Tag Archives: pocket pet care

Safety Tips for Letting Your Pocket Pet Use a Runabout

Do you have a hamster or Guinea pig? Exercise balls, or runabouts, are becoming very popular accessories for pocket pets. Runabouts can be both fun and entertaining for tiny furballs, but they can also be very dangerous if used improperly. A Fort Collins, CO vet offers some tips on getting your furry pal a runabout or exercise ball in this article.


Runabouts are definitely not one-size-fits-all. Your little buddy could be seriously hurt in a wheel that is the wrong size! Do your research, and be sure to choose the correct size. We also recommend checking product reviews and safety ratings before making a purchase. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Stay Grounded

Stairs can be extremely dangerous, and even fatal, to pets in exercise balls. Don’t let your furry friend roll around near stairs, and never put him on a tabletop.

Adult Supervision Required

Never leave your four-legged pal in a runabout unattended. Your cute pet could get stuck in a corner, or trapped underneath something. This can be both scary and dangerous for the little furball!

Furball’s Choice

Even small animals have their own likes and dislikes. Some of these little guys really enjoy runabouts, while others find being in a rolling plastic ball very scary. Never force your pet to use a runabout. If your pint-sized buddy seems frightened, offer him another type of toy instead.

Safety Check

Before letting your tiny pet roll around, make sure his exercise ball is closed securely. If in doubt, use tape to hold it shut.


Your pocket pet may soil his runabout while he’s using it. Clean the exercise ball after each use, and let it dry completely before letting him use it again.


Even if your adorable pet loves being in his runabout, you want to be careful not to leave him inside it for too long. About 15 minutes is plenty. It’s better to give your four-legged friend several short sessions than one long one.

Other Pets

Keep Fido and Fluffy in another part of the house when your pocket pet is in his runabout. Your miniature furball could be seriously hurt by a playful dog or cat!

Please feel free to contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!

Obesity in Hamsters

Is your hamster getting a bit round? Like most pets, hamsters love to eat and snack. That means your furry little friend can pack on extra weight very quickly! Obesity is not uncommon in hamsters, and can cause or contribute to serious health issues in these little ones! A Fort Collins, CO vet discusses obesity in hamsters below.

Dangers of Obesity

Being overweight can cause many of the same health problems for hamsters as it does for people. If little Hammie is carrying extra weight, he’ll have higher chances of developing heart trouble, diabetes, liver problems, and other serious health issues.

Causes of Obesity

Diet and exercise are the main factors that will determine Hammie’s weight, although occasionally hamsters will gain weight because of medical issues. That said, hamsters have some cute but sneaky tricks that can contribute to obesity. Those adorable little cheek pouches allow Hammie to stash and store food to snack on later. Hamsters are also notorious for hiding their food, and then begging for more!

Proper Hamster Nutrition

Hammie can have commercial food for his main meals. Pellets are an excellent choice. Seed mixes are also popular, but often contain fattening nuts and seeds. They also give Hammie the option of choosing his favorite bits, which will usually be the most caloric ones! To supplement Hammie’s main meal, provide appropriate portions of healthy veggies and fruits. Be sure to choose only hamster-safe foods! Junk food, sugary foods, fried anything, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol are a few things on the forbidden list.

Exercising Your Hamster

Provide Hammie with an exercise wheel. Choose a solid one, as wire wheels can hurt those tiny paws! Runabouts, or hamster balls, can also help keep your little furball active. Choose one that is safe and appropriate for your hamster’s age, size, and breed. Always supervise your pet when he is out and about. You don’t want Hammie accidentally rolling down stairs!

What To Do If Your Hamster Is Obese

If you have a chubby hamster on your hands, ask your vet for nutritional advice. Never put Hammie on a crash diet, as this can be very dangerous for him. Like people, hamsters should take off pounds slowly and steadily in order to lose weight without compromising their health.

Do you have questions about feeding or caring for hamsters? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, any time!