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Old 01-17-2021, 11:53 AM   #1
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Default Encouraging ham to use sandbath again?

So I have a syrian hes about 18 months old. Lately he stopped using his sandbath and its resulted in his claws getting quite long. I placed a few pieces of raw wood and stones in his regularly visited spots to help but they havent. Hes still using the bath as a toilet (which hes always done) but not to bathe? can I encourage him to do this again?
Clipping them myself is a last resort because hes a really nervous hamster, he still doesnt even really like being petted.
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Old 01-18-2021, 02:17 PM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Encouraging ham to use sandbath again?

You could try and hide a monkey nut or seeds with shells in the sand, maybe he'll dig for it.
You could also put in a terracotta pot lying on its side and big enough for your hamster to go into it. Sometimes they go in and start to dig and scratch.
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Old 01-18-2021, 03:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Encouraging ham to use sandbath again?

Syrians often aren’t that bothered about sand baths. Having a piece of rough granite or a plant pot terracotta saucer under the water bottle and/or food bowl gives a regular bit off roughening. But even then, once they get older it is common for their nails to get too long and then snipping then is needed. How long are they? If they’ve started curling over at the ends the will need snipping or he won’t be able to walk/climb properly or keep his grip.

It is nerve wracking but it just takes a bit of time and patience. Although not so easy if he is not particularly tame. I had to do this on a two year old Syrian recently and despite having done it before I still found it nerve wracking - but you can get in the swing of it. What works best for me is just plonking a pile of very tasty food in front of the hamster while they are out of the cage - eg on the sofa- abd at a time of night when he is less active and more dopey (often before 10pm but after 8pm).

In my case it was a heap of strawberry porridge. He sat there tucking in and while he was doing that I was able to snip the odd nail with a small pair of nail scissors. You might only get one or two nails done each time before he pulls away and it gets too difficult. So then you try again another night. Time and patience!

When snipping them you o my want to take of the very tip of the nail - about 1mm - just a tiny bit - so you don’t cut the quick as that can hurt them or it can bleed. With particularly long nails that means doing that again a few times - eg a tiny bit each time. Until they are gradually shortened. The food distracts them so they don’t notice and are sitting still - but it needs to be something really tasty. One video I saw used a pile of yoghurt. Whatever your hamster’s favourite tipple is! Ours love strawberry baby porridge. Because it’s sweet I guess and they do like porridge.
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Encouraging ham to use sandbath again?

I've read that sitting the hamster in a colander, plastic basket or sieve with some tasty food may work because the claws come through the holes and can be snipped.
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