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I am going out of town for 3 nights and have a friend coming once a day to tend to and check on my hedgehog, Abacus. Abacus is downright nasty! I prefer to use Glad Press n' Seal on her wheel and I change that out daily as well as spot clean and change her pee pad.

I feel bad asking my pet sitter to do more than necessary and to avoid a giant mess when I get back, I was considering taking out the wheel for the 3 nights. I feel safer knowing that Abacus couldn't trip on any Press n' Seal that gets saturated and peels back etc.

Would my hedgie be miserable without her wheel for that long? Thoughts?
 

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I don't think it'd necessarily harm her to take it out, but is doing so going to stress her out, remove one avenue for channeling energy, and result in an even bigger mess?

I'd consider having your pet sitter do what you do normally or simply having them wash the wheel daily rather than using Press n Seal.

Granted, Fitzgerald is not particularly messy, but for daily cleaning, I... 1) Remove the wheel, food & water dishes, and anything in the dig box that needs washed or thrown in the laundry; 2) Fill the wheel with hot, soapy water and let it soak while I... 3) Change out the food & water in the dishes; 4) Spot clean or change out the litter; 5) Shake out the liner & replace as needed before going back to... 5) Clean & dry the wheel, etc; 6) Wipe down any messy spots on the walls (rare); and, finally, 7) place all items back in the cage. It takes all of 10 minutes. 15 if I'm being a slow poke or get interrupted.
 

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I don't think it should be that big of a deal for your friend to take care of the wheel too. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes to take the plastic off & apply new. However, if you insist on using it, I would make sure you have a chance to show your friend how you apply it to make sure it's tight & won't come up. IMO, it's not a good idea to use anything like that on the wheel due to the risk of having it come up & trip her or catch on her feet/nails. Depending on the kind of wheel you have (bucket/cake cover wheels are easiest to clean), it shouldn't take more than a few more minutes to let a wheel soak, then scrub it & rinse it clean. I didn't even do that much with my bucket wheel - I could spray it with 50/50 vinegar/water, let it sit for several minutes while I did other things in the cage (change food & water, spot-clean, etc.), then wiped it down with paper towels. Usually it'd get everything off. However, I know Comfort Wheels can be more difficult to clean, but still wouldn't be too bad with soaking.

My concern with taking your hedgehog's wheel out is that you're removing your hedgehog's main source of entertainment and exercise. Frankly, I see that as cruel to do for any reason other than a medical/health reason. The other concern I have is that some hedgehogs will resort to other activities if they don't have a wheel to run on - climbing the cage walls, which can end in injury, and self-multilation. She might just accept no wheel & sleep most of the time you're gone. But she might now, and I don't think it's fair to her to risk that.
 
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