Nowadays, anyone is willing to do anything for their small pets, especially rodents. This includes providing them with a large enclosure, giving them special treats, and even going on walks. However, it might not be ideal since they are not dogs, especially when out hiking. So, can hamsters hike? Let’s find out the answer below.
Although it is doable that hamsters can hike, it is not advisable. This is because walking your rodent can cause harm or lead to death.
Certain hiking areas might have been sprayed with pesticides, or harmful insects could sting your animal. Also, if you see a snake along the trail and do not notice, they could attack and eat your animal.
Overall, the choice is entirely yours to decide what is right and wrong for your animal. After all, we all have free will. Still, this article discusses whether hamsters can go for walks and good climbing toys for your hamster to enjoy. Continue reading for more information.
Do Hamsters Like Going on Walks?
No, hamsters do not enjoy going for walks, but they love to climb and run on the wheel. Hamsters should not be treated as dogs, where you must walk them to get their energy out.
Instead, hamsters should be given plenty of toys to climb and run around in. If you want to play with your hamster, there are many other activities for you to do.
For example, you can take them outdoors in an enclosed space or cage. Ensure the area is not sprayed with pesticides, has no animal poop or residue, and no rat poison. We recommend putting them in the grass for a safe, soft spot.
Check the temperature first before going outside. We do not recommend taking them outside if it is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is close to that temperature, put them in the shade and choose a cooler time to go out.
How Should You Walk a Hamster?
Suppose you still want to walk your hamster. In this case, here is a step-by-step process on how you should walk your hamster:
Step 1: Choose a Safe & Snug Harness
You would not want to go outdoors without purchasing a harness and leash. This link provides an excellent choice. However, measure your hamster's body before purchasing to ensure you get the right one.
It is imperative that you get a harness and not a collar for your hamster. Also, ensure you are not dragging the animal, as some people have done that before. Doing this does more harm than good for your fur baby.
Step 2: Get a Lightweight Cord or Leash
Although some hamster walking harnesses come with a small leash, it might need to be bigger for what you want to do. In that case, go to your local pet store and get a lightweight cord or leash. This ensures it is not too heavy on your fur baby and can walk easily.
Step 3: Have Indoor Walks
We highly recommend walking your hamster indoors, especially since going outdoors can be risky. Another animal or bird might spot it and attempt to kill it, or worse, someone might not see your hamster and accidentally step on it. In this case, the safest option would be to remain inside your home.
However, if you still wish to provide your hamster an outdoor experience, we recommend walking around your home or simply going in your backyard. Also, if you see a hawk or something that can harm your pet, protecting your animal is much easier than being out in the open. Lastly, consider any pesticide residue or spray that might have occurred recently, as this could kill your pet.
Step 4: Walk Slowly
Hamsters are MUCH smaller and lighter than you. In that case, walk slowly for their sake. The last thing you want to do is drag them around on the leash. In this video, you can see how this hamster could not walk properly due to their owner not allowing them to explore wherever they wanted. Please avoid this at all costs, as this is considered animal abuse.
Step 5: Use Treats as Motivation
Treats will help your hamster continue walking. Use healthy treats, like celery, lettuce, broccoli, and apples, as motivation to continue going. Avoid spinach and citrus fruits, and do not give them more than a small portion of greens daily.
Step 6: Keeps Walks Short
Although we can have energy all day, hamsters are tiny creatures. In that case, keep your walks relatively short and sweet. Let your hamster rest when they need a break from walking. If they stop for a minute or two, they are tired, so you should pick your hamster up and put them back in their enclosure indoors.
What Are Other Safe Ways to Exercise Your Hamster?
Even walking your hamster by yourself can come with risks. For example, if they run a specific way and you are not paying attention, you risk stepping over your animal. Also, your hamster could harm themselves by eating something on the ground that is not meant for it to eat. However, some safer ways to exercise your pet outside its cage exist.
1. Hamster Balls
Hamster balls have been around since the 70’s. Since then, it has been used worldwide to help your hamster walk around the house safely without getting hurt. Keep your hamster in its ball for no longer than 20 minutes a day.
Monitor your hamster while they are in the ball, as well. If you have large animals, keep them in their room to contain them anywhere they go while providing enough room to exercise in that area.
Otherwise, keep any cats or dogs contained in another room while they roam the house. It is also wise to follow them wherever they go. Lastly, ensure the ball is large enough for your hamster not to hurt its back.
2. Have Plenty of Toys for Your Hamster
Like anyone else, hamsters can get bored. They would not be pleased if all they have is their bedding, food, and water in the enclosure. In that case, we recommend providing a lot of different toys for your hamster. You can get plenty where you change the toys out every week or so to ensure they get the best exercise and entertainment.
What Are Some Climbing Toys for Your Hamster?
So, what are some excellent climbing toys your hamster can have? Although we do not recommend taking your little critter out on walks often, they still need good exercise. In this case, we have found three choices for you to invest in.
The first climbing toy set on our list is the Rartems climbing set. In this, four options provide your hamster full enjoyment for many years! Not only does it contain a lot of options, but it is a natural alternative as it is made of natural bamboo. This specific set includes the following:
If you like a place for your hamster to climb and hide, this toy is for you. Hamsters love to hide and cuddle inside something cozy, so having this option is perfect. It is 100% natural and made out of wood.
The last climbing hamster toy is the Hamiledyi, with stairs and a small drill hammock for your fur baby to hide inside easily. Not only that but the hammock is made out of natural grass, ensuring a cozy environment. Your hamster can rest and play, which saves you a lot of space inside their cage.
Hamsters are amazing creatures to have as pets! Given a chance, they can be so much fun and bring you lots of joy and pleasure. To summarize, although hamsters CAN hike, it is not recommended due to the potential issues they come across.
However, if you are safe and careful, providing them a walk around your home or in the backyard would be good stimulation for your pet from time to time. Otherwise, we recommend using safer alternatives to ensure your hamster is not hurt or tired.