Gerbils benefit from exercise balls the same way hamsters do. Just like hamsters, too, gerbils may or may not enjoy the experience. As a responsible owner, you need to choose a ball that ensures your gerbil stays safe and feels secure. Even then, your pet may not enjoy being inside an exercise ball. If he does, you can add accessories to make the experience more fun for your gerbil and your family.
The Right Ball
The right ball size is essential for every type of rodent. If a ball is too big, your pet will have trouble walking in it your gerbil can become injured if its foot slips through an air slot in the ball. Give a 7-inch ball to full-grown gerbils. Purchase a clear exercise ball so your gerbil can see as well as possible. The ball should have a lid that locks into place and is impossible for the gerbil to open.
Some gerbils love to run around the house like crazy in exercise balls, while others are terrified in them. If you place your gerbil in the ball and he doesn't move, don't make him try to use the ball. Supervise your pet's behavior in the ball and remove your gerbil from the ball after 15 minutes. If your gerbil has a chance to run off to a secluded area, he may work hard to get the lid off the ball. Should he be successful, he will escape and it will be hard to find him.
Tracks are a fun addition to exercise balls, and they are easy to set up. Place the track on the ground to prevent the gerbil from coming off the track and falling from a dangerous height. Another popular accessory is the exercise ball car. The exercise ball is built into a car frame to give the exercise ball a fun look for children. Make sure to place the car on a hard floor surface for the best results. These balls do not roll well on carpeting.
Exercise balls have risks. Not only can paws and legs get caught in slot of balls that are too big, exercise balls can lead to serious falls. Always block off stairs, stoops and step-downs when your gerbil plays in an exercise ball. Close off a safe area for your pet to play. Never allow the gerbil free reign of the house. If the gerbil were to escape, he would be easier to find in a closed off area. Always place the ball on the floor, never on a table or other surface above the ground.
Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.