Do Chinchillas Need a Running Wheel and Exercise?

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Chinchillas are curious animals that need daily physical exercise in order for them to remain healthy. You should allow them to exercise out of their cage for at least one hour every day.

Do chinchillas need exercise wheels? Although it isn’t mandatory, an exercise wheel is a great investment for your chinchilla as it allows them to release some of their built-up energy from being inside their cage.

Chinchillas are naturally athletic and it is crucial to allow your chinchillas to exercise to stay healthy and fit.

Chinchilla Exercise Wheels Recommended Requirements

When it comes to the best chinchilla wheels, consider the following recommendations:

  • Minimum 14 to 16-inch diameter to prevent injuring the spine of your chinchillas
  • Strong running surface to prevent injury (Don’t use plastic or metal wired flooring! Some chinchillas have been known to catch their feet in the wire floor and have caused serious injuries).
  • Minimum 5-inch-wide running surface
  • Consider bolts or other devices to secure wheels to the side of the cage
  • It should be made of a safe chew-proof material

What Are the Best Exercise Wheels for Chinchillas?

There’s a lot of bad chinchilla wheels on the market. There are ones that are made of plastics, metal wired flooring, flying saucer styles, and the list goes on…

Those types of exercise wheels are not suitable for your chinchilla as they can cause health concerns.

a chinchilla running on his exercise wheel,

Pet Revolution Silent Chinchilla Wheel

This wheel is made of metal which makes it silent, and thus a great option the Pet revolution is a 16-inch wheel- an ideal size for your chinchillas that is made of steel, meaning it is 100 percent chew proof.

The Chin-Sprint All Metal Chinchilla Wheel

This is yet another great metal exercise wheel made entirely of steel.

The wheel measures 15 inches and features a 6-inch running surface.

It is ideal for adult chinchillas. The surface is hemmed smoother and trimmed to reduce sharp edges to prevent chinchilla injury.

In addition, the wheel comes with dual ball bearings that allow for a smooth and silent ride.

The galvanized steel wheel is sturdy and rust-free, guaranteeing you years of service.

The wheel also has mounting screws to attach to the side of the cage. Lastly, the wheel is light, yet it does not break or bend your cage bars.

How Do I Get My Chinchillas to Use an Exercise Wheel?

Is your chinchilla finding it hard to exercise on the wheels? Some chinchillas will pick it up instantly while for others it may take some time.

Here is how you can help your chinchillas exercise on the wheels:

Pour a small amount of dust on the wheel. This will lure your chinchillas to get on the wheels and realize that it moves.

You can hold a treat on the wheels to prompt chinchillas to run. They will start to run towards the treat.

In a matter of time, the chinchilla will discover they can run on the wheel.

It may take a while before your chinchillas are used to it, so be patient.

Check out this video:

Can an Exercise Wheel Replace Letting My Chinchilla Out of Their Cage?

You should let your chinchilla exercise out of there for at least one hour every night.

To remain healthy, chinchillas need about one hour of floor time every day.

Do not forget to include this in your schedule. You can spare an hour or two after dinner to play with your chinchillas.

Chinchillas are somewhat nocturnal, so it is recommended to play with them during the day.

a men taking care of the chinchilla

Monitor your chinchillas when they are exercising. Chinchillas can be destructive, and thus, can get into trouble easily, especially if left alone.

They may hide in the room get into closed-off places. So, stay with them the entire time and watch them closely.

If your chinchilla is somewhere they shouldn’t be, gently remove them from the area, or distract them with toys.

If you have several chinchillas, allow them to exercise one at a time until they are all comfortable with each other

Female chinchillas can be quite territorial and are the dominant sex and chinchillas can become aggressive if other animals get in their way.

Provide toys to your chinchillas to allow them to play or chase them.

There are different types of chinchilla toys that you can buy at the pet store or online.

Alternatively, you can use household items such as paper towel rolls or plastic tube toys.

They are perfect for nibbling and safe to chew. Other great toys for your chinchillas are sticks and wood blocks made of cholla wood.

Set out several cardboard boxes in different parts. Chinchillas like to run in and out of the boxes and hide in them.

Check these cute chinchilla names!

Other Exercise Requirements

It’s important to give your chinchilla enough space and toys to make sure they have enough exercise for when you are not there to play with them.

Look for a spacious cage, a bigger cage that you can easily fit in your house because it allows your pets enough space to run and play.

a chinchilla in a cage

Look for durable and safe exercise wheels as they will last for a long time. Before you make any purchases, make sure that you conduct research first, and ensure they are safe for your furry friends.

A chinchilla wheel of about 15 inches would be ideal for your chinchillas.

Purchase the wheel online or at a pet shop and attach it to your pets’ cage, but make sure to follow the package directors.

It is important that the wheels measure at least 15 inches so that they can exercise when they are in the cage.

Purchase Enough Toys Your Chinchillas

You can use the same toys your chinchillas use while playing out of their cages such as paper towel rolls, sticks, plastic tubes, and woodblocks.

a chinchilla playing with toy

Put the toys in the cage when you are not around so that your pets can exercise.

Note: check the package guidelines on any toy you buy because some toys are made to be used under close supervision.

If the toys become unsafe or damaged, dispose of them as soon as you can. It will prevent your chinchillas from hurting themselves or choking with the toys.

READ MORE: Can You Fly With a Chinchilla?

Creating a Safe Environment for Chinchillas to Exercise

Pick a Room That You Can Chinchilla-proof

Don’t opt for rooms with many types of furniture or other places where chinchillas can hide.

You should avoid bathrooms because chins may crawl under the sink.

A big room or living room is a better option for your chinchilla’s exercise space.

Get rid of all the electronics. Chinchillas are known for chewing.

Chinchillas will nibble on your cords. Therefore, put away electronic devices before you allow your chinchillas into the room.

Keep the cords away while your pets are exercising. If there are items you cannot remove, cover them with a tap of PVC piping.

Related: Chinchilla Fur Chewing and How to Stop Them

Close All Windows And Doors

Chinchillas are good at escaping and hiding.

Therefore, make sure all doors and windows are closed and shut before the chinchillas enter the room. The door leading to other rooms should also be shut.

Keep the door to closets shut as well. Chinchillas can accidentally find themselves in dangerous materials or hide in closets.

If you have exposed wood and baseboards, use a deterrent spray to keep chinchillas away. If you have a lot of exposed wood, this is the best thing to do.

Look for one that is made specifically for chinchillas and squirt any wood and baseboards in the room.

They will prevent chinchillas from chewing.

Do Not Use Spray Around Electronics

Check the room and make sure it is sufficiently chinchilla-proofed. Get down on your knees and hands so that you are at the animal’s level.

Crawl around the house and check for items that you may have left out or places you might have forgotten to close off.

Make the necessary adjustments. If the room is difficult for proofing, make an exercise cage. You can purchase a pet exercise cage online or at your local pet shop.

These wires are collapsible and have a circular shape. Unfold the cage and put it down on a clear floor. Put your chins in a pen with toys.

Once done, return the chinchillas to their cage and fold back the pen.

If you’re looking for adorable and unique names for your chinchilla, you definitely don’t want to miss out on the “chinchilla names” video below – it’s sure to inspire you:


Do chinchillas need exercise?

Chinchillas need to exercise every day. Give them at least one hour every day to exercise out of the cage and to interact with you.

Can chinchillas run in balls?

You shouldn’t put your chinchilla inside a ball as it is a health concern. They can overheat and die of heat stroke.

What toys do chinchillas play with?

a chinchilla playing with ball

Some of the toys that chinchillas love to play with include: Lava Hang Chew Toy, Shredburst Toy, Hanging Chew Balls, Willow Mega Munch, Hang-N-Hay Donut, Willow Barbell, Sisal Woven Carrot, Willow Branch Ball.

a chinchilla running on exercise wheel

Do you have an exercise wheel for your chinchilla? Let us know in the comments section!

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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