This is a list of wheels which are currently KNOWN to be unsafe for sugar gliders. We will also try to include reasons why and documents(if available) explaining injuries that have happened with them.
Learn more about wheels, what makes a safe wheel & where to buy them: http://sugarglider.info/housing/safe-wheels/
Sugar Glider Rider Wheel
Sadly this wheel is being promoted on various sites including ebay. It’s well below the cost of the safe wheels but looks similar enough and is promoted as glider safe. The creator of this wheel, however, chose to take short cuts and actually uses a glue to hold the lids onto the mesh track. These wheels have actually fallen apart which could easily injure or kill a sugar glider with the high speeds they enjoy running at.
- Under Construction
- Under Construction
Silent Spinner Wheel
This wheel has been known to catch nails, fingers and toes due to the crack down the middle where the two pieces fit together. It’s also ripped some fur out. It’s considered dangerous also due to the small space behind it, not enough clearance, if one glider runs behind while one is in it they could easily end up injured. It’s also been known to fall off/apart and onto gliders from time to time, unfortunately.
- Pinched Hands/Feet
- Injured from getting caught behind wheel
- Injured from wheel falling apart during use
Wodent Wheel / Run-O-Round
This wheel is mostly known for catching tails due to the center bar. There is a small plastic tube that fits over it to ‘solve’ the problem but even with this it has caused injuries. It will catch the tail when they jump in the wheel and either rip out fur, break the tail or in some instances it has entirely degloved the tail. *** There is a new “fix” for this wheel, a big plastic ‘sleeve’ that goes in the middle covering almost two inches around the entire center bar, so basically it solves the problem by not allowing gliders to hop/jump, they’re expected to ‘walk’ in the wheel. Another common complaint is the “closed” track, it will not allow droppings to fall through so it quickly fills with poo and becomes very nasty and unsanitary. It’s commonly sold by Pocket Pets, unfortunately, so MANY people start out with this wheel.
- Broken Tail
- Missing Fur (Rubbed off from jumping against bar)
- Degloved Tail
- Entirely Ripped/Broken Off Tail
- (Do you have any to share here? Please post! Let’s help others learn about what can happen to help keep other suggies safe!)
- Glider Gossip Forum Post
- Ball Pit – Many people have made a ball pit by removing the spoke and laying the wheel flat on the floor of the cage. You can then fill it with pom pom balls or strips of fleece and hide treats within for a fun forraging toy.
Metal/Wire/Mesh wheels with Spokes
This wheels are actually dangerous to most species. The metal bars on either side of the track can do serious damage if a leg, arm or tail gets in the way. They are well known for breaking bones this way. Unfortunately they are by no means glider safe considering how agile gliders are and how long their tails are.
- Broken Tail
- Broken Legs/Arms
If you’d like to learn more about the dangers of some of the most common pet-store type of wheels you can find a lot about it on various suggie forums. Some of the problems I’ve heard about first hand range from ripping out fur to literally breaking or ripping off a glider’s tail. The glider safe wheels may be a bit costly up front but the safety and peace of mind for your glider is entirely worth it. Also, most of them are so well made they can last years!
Also, a note about the ‘hamster balls’. They are NOT safe for suggies. They can easily get a toe caught in the slats in the wheel and either break it or they may even try to chew on the limb to get free, so it’s best not to risk using one. Many horror stories have surfaced about them, sadly.
This is a work in progress! 🙂