In the wild, rabbits, mice and hamsters run miles through the night, hunting and gathering food. Caged, these creatures maintain their natural need for activity, which means pet parents need to offer exercise opportunities to keep pocket pets fit and healthy. The classic vertical metal exercise wheel has given way to a new wave of adventurous designs. Consider these running discs, cage add-ons and exercise balls to offer daily physical workouts for any small animal.  


Satellite Style 

The flat, solid surface of these open concept satellite designs eliminates the risk of tiny feet or tails getting caught between the bars of a traditional exercise wheel. Satellite designs also sit on sturdy bases to prevent high-pitched squealing, because as we all know, a squeaky wheel gets the grease, but a squeaky exercise wheel hits the trash. 

Flying Saucer Small Animal Exercise Wheel
Ware

Key Features: This thermoplastic running surface — with a touch of UFO realness — provides, high stiffness and low friction. 

Sales Tip: Dare customers to hear anything coming from this super silent spinner. 

waremfginc.com, (602) 257-8803

Treadmill Wheel 
Exotic Nutrition 

Key Features: Ball bearings make it quiet; a nontoxic powder-coated metal stand make it chew-proof. 

Sales Tip: Sell with Sandy Trimmer Strips, which trims pets nails as they run. 

exoticnutrition.com, (757) 988-0301

Running Disc
Trixie 

Key Features: The smooth running motion of this untreated, wooden disc protects pets’ spines from jostling. 

Sales Tip: Highlight the disc’s natural pine, harvested from New Zealand. 

trixie.de/heimtierbedarf/en, +49 4638 2109-160


Cage Additions 

Add-on exercise wheels free up room in the cage for external play, which is why companies that specialize in small animal cages offer several options to snap on or easily install. The jewel-toned, translucent designs give off a futuristic effect and let pet parents peek in on the action. 

Habitrail OVO Trainer
Hagen

Key Features: This squeak-free exterior hamster wheel can be used as an outside exercise wheel for an OVO habitat, or as wheels for a mobile set-up.

Sales Tip: This exterior add-on gives pets more living space plus a 24-hour place to play.

usa.hagen.com, (800) 353-3444

CritterTrail Snap-on Comfort Wheel
PETS INTERNATIONAL - Kaytee 

Key Features: This jewel-toned exercise add-on connects to the outside of CritterTrail habitats and features a grip-friendly design for active pocket pets.

Sales Tip: Connects universally to CritterTrail and Hagen Habitrail systems.

kaytee.com, (800) 529-8331

Whisper Wheel
Bio Bubble Pets 

Key Features: The virtual silence of this freestanding wheel lies in contrast to its loud metallic purple veneer. Check it out in 6- and 9-inch options.

Sales Tip: Display it inside BioBubble’s space-aged Small Animal Terrarium. 

biobubblepets.com, (561) 998-5350


Free-Range Cruisers 

Free-range rollers give pet parents a chance to watch the action or take advantage of the distraction — pets are safely contained while they explore the world. They’re also a great distraction while the cage is closed for cleaning. These options offer a new spin on the out-of-cage experience.

Kaytee Critter Cruiser
Pets International-Kaytee

Key Features: The adjustable wheel works three ways: stationary exercise, free-range rolling and cruising on specialized tracks. 

Sales Tip: Pair it with the Hamtrac for a fully controlled exercise environment. 

kaytee.com, (800) 529-8331

Komet Krawler
Lee’s Aquarium and Pet Products 

Key Features: This shatter-resistant and well-ventilated exercise ball gives off a luminous glow when the lights are low. Available in four sizes, from 5 to 12.5 inches. 

Sales Tip: Target Star Trek fans looking for a free show.

leesaqpet.com, (760) 744-8230

Hamtrac Exercise Loop
PETS INTERNATIONAL - Kaytee

Key Features: This interactive racetrack keeps exercise balls contained during out-of-cage play. 

Sales Tip: Merchandise with checkered flags to highlight the racing angle. 

kaytee.com, (800) 529-8331

 


This article originally appeared in the March-April 2017 edition of PETS+.