you to put your pet in a safe place while cleaning out the cage or changing water and food. It gives them the opportunity to roam freely and burn off some energy! Some hamster balls have changeable doors so you can stand the ball on a frame so it can act like a hamster wheel, or if you leave it in a pen, your pet can freely choose to go in and out of the toy. When using a play ball you should always secure the area, making sure no escapes down stairs or in potentially dangerous areas are able to happen.

Hamster wheels are also a great way of exercising your pet, either in its enclosure or in a run. Although they still have the name ‘hamster wheel’ many are sized appropriately for rats, guinea pigs and even ferrets! Placing one in your pets housing gives it the opportunity to exercise whenever it likes, keeping it happier and healthier. You should always aim to choose the plastic variety as they are safer and have no areas for feet or tails to be caught in.

Temporary pens and runs

If you like to let your pet roam free you can use runs and temporary pens to make sure it doesn’t get into trouble! Wooden runs are best suited for outdoors or larger rodents such as rabbits. If you want to section an area off in your home the foldaway hamster fort is perfect. It is a durable cardboard ‘castle’ with many partitions, effectively creating a maze for your small pet. This is a great way of letting him or her run free whilst you can sit and watch or join in the fun by placing tasty treats in the partitions. Another idea is to section an area off and provide tunnels and hides. These of course could also be placed in your pets enclosure. The ‘soft tunnel’ is a fabric tunnel that your hamster, gerbil or rat will love to tunnel through and play with.


If you like to let your pet roam free a lead and harness set could be perfect. Ferrets, rabbits and even guinea pigs can safely roam around whilst sporting a stylish harness and lead combo. This is a great way to know where your pet is going and whilst allowing it to explore a little. If you own a hamster, you can also use a ‘lead’ although this is to see where your little critter is going so you can keep it safe while exploring indoors.

Ladders, hides and other cage items

The fun doesn’t have to stop when your pet is back safely in it’s cage! There are a number of toys to keep you pet occupied when it’s relaxing at home. Changing these toys regularly to keep him or her occupied. The crazy climber is perfect for rats, mice and hamsters as you can attach it to the top of the cage and allow your pet to either climb around on top of the ladder like platform or play with the items hanging off of it. You can also purchase a number of hammocks for pets such as ferrets and rats, allowing them to go through suspended tunnels, giving them that extra exercise they need. If your pet isn’t much of a climber you might want to provide tunnels or plastic hides for him or her to explore. They might even decide to make a nest in there! The Bunny shake and chew is another great toy that you can put treats and gnaws toys on. It rattles as it is moved and is great for rabbits, who love the noise as well as guinea pigs and rats. You might even catch your pet throwing it and chasing it!

Whatever combination of toys you choose, remember to swap them round frequently. This will prevent boredom for your pet and will provide both of you with hours of fun and enjoyment.

About The Author
I am a pet retail business owner and internet marketing entrepreneur. Offering pet products and information, online money making opportunities. Automated income systems. New ebooks and marketing programmes for sale.
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Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:13 am
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