Hamsters need to exercise every day to stay healthy and at a normal weight. Exercise allows hamsters to improve their mental health.
How Much Exercise Do Hamsters Need a Day?
Hamsters should exercise daily for 20-30 minutes using the exercise wheel, tunnels and other toys they have in the cage. While the overall exercise should be about 3 hours a day, but it also depends on the age of the hamsters because older hamsters cannot exercise like younger ones.
Other factors that affect their daily activity are health, fitness and how well they see. In addition to daily exercise in the cage, hamsters should also exercise outside of it using a ball or simply exercise and run around your room, which you will secure beforehand so that your pet does not escape.
In today’s article you will learn how much exercise hamsters need every day, whether it is dangerous to exercise too much and how to motivate your hamster to exercise.
Should my hamster exercise every day?
Yes, hamsters should exercise every day, except when they are sick or injured then they may not exercise as they will need rest to heal.
Hamsters need daily exercise in order not to gain weight, to reduce stress, not to be bored and to have enough activities, because otherwise they will only think about how to escape from the cage.
When hamsters exercise, it allows them to feel similar to what they do in nature, because they are there all the time exercising and moving around gathering food and running away from predators.
Hamsters, if they do not exercise every day, are in danger of gaining weight, so you should provide them with objects and toys with which they can have enough activities.
Required in every cage should be an exercise wheel, with which they go a few miles every night.
Hamsters need to have a playground so they can run and play, so that apart from being healthier, they will also satisfy their need for exploration.
In the cage, they should have enough chew toys that will help them have enough fun all the time and not get bored.
How much time do hamsters need to exercise each day?
Hamsters should exercise for two to three hours every day, but it doesn’t have to be all at once, they can exercise in intervals of 20-30 minutes several times a day.
When hamsters are awake they are almost always active, they cover 4-5 miles when they are in the wild, so they are taught to always be on the move.
Interval exercise is better for hamsters as they tire very quickly. The best ways to exercise and exercise hamsters are as follows:
- making tunnels in the bedding
- exercise wheel
- playing and running with exploration up from the cage
- cleaning the fur
- foraging and storing in their cheek pouches
- going up and down stairs through the cage
When hamsters exercise they like to constantly change their play, they don’t like to practice just one activity.
Hamsters are different from each other, some like to run and exercise more, some less, but that is completely normal.
It is necessary to measure their weight at least once or twice a week so that you can check it and know if your hamster is in top shape.
If the hamster begins to rapidly increase its weight, then something is wrong with it:
- or he exercises less than he should
- or does not have enough activities and subjects to exercise more
How do hamsters exercise?
Hamsters exercise in their cage mostly by running on the exercise wheel, on which they cover several miles each night.
Apart from this activity, they look for food through the bedding and climb the stairs and the bars of the cage.
Since we keep hamsters in a cage, they have no other way to exercise, while when they are in nature, they have a huge space to run and exercise, because they are constantly looking for food, digging tunnels, and running away from predators.
Hamsters in domestic conditions have more chances to gain weight, unlike those living in nature.
How do hamsters exercise in nature?
When hamsters are in nature their exercise is very different than in a cage.
When they are in nature, hamsters have the opportunity to spend much more energy, which helps them to be in top shape and have excellent fitness.
Indoor hamsters can never be as fit as hamsters living in the wild. When hamsters are in nature they exercise in the following ways:
- They run away from predators – since hamsters are usually prey, they are always exposed to danger for their lives.
- They look for food – hamsters in nature are always looking for food to survive, and then they store it in their cheek pouches and take it to the tunnels they dig every day.
- Burrowing – Hamsters dig tunnels that are up to 0.7 meters deep and use them to store food and hide from predators.
- Fighting – Hamsters are territorial and they fight often with other hamsters for dominance.
- They reproduce regularly – because it is very important for them to survive in nature where they are mostly prey animals.
All these numerous activities help hamsters to be in good condition and have a healthy body and normal weight.
Can hamsters overexercise?
Yes, hamsters can sometimes overexercise. If hamsters exercise too much they can get health problems.
If hamsters exercise too much on the exercise wheel they can get injuries and leg sores like ulcers known as bumblefoot.
When hamsters have bumblefoot then it can be noticed by the following signs:
- swelling and redness of the feet
- fatigue and lethargy
- ulceration of the feet themselves
- weaker movement
The most common cause of bumblefoot is exercise wheels that are made of mesh, so if you buy a plastic or wooden wheel your hamsters will not have these problems.
When hamsters exercise too much, they can lose weight and even become dehydrated.
And as we know, dehydration is not at all good for hamsters and can cause some diseases.
Can my hamster die if it doesn’t exercise?
No, hamsters will not die if they do not exercise, but if they do not exercise, it can indirectly affect the occurrence of serious health problems that can affect their future life.
If hamsters do not exercise, they are exposed to the appearance of obesity, which further leads to problems with all the organs in their body.
When hamsters do not exercise they can get diabetes, have heart problems, and be exposed to more stress.
Hamsters that do not exercise become more aggressive and will want to escape from the cage all the time.
Can hamsters use the exercise ball?
Hamsters can use balls to exercise and run around in your room, but they are not as safe.
When hamsters use the exercise ball, they do not have access to food and water, and they can easily injure themselves, especially their feet, nails, and fingers.
Hamsters who exercise in the balls do not have enough flow of fresh air, because the openings are very small and this is not enough for the hamster to breathe enough.
When hamsters play with the balls, they often hit other objects because they have poor vision and cannot see clearly where they are moving.
You can give them balls to practice, but still make sure it’s not too often, it’s better to let them run in the room without a ball, that’s the best way for them.
How do I get my hamster to exercise?
Hamsters are naturally taught to always exercise, regardless of whether they are indoors or in nature, but hamsters in cages should have enough objects and opportunities to exercise.
Therefore, in order for the hamster to exercise regularly, you should enable it to have the following activities in its cage.
The exercise wheel is the most important
All hamsters living in cages should have an exercise wheel.
The exercise wheel is important because, apart from improving their fitness, it allows them to be healthier and have less stress.
Whenever the hamster is disturbed it will jump on the exercise wheel and use it, in fact, they cover several miles on the exercise wheel every night.
The exercise wheel allows hamsters to exercise to the maximum and use up their strength and energy.
The exercise wheel allows them to catch up on exercise in nature, which is why it’s important to have them in their cage.
Tunnels and other toys
In addition to the exercise wheel, hamsters also need other toys to keep fit and exercise regularly.
Hamsters love to run through tunnels, climb ladders and chew on toys and objects in the cage.
Although these things may not seem like they provide much exercise, they are significant and have their own importance to the fitness and mental health of the hamster.
Apart from fitness, hamsters with the help of toys will have less stress and will not be bored in the cage.
Hamsters need deep bedding
Hamsters need deep bedding to dig in and store food. That’s why their bedding needs to be at least 6 inches to be able to do these things.
All that digging through bedding and storing food is activity and exercise that helps keep them in good shape and not bored.
Hamsters constantly dig and store food, because that is how they are taught in nature.
Let them into your room to practice
When you let your hamsters out of the cage to run and exercise around your room it is great for them and their fitness.
When they run around the room, they can move nicely and use up their energy, and they will be happy, which means less stress and boredom.
Just make sure that the room is always well secured so that they don’t escape because then it will be difficult for you to find them and bring them back.
When you let them into the room, be careful not to leave cables from electrical appliances or directly plugged in, because the hamster can bite them.
Read more: Can I Let My Hamster Run Around My Room? Find Out Now
What time of day do hamsters like to exercise the most?
Since hamsters are crepuscular animals, they mostly like to exercise at dawn and dusk because then the light is weaker.
They don’t want to exercise during the day, because then they sleep more and rest to be active at night.
You may misjudge whether your hamster is getting enough exercise because when you are sleeping, the hamster is most active and exercising the most.
Read more: Why Do Hamsters Run In Circles? All You Need To Know
How long does a hamster need to rest before it can exercise?
Hamsters rest when they sleep, which is usually around 12-14 hours a day.
Hamsters do not rest like us humans, they rest and sleep in intervals because they are afraid of predators.
When the hamster is rested enough it can exercise, otherwise if it is not sleepy enough it will not be able to exercise as much as possible, therefore the room where its cage is should be in a quiet place so that it can sleep enough and be fresh the next day.
Read more: 6 Reasons Why is My Hamster Sitting in His Ball
Hamsters need daily exercise to keep them healthy and in good condition.
They are by nature animals that like to move and exercise, in fact, that is their constant activity when they are in the wild.
Hamsters in home conditions in a cage should have an exercise wheel, climbing ladders, tunnels, and other objects that will allow them to always be able to exercise.
If hamsters do not exercise they will gain weight and may get sick, which then leads to serious health problems.
Daily exercise is necessary for hamsters and therefore we should do everything we can to have enough activities in and out of the cage.
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