Hamsters are animals that like to keep themselves naturally clean,
They are constantly trying to rid themselves of dirt and grime.
The way they do this by grooming themselves and pass on this ability to their young from an early age.
Maintaining a good level of cleanliness independently of anybody else is very important to them.
However there maybe occasions where they cannot clean themselves in a thorough way.
When this happens, they cannot be bathed in water like some other animals can.
This is because they can get sick very quickly if bathed in water.
Unfortunately, they have been known catch cold and die because they have been bathed in water.
There is an alternative though!
The alternative is to do what chinchillas do and give them a sand bath.
In order to do this, chinchilla owners can use dust or sand and provide a sand or dust bath for their pet.
Chinchilla dust can be purchased from any good pet store
It is an essential part of the upkeep of a chinchilla.
However, chinchilla dust is very fine and is unfortunately bad for the respiratory system of a hamster.
So can hamsters use chinchilla bath sand instead?
The good news is, they can use bath sand as it is not as fine as chinchilla dust and more suited to them.
It may be labelled as hamster sand bath, chinchilla sand bath or just a general sand bath.
It is a naturally abrasive substance which acts against the particles in the coat of the hamster.
By rolling about in sand they remove these particles and also absorb moisture.
In this process, excess oils on the coat and skin of the hamster are also removed.
Hamsters use sand to cleanse themselves in the wild where water is scarce.
It is available to be purchased from good pet stores, many of which may have a good selection.
Get a suitable container for the sand
Next, find a bowl or container that is big and strong enough for your hamster to roll about in it
Make sure it is large enough for them to feel comfortable in.
Pet stores will often sell these types of bowls or containers as well as online stores.
Avoid bows that are made from plastic or wood.
This is because they can easily chew through these surfaces quite easily.
Porcelain or stainless steel bowls or containers are usually suitable.
They really do not mind what shape of bowl it is.
As long as they can clamber into it and can move around it without a problem.
Next, pour in the sand
To use it, just pour out between three to five centimeters of bath sand into a container.
Once the bowl is filled with the required level of sand, put it in their cage.
Place it in such a way that they can notice the sand bath and are encouraged to start rolling about in it.
What happens if they don’t like it?
Hamsters may not like it at first but it is a method worth persisting with it.
Once they try it, most enjoy it but some may not know what to do if presented with one.
It is worth allowing them time to get used to it and to work out what to do with this strange new bowl of sand in their home.
Don’t forget to clean it out
It is worth checking the sand bath on a regular basis if it is left in their cage for any length of time.
It has been known for hamsters to mistake it for a toilet so it will need cleaning out regularly.
So don’t leave it alone and include it in your regular cage cleaning routine.