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Are Hamster Balls Safe? (5 Tips for Safe Use)

Are Hamster Balls Safe? (5 Tips for Safe Use)

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you keep a hamster, you’re most probably looking for entertainment for your little friend. Yet, the question is: Are hamster balls safe?”

This is one of the most controversial issues among hamster lovers. Some believe hamster balls are dangerous, while others claim that there are ways to use them safely.

This article outlines the pros and cons of using a hamster ball, the ideal hamster ball size, and tips to use the hamster balls safely.

Are Hamster Balls Good for Hamsters?

Since there’s no straightforward answer to this question, this section addresses all the upsides and downsides of hamster balls so that you can judge the situation yourself!

Pros

Despite its notorious status as unsafe, a hamster ball offers many benefits to your little friend, including:

1 – Keeps Hamsters in Shape

Hamsters are generally prone to obesity and diabetes, which you can avoid with exercise.

Using a hamster ball keeps your hamster active. Plus, this is similar to the way hamsters act in the wild.

2 – Allows Hamsters Freedom

Your hamster will definitely be happy if it has the freedom to play around the house and out of its cage.

Rolling in a ball is much better than getting into holes and escaping around the house!

3 – Tames Hamsters

When you have a new hamster, using a ball can be the easiest way to familiarize it with yourself and your house.

You can even use the ball to put the hamster on your lap so that it gets to know you.

4 – Creates an Extra Den

The ball can always be used as an extra den instead of a rolling ball.

To do that, pad it with toilet paper or towels and fix it to the ground to avoid rolling.

Cons

Unfortunately, the drawbacks of a hamster ball are more than the positive points.

1 – Stress and Anxiety

Some hamsters get anxious and stressed out in confined places.

This might be due to their poor eyesight, which makes rolling in a hamster ball a highly risky activity.

2 – Infections

Hamsters tend to emit a lot of waste while active.

This way, urine and feces can pile up in the ball, which may cause infections.

3 – Injuries

Your hamster can get injured while rolling in the ball.

For instance, its feet can get stuck into the little ventilation holes. In addition, hamsters can bump into walls or hard objects while moving inside their balls.

Plus, some hamster keepers argue that it’s relatively difficult for hamsters to control the balls. That is because the balls tend to keep rolling even after the hamster stops moving.

4 – Dehydration and Heat

Hamster balls usually come in dark shades, which causes the entrapment of heat.

The more the hamster stays inside the ball while it traps heat, the more it runs the risk of getting dehydrated.

5 – Poor Ventilation

Even with the little ventilation holes on hamster balls, they still don’t allow enough air for the hamster to breathe.

This poses the risk of suffocation, especially with the increased activity.

What Size Hamster Ball Is Best for a Hamster?

The best-size hamster ball depends on several factors including the hamster’s gender, breed, and size.

For instance, since females are generally larger than males, they need a larger ball. Moreover, different breeds require different sizes, as follows:

  • Dwarf hamsters need balls at least 7’’ in diameter.
  • Chinese or Roborovski hamsters use balls about 5’’ in diameter.
  • Syrian hamsters require balls at least 8’’ and at most 12’’ in diameter.

Why Are Hamster Balls So Big?

You should use large hamster balls to avoid serious issues. Think about it!

Smaller balls would cause the hamster to arch, which results in back pain.

This lack of space can even cause spine issues as well as general fatigue, discomfort, and breathing difficulties.

5 Tips to Use Hamster Balls Safely

Hamster balls can still be safe if you use them properly and follow these precautions:

1 – Limit Ball Playtime

The first thing you should do is limit the ball playtime to two or three minutes for the first couple of times. This familiarizes the hamster with the ball while minimizing the chance of injury and discomfort.

For later uses, limit the time to ten minutes max. This helps keep the hamster safe from dehydration and infections.

2 – Clean Regularly

You should clean the ball before and after each use with mild soap. Make sure you dry it thoroughly before allowing your hamster inside.

A thorough cleaning helps you avoid infections caused by the piled-up feces and urine inside the ball.

3 – Seal the Ball

Make sure you seal the ball tightly in order to avoid injuries. You may even do it with adhesive tape.

Remember that your little hamster can fall off the ball with the force of rolling. This step eliminates the risk of accidents and injuries.

4 – Get Rid of Cracked Balls

Hamster balls tend to crack and break easily. Therefore, it’s important that you check for the tiniest crack.

This helps minimize the risks of accidents that may harm your tiny friend.

5 – Choose a Light-Colored Ball

It might be a great idea to choose a transparent ball for your hamster. This comes in handy for two reasons.

First, it allows poor-sighted hamsters to see better while playing.

Second, transparent balls don’t trap heat, which reduces the risk of dehydration and overheating.

Final Thoughts

Are hamster balls safe? Well, this is a controversial issue.

Hamster balls may cause some problems, but you can easily avoid any risks with proper use and care.

For instance, you should choose the right ball size, allow your hamster only a few minutes in the ball, and clean the ball thoroughly before and after each use.

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