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Old 04-02-2017, 08:40 AM   #1
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Britain
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Default Sand?

I've seen ideas floating around on the Internet for sand as a substrate. Of course not for the full cage, but i imagine it would help keep their claws in better shape than paper based bedding in their whole cage? I have a pretty large bag of play sand for their baths that I could use. Just wondering whether this would be a good idea or not beyond being for a 'cage theme'.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:41 AM   #2
The Hamtologist
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Default Re: Sand?

I'm not sure it would really keep their claws that trim as smooth stones, wood, and pumice would all do a better job at that, but it would definitely be a beneficial thing to add! I would only fill around 1/4 of the whole cage with sand max as paper substrate really is better for burrowing and overall much more comfortable than sand. However, a large sand pit would add stimulation and help with coat health
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sand?

I would say it depends on the size of your cage & how much your ham enjoys sand, if you have space in the cage to make a bigger sand area without giving up too much of the others things you have in there & your ham really enjoys sand then it might be worth a go, I doubt it would make much more difference than just digging in the sand bath keeping claws trim though.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sand?

Hi, sand needs to be sterilized first by baking in the oven for 20 min, remove the larger pieces if applicable?

Sand is great for sand baths, sometimes they will use it as a potty which is a benefit, then you can use a little fork type sifter & remove the lumps.

If your doing a beach theme cage would be nice But paper bedding or Aspen in the US is a must, not sand.
I know it's crazy, you can get a 50 lb bag for $5.00. But their bedding again needs to be paper (best) or Aspen
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sand?

There wouldn't be any benefits a large sand area would provide that a standard sand bath wouldn't Furthermore,with a large area of sand you're introducing more of a potential for dust to enter the habitat,which can cause respiratory problems and is why sand really should be kept to a minimal sand bath with just enough depth for the hamster to roll in.

However,as long as the sand is sifted and sterilized it can be used,just not for a large area!There are more enriching things out there than sand,especially all the safe things.Keep substrate throughout the cage to a safe variety(Fitch in the UK,not wood as this can and often will cause an allergic reaction and is just not worth the risk to use when there are so many perfectly good substrates that never cause allergic reactions),and add enrichment in the form of foraging toys and things like that
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:45 AM   #6
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Britain
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Default Re: Sand?

I wasn't very clear in my original post, sorry! What I meant is that my hamster has a large cage (Ikea detolf) with paper bedding in it. I thought having partially sand would provide some interest, because so far she's been digging a lot in her sand bath, and that it would wear her nails down even a little more than the paper bedding. I've put sand in about 1/5 of her cage, and I'll be seeing if she likes it, and I'll change it back if she doesn't. It doesn't seem to have any dust or large particles in, and I've baked it just in case. Plus this will be easier to make sure the sand stays where it's supposed to be, as before it was going everywhere and mixing with the paper substrate!
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:12 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: Sand?

Sand is good but not really for the entire cage.
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sand?

I love making large sand pits for Jasper's cage. I fill an area of about a fifth of the cage, which is where Larry-Jasper's wheel is. I do find it helps with nails, as Jasper loves that area under the wheel the most.
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baths, cage, sand

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