Are you considering using an ordinary sand to bath your hamster? Is it safe to do so or there are special sands designated for such purpose? In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you should know.
You should only use dust-free and microorganism-free sand for your Hamster bath. Such kind of sand will protect them against dust causing diseases and disease-causing microorganisms. One such sand is the Sepiolite chinchilla sand.
What Can I Use For a Hamster Sand Bath?
Some typical hamster-friendly sands you can use for your hamster’s bath include Sepiolite chinchilla sand, Aragonite aquarium sand, Calcium carbonate hermit crab sand, Supreme Tiny Friends Farm Bathing Sand, and Children’s play sand.
These sands are dust-free and safe for your pet’s respiratory health. Many of them are sterile; hence, they protect your pet against dangerous microorganisms. For those that aren’t sterile but dust-free, you can put them in the oven at a temperature of about 350°F. That way, you would have sterilized the sand and gotten rid of every microorganism in it.
Hamsters have oily fur, protecting their skin against infection and regulating their body temperature. Therefore, it is inappropriate to bathe them with water or soap. Doing so will expose the animal to the risk of infection or drastically lower their body temperature.
You can only bathe hamsters with water at the recommendation of your vet. More so, some factors might warrant that you bath the pet with water, such as if it escapes and gets into gasoline or has something in its coat that could be harmful. Besides that, you should never bathe your little pet in water.
More so, you can’t use sawdust for a Hamster’s sand bath. It is, in fact, worse than sand dust because it tends to be finer and has a lesser weight. As such, rather than cleansing the fur, it might stick to the oily particles and get the fur dirtier, which is unsafe for the pet.
Can I Use Beach Sand for a Hamster Sand Bath?
It is safe to use beach sand for a hamster sand bath as long as it is dust-free and sterilized. Most beach sands are not too fine; hence, they’re dust-free, which is the kind of sand you want for your pet sand bath.
However, beach sands usually contain bacteria and other microorganisms that might be dangerous for your beautiful pet. Hence, once you fetch the sand, first evaporate the water in it, which may be providing breeding space for bacteria.
It would be best to sterilize the sand by putting it on a baking tray and keeping it in the oven. You should maintain the temperature at around 350°F for about 20 minutes. Bacteria, Fungi, and other microorganisms will not withstand such a high temperature, leaving your beach sand sterile and safe for use.
However, sometimes, beach sands have sharp particles, perhaps from objects thrown into the water by humans or bone remnants of dead aquatic animals. Such sharp objects might be unsafe for your pet. Therefore, besides sterilizing the sand, you should also sieve it. That way, you would get rid of any hazardous objects, leaving you with clean, sterilized sand that’s safe for your pet.
Do Hamsters Need Special Sand?
Hamsters need special sand to bathe, which is vital for their healthiness. For instance, opting for dusty sands might expose the little animal to the risk of having a respiratory infection.
Dusty particles are fine and unsafe for your pet. Therefore, not using special sand to bathe your pet might mean using any sand with fine particles. Such particles might get stuck in your pet’s mouth and nose, eventually causing problems.
Therefore, hamsters need special sand to bathe. There are many packaged sands made for such special purpose, some of which include:
- Children’s play sand
- Zoo Med ReptiSand Natural
- Kaytee Small Animal Potty Training Litter
- Supreme Tiny Friends Farm Bathing Sand
Children’s Play Sand
This play sand is made for children; thus, it is non-toxic and made of hypoallergenic materials. It is, therefore, safe for rodents like Hamsters. It is also well processed, thoroughly washed, and dried before being packaged.
Zoo Med ReptiSand Natural
This sand is calcium free which is ideal for a hamster bath. If you’re looking for sand that stimulates or imitates the natural habitat of Hamsters, Zoo Med ReptiSand Natural is a good option.
Kaytee Small Animal Potty Training Litter
Kaytee Small Animal Potty Training Litter is made of calcium-free, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic material. Therefore, it is ideal for small animals like hamsters.
Supreme Tiny Friends Farm Bathing Sand
This is perfect sand for a hamster sand bath. It comprises 100% natural sand, and it has several remarkable features like dust-free, absorbent, and bacteria-free. Thus, it is special sand for a hamster bath.
Is a Sand Bath Safe for Hamsters?
A sand bath is the safest bathing method for hamsters. Unlike water bathing that clears almost all the oil on the animal’s fur, sand bathing only gets rid of its excess oils and cleanse out stains as well.
Unlike other animals, Hamsters don’t like water baths. The best way to clean the animal is to imitate their natural way of bathing in the wild, which is in the sand. However, while a sand bath is recommended, you shouldn’t mistake it for a dust bath. The former is safe while the latter is unsafe.
Also, not all sands are safe to bathe your pet. You should only opt for ones that have no fine particles or dust. The sand should also be free of microorganisms and dangerous objects. If these factors are fulfilled, then we can confidently say a sand bath is safe for hamsters.
How Often Should I Change My Hamster’s Sand Bath?
You should change your hamster’s sand bath every two weeks. However, it could be earlier if your pet urinates or poo in it. Leaving such substances in the sand might get your beautiful pet dirtier or smelly.
On the other hand, if your hamster doesn’t turn its sand bath into a toilet where it poops and urinates, the sand will remain clean for an extended period; hence, you might not have to change often. It might remain unchanged for a month or two, and that will still be fine.
In some cases, you may have to change the sand bath every day or every two days if you find urine or poop in it. However, if the poop or urine isn’t much, you may scoop it out and leave the remaining fresh sand, which might remain for the next few weeks before you do general cleanup and eventually change it.