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Old 07-11-2019, 04:49 AM   #1
Bearclaw
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Default Dusty Argos play sand?

Hi everyone,

Iím a new hamster owner, and have pretty much no experience with sand, be it for rodents orÖ in general (not much of a beach goer), so apologies if this is a daft question.

I used Tiny Friends Farm for the first couple of months of owning my Robo, but decided to switch due to some of the bad press itís been getting (I donít know whether or not itís actually dangerous, since, as just mentioned, I donít know squat about sand. Still, when it comes to pets I like to go with the ďbetter safe than sorryĒ approach.).

Iíve seen quite a lot people in the UK recommend Argos play sand, so Iíve decided to give it a go. I baked it in the oven to dry it out, and sifted it a couple of times before storing it in a box (for the record, the entire contents of the bag fit beautifully into a 9 litre Really Uselful Box, in case anyone is looking for storage options).

Now, there clearly was dust rising up as the sand was being sifted. There was also a thin layer of dust lining the bowl I sifted the sand into.
Is this normal/safe?
Did any of you have the same experience with Argos sand?

It is entirely possible Iím being a little paranoid. I do know dust is bad for hamstersí respiratory health, but, to reiterate, I donít know how sand works. What even is sand.
Is some amount of dust going to be unavoidable when using any type of sand?
If so, what levels are safe? How much dust is too much dust?

Apologies for my complete ignorance with regards to granular rock materials, and thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:09 AM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Dusty Argos play sand?

To be honest I am not keen on sand full stop! I find it can all be a bit dusty. For a Syrian hamster it isn't really necessary - they generally arent bothered about sand baths - I use it just in a litter tray. Dwarf hamsters do like to have a sand bath and generally that's a good idea and can double up as a toilet.

I wouldn't worry about the tiny friends sand. I've just switched back to it. I stopped using it when it it changed and looked coarser and darker (although it didn't seem to bother our hamsters) - and bought some Rodipet sand - which also has a cloud of dust rising when you pour it out!

So I've gone back to the tiny friends sand - which at least isn't dusty!

There are some people who say no sand is safe and certain silicate types aren't safe - I have never had a problem as long as it isn't dusty.

So I'd just go back to the Tiny Friends one It doesn't matter which sand I use in the litter tray, our syrian removes it all again! He doesn't like any sand, but it's needed in the litter tray!

I am no expert on the different types of sand, but what I do know is dust is bad for their sensitive respiratory system - the tiny friends one isn't dusty so I'd stick with that.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:13 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Dusty Argos play sand?

Update! After what you said I have read all the Amazon reviews saying the new version is very dusty and not safe. So I am off to check the tub I just bought (after running out of the Rodipet sand recently)................
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:22 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Dusty Argos play sand?

Ok - I opened my new tub and poured some into a dish from a reasonable height and there weren't clouds of dust (which I get with the Rodipet sand!). So it doesn't seem dusty to me - it is grey coloured and fairly coarse. The look is off-putting definitely, with it being grey. Which is why I changed originally, only to find the Rodipet sand was a bit dusty (but it tends to settle when poured out). I've used both with our dwarf hamster over the last year and he doesn't seem bothered what type it is!

No idea why it is grey or why they changed it. I am not sure that it is unsafe in any way though - just an off-putting colour!
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dusty Argos play sand?

According to the vet uk site it has been tested for the perfect grain size and isn't dusty.

https://www.vetuk.co.uk/small-animal...and-1kg-p-5619

I have written to Supreme in the Uk to ask for further information on what type of sand it is. It may be that it is from pumice which would explain the grey colour.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dusty Argos play sand?

I wrote to them once before to ask what their sand was made of (before this recent change) when people had concerns about sand back then, and the old version was 100% sepiolate sand. They may have switched to pumice stone sand for example, when people were worried that sepiolate was bad!

I used the old version for years with no issues.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dusty Argos play sand?

So for example, the rodipet sand says it is made from 100% pumice NO sepiolite and NO attapulgite. They seem to think that is a safe version of sand. And the germans use sand extensively in their cages. However I found it dusty when pouring it out.

So it may be that because people were saying sepiolite isn't safe, that Supreme/Tiny Friends changed their formula to pumice as well.

https://www.rodipet.co.uk/bedding-sa...-3-litres.html

The negative amazon reviews are all from Amazon in the US. On Amazon in the Uk they're all positive.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:46 PM   #8
Ria P
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Default Re: Dusty Argos play sand?

I've used the Tiny Friends sand since i got my Syrian hamster who likes sand, in March. Hamsters originate from the dessert afterall so should be genetically equipped to deal with a bit of dust is my reasoning.
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:46 PM   #9
alpacassei
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Default Re: Dusty Argos play sand?

I’ve never experienced dust with Argos play sand tbh. I recently bought a new bag and it was dust free as always. Maybe you got a bad batch?
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:57 PM   #10
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: Dusty Argos play sand?

I think a bit of dust is going to be inevitable in most sands. There is dust in beddings too you have to remember. It is definitely essential for a robo to have sand and a large area of it at that. I personally don’t think the tiny friends farm is ideal as a bathing sand in all honesty as it just isn’t soft, it is very coarse. You need to find a balance really, I liked the rodipet sand a lot more. The bags of Argos sand I bought had almost zero dust clouding up so it might be a bad batch.
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