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Old 07-11-2019, 01:08 PM   #1
Sancerree
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Arrow Safe sand bath for dwarf hamster - 2019

Hi,
I'm sorry If this is the wrong place (I found it as most suitable for my question) but this is my first post. I don't own a hammy yet, but I'm planning to get one dwarf hamster soon, first trying to complete the list of things I need for him. I got the majority ready but the problem is with the sand bath.

Which sand bath is safe? I've read that the most popular one - Tiny Friends Farm Charlie, Harry and Gerri Bathing Sand - got it formula changed early this year (2019) and is now very dusty therefore dangerous for a hamster. Then I've read people recommending - Supreme Petfoods Science Bathing Sand, but then I encountered information that its the same company as above just with changed packaging and now I'm a bit lost.

Can anyone recommend a safe, not dusty sand bath that I could order for my dwarf hamster? I'm based in UK. I would appreciate any advice or comments on the 2 that I mentioned earlier, thank you!
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:36 PM   #2
PurpleKat
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Default Re: Safe sand bath for dwarf hamster - 2019

I buy the non-dyed desert for reptiles, get it from pets at home. Found it's consistently less dusty, had 5 bags now. I have a Syrian and a russian dwarf, both use it as a toilet and rolling in. It's not fine like chinchilla dust but sandy texture.

https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/desert-sand-5kg
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:51 AM   #3
Sancerree
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Default Re: Safe sand bath for dwarf hamster - 2019

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleKat View Post
I buy the non-dyed desert for reptiles, get it from pets at home. Found it's consistently less dusty, had 5 bags now. I have a Syrian and a russian dwarf, both use it as a toilet and rolling in. It's not fine like chinchilla dust but sandy texture.

https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/desert-sand-5kg
Thank you for the reply! I will look into it when I go to Pets at Home later today. Iíve read some concerns regarding calcium in the sand meant for reptiles which could be harmful to hamster, do you know anything about thatís?

Also Iím assuming that this sand doesnít have to be baked (reptile one)? I would prefer to buy this 5kg rather than 15kg Argos play sand due to storage reasons.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:08 AM   #4
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: Safe sand bath for dwarf hamster - 2019

Reptile sand isn't considered safe unfortunately, even if not dyed and without added calcium.

If you can't store an entire bag of play sand in one place, perhaps try breaking it up into multiple containers for easier storage.

I would also try and look at different stores and figure out a decent play sand that's not in a 15kg bag. Unfortunately I can't be of much use with that not being from the UK, but you may be able to find a smaller play sand bag that would be much better than resorting to reptile sand which as I said isn't considered safe.

Last edited by AmityvilleHams; 07-13-2019 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:29 AM   #5
PurpleKat
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Default Re: Safe sand bath for dwarf hamster - 2019

Why is it not considered safe?
I've contacted the company and it's 100% sand, with this brand, red one has dye and calcium ones are labelled as so.
The ones with no calcium or additives are just 100% sand. I've found hardly any dust compared to hamster brands. And it mimics there natural habits, as they are from the desert.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:54 AM   #6
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: Safe sand bath for dwarf hamster - 2019

One thing I can think of right away is stricter regulation in regards to particle shape and size for children's play sand, as far as keeping everything nice and smooth goes. I did also see a review on that particular sand saying it becomes stiff when damp, which is quite concerning as it indicates that it is more likely to cause a blockage if ingested.

Reptile sands are definitely capable of causing digestive blockages, while play sand that is a good safe quality sand shouldn't really hold a significant clump in the first place. It's better to suffer through finding creative storage solutions for larger bags of play sand than pay for overpriced sand with uncertain at best safety!

Forgot to add, but I personally wouldn't be too concerned if play sand has a little dust. You're going to be sifting, rinsing, and baking it anyways before using it, which should help with dust levels.
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:45 AM   #7
PurpleKat
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Default Re: Safe sand bath for dwarf hamster - 2019

Always check the sand beforehand, I've seen hard bits in play sand, along with any other sand there can be inconsistencies between batches, even with regulations.
The lumping from been wet is consistent with the properties of sand when it becomes wet, it's not clumping like from additives.

From looking over a few brands it doesn't recommend for pets to ingest play sand, as it causes blockages. Sand should not be ingested really as the properties of sand is to lump together, think of the beech.

If it's safe then why the need to sift, rinse and bake. Especially if you're keeping the dust down this way.
It's an option if you don't want to commit to a large bag but need something.
I've tried play sand and trying to find a brand that's good seems like I was wasting money. This sand isn't dusty from the start, £7.50 for 10kg, and the clear bag part means you can visably see each bag and know what it looks like.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:14 AM   #8
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: Safe sand bath for dwarf hamster - 2019

It's still safe even if you need to sift, rinse, and bake. Some things need certain processing steps to be safe. For play sand, the baking is due to storage at hardware stores(it can get wet so needs drying, and ants for example will get into anything so these may be present).

Anything in a hamster cage should be either chew proof or digestible if ingested. While it obviously isn't good to eat any sand, play sand in accidental swallowing amounts is completely fine. It's inevitable when hamsters groom themselves that whatever is on their fur will become ingested, including play sand(reptile sands seem to clump way more, natural or otherwise, and this could be as simple as the particle size or shape causing it).

A lot of perfectly safe wood from pet stores needs some form of processing before being fully safe for hamsters, and even some foods need to be processed in some way before they're safe to consume. You wouldn't eat potatoes raw because they're unsafe to eat raw, but that doesn't make potatoes themselves unsafe!

Some play sand does come in clear bags. Dust right away isn't a concern for reasons I've already stated. I do remember seeing at least one 10kg play sand bag online, I can't remember the exact site though but I do know it was UK based and some home improvement/hardware type store.

ETA I found it again!
https://www.homebase.co.uk/soft-play...i-pack_p374055

I also found this one that may be more accessible for some and is a little bit cheaper:
https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/wilko-so...10kg/p/0423913

The Wilko one has options for delivery if you really needed it delivered, and I'm sure you could get some sort of groceries(well, not food but groceries-ish?) delivered along with the sand to make it worth the extra expense for that.

Last edited by AmityvilleHams; 07-13-2019 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:25 AM   #9
Bearclaw
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Default Re: Safe sand bath for dwarf hamster - 2019

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancerree View Post
I would prefer to buy this 5kg rather than 15kg Argos play sand due to storage reasons.
As far as storage goes, I found that 15kg of sand takes up much less space then expected. I recently got the Argos play sand, and after baking and sifting all of it fit perfectly into a 9 litre Very Useful Box, which is by no means huge!
I've slid it under the couch so it's out of the way until needed.

Last edited by Bearclaw; 07-13-2019 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:06 AM   #10
Viv Wray
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Default Re: Safe sand bath for dwarf hamster - 2019

I bought a bag of play sand free from toxins and washed and dried it then set up a small and large sand bath for Syrian Daisy***. I was so excited about how happy she was going to be BUT she decided it was just OK for a sniff but she still prefers to dig in my large planters (filled with 'dirty' compost!) So it was time to thwart D*** again and remove all access to said plants and use the unwanted very clean sand in more compost mixes(for the plants). What I'd like to provided D** with is a toxin free version of the compost she loves so. Any ideas please?
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