There are new, modern exercise wheels on the market for your small pets. The Wodent Wheel by Transoniq is one of the best. I should backtrack and give a little history of pet running wheels first. As recently as 15 years ago, the only pet running wheel you could find had big metal horizontal bars as the running surface. It sat in the cage by means of a metal stand. It was connected to the stand by two big cross bars at each opening of the wheel.
Over time, people realized these types of wheels had two major safety issues.
- Little feet could easily get caught in the spokes of the wheel as your pet ran.
- Your pet could get pinched between the bar of the stand and the cross bars as the wheel rotated. This was extremely hazardous for pets with long tails but also dangerous for pets without tails if you had more than one. If one animal tried to get in the wheel while another was making it rotate, its head could get caught.
Many pet wheel manufacturers fixed the first problem by replacing the horizontal bars with a mesh. Small feel won’t slip through the small mesh. This is the kind of wheel you’ll see the most often in pet stores today.
But it wasn’t until the mid 90s that people started addressing the second problem. That’s how the Wodent Wheel was born in 1995. The founder, Eric Geislinger, wanted to create a running wheel that was safe for his pet rats. That’s why Eric created a wheel whose stand attaches to the wheel on its closed end. Think of an old-fashioned hat box, minus the lid. Since the stand is attached to the wall of the wheel, there is absolutely no way for a pet to get caught between the stand and the wheel.
And Eric didn’t stop there with the design. To appeal to small animals which are natural wall-huggers, he put a cover on the other side of the wheel that has small openings. That way your pet feels like he’s crawling inside an enclosed space, which small animals love. Also they feel safer when they run.
My own pets love the design of their Wodent Wheel so much, they sometimes sleep in it.
From that time on, other exercise wheel designs have come forward with the safety of your pet in mind. But the Wodent Wheel was the original pet wheel designed for maximum safety. It’s interesting to note that during the ASPCA’s Seal of Approval program from 1999 – 2006, the Wodent Wheel was the only running wheel to receive this recommendation.
The Wodent Wheel comes in 3 different sizes:
Wodent Junior is for hamsters and other small pets Wodent Senior is for medium-sized pets such as sugar gliders and large hamsters Wodent Wobust is for large animals such as hedgehogs, prairie dogs, and rats
There are two types of pets that this wheel isn’t recommend for. Since it is plastic, it’s not good to use for pets who are known to be big chewers such as gerbils or degus. And there are some animals such as guinea pigs and chinchillas that really should have a flat running surface.
But for most small pets, this is the perfect wheel.