Hamster sand baths can help to deter skin parasites and remove grease and dirt from your hamster’s fur. In this hamster sand bath guide we look at when to give your hamster a sand bath, and at how to make sure you use safe hamster sand. We’ll also give you some tips and ideas for making a sand bath container or buying a purpose built sand bath for hamsters.
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What is a hamster sand bath?
A sand bath is quite different to the regular sort of bath we might give our pet dogs, for example.
A pet-safe sand is poured into a container that is shallow enough for your hamster to get in and out of. And large enough to roll about in.
Rather than using soap and water to wash away any dirt from your pet’s fur, your hamster will roll around and play in the sand. This removes grease and dirt from their fur.
If you’re having trouble picturing that, here’s a video of two adorable dwarf hamsters enjoying a sand bath!
Do hamsters need sand baths?
Hamsters stay clean by grooming themselves, and should generally stay clean. Provided that their cages aren’t dirty and their bedding is changed regularly.
However, there is always the chance that their fur could get a little dirty, or oily, no matter how clean their surroundings are.
Water baths are rarely recommended for hamsters, as most hamsters will hate being immersed in water and will avoid it if given the option.
If you’re concerned about the cleanliness of your hamster, you may want to check with a vet that everything is okay. For instance if it begins giving off an extreme smell, or if you notice its fur looking dirty.
Your vet may suggest a sand bath to help keep your hamster’s fur clean.
Because hamsters naturally clean themselves, they shouldn’t need sand baths. However giving your hamster a sand bath can actually help it clean itself.
Additionally, whilst sand baths are allowed for hamsters, dust baths are not recommended, as they could give your pet respiratory problems.
Do hamsters like sand baths?
Many furry animals enjoy rolling around in dry sand. As seen in the video earlier in the article, hamsters can have a lot of fun rolling around and playing in sand baths!
However, every hamster is different, and you may find that yours just isn’t interested in a sand bath.
Do Syrian hamsters like sand baths more or are Dwarf hamsters bigger fans?
Dwarf hamsters seem to enjoy sand baths more than Syrian hamsters. But this isn’t a strict rule for all hamsters – you may have a Syrian that loves sand baths!
If your hamster does enjoy its sand bath, it can be another easy way of keeping your little pet entertained. And a good way to give it a bit of exercise!
Hamster sand bath – how often?
It is entirely up to you how often to offer your hamster a sand bath.
Some people like to keep the sand bath in their hamster’s cage so it has the option every day, whereas others like to offer it less frequently.
The most important thing is to make sure the sand you are offering is clean.
If you leave your sand bath in your hamster’s cage for an extended period of time, it will inevitably become dirty, as it gets filled with excess oils from your hamster’s fur.
Your hamster may also begin to use its sand bath as a toilet if it is just left in their cage, which means it could no longer be used as a bath.
You need to change dirty sand, otherwise it will not keep your hamster clean as it should.
How to make a sand bath for hamsters
Giving your hamster a sand bath will require relatively little effort from you.
If you are wondering where to buy hamster sand bath – or if a diy hamster sand bath possible – then we’ve got some solutions.
You’ll just need to find a shallow, clean container, or dish that is big enough for your hamster to move around in.
If you don’t have one of these at home, you’ll be able to find one on online or in pet stores. Some of these, along with different types of sand, will be recommended later on in the article.
Pour some of your chosen sand into the dish and place it in your hamster’s cage.
Your hamster will do the rest
How to give a hamster a sand bath
Once your hamster has access to their sand bath, all you need to do is sit back and watch your hamster enjoy itself! It will roll around in the sand for a while, playing, digging and cleaning itself.
Your hamster may accidentally push sand out of the container as it rolls around inside. So you may prefer to keep the container near an edge of the cage.
Before preparing your hamster’s next sand bath, you should make sure the container you used is clean by thoroughly washing and drying it.
Dwarf hamster sand bath
Gorgeous little Dwarf hamsters love rolling around and playing in sand baths, and it is a great extra way to keep their fur clean.
Dwarf hamsters tend to enjoy sand baths more than Syrian hamsters, so if you have a Dwarf hamster, it is a great idea to try one!
Since these hamsters are smaller, you may want to get a container for your dwarf hamster sand bath that is more suited to their size.
NiteAngel Sand Bath
This sand bath from NiteAngel is a great example.
It comes in a variety of colors to suit your hamster’s habitat!
BUCATSTATE Sand Bath
Also on the smaller size, this nifty sand bath by BUCATSTATE is a great option.
Syrian hamster sand bath
Syrian hamsters are a little larger than dwarf hamsters, and tend not to like sand baths quite as much.
However, this isn’t a rule for all Syrian hamsters, and you may find that yours loves them!
If this is the case, you may want to purchase a larger container. So your larger hamster has plenty of space to roll around.
PINVBY Sand Bath
This sand bath by PINVBY would be perfect.
It’s got all the space he’ll need to tumble about.
Safe sand for hamsters
If you’ve decided you would like to go ahead and try out a sand bath, you might be wondering what is the best sand to get for your hamster.
As we said earlier, it is important to get sand rather than dust, to avoid giving your hamster health problems.
Is chinchilla sand safe for hamsters? Yes it is!
Tiny Friends Farm Bathing Sand
A good option is the Tiny Friends Farm Chinchilla Bathing Sand*.
This is a highly rated choice, that is entirely dust free, and chinchilla sand for hamsters is safe to use.
Kaytee Chinchilla Bath Sand
Another good choice is Kaytee Chinchilla Bath Sand*.
Pet Post Bathing Sand
Pet Post make this fantastic bathing sand.
It’s made from pumice sourced in Idaho!
There are lots of different types of sand available on amazon, however it is important to read reviews carefully to avoid ending up with dust.
Products named ‘powder’ are more likely to do your hamster harm than good, as is Chinchilla dust.
Best hamster sand bath
Perhaps you’re also searching for a good container to bathe your hamster in.
Kaytee Ceramic Critter Bath
The Ceramic Critter Bath by Kaytee* is great for dwarf hamsters.
This bath is great because it looks adorable in your hamster’s cage, but also keeps the spread of sand outside the bath to a minimum.
This makes it easier to clean up after your hamster has finished using it. Although you won’t get such a clear view of your pet rolling around in the sand!
FATPET Sand Bath
If you’re after something slightly bigger, for a Syrian hamster or even just so your dwarf hamster has a little more room, a good option is the hamster sand bath by FATPET*.
This has more room, so may be more suitable for a Syrian hamster, and is easy to clean.
This is, however, made of plastic, so if your hamster likes to chew things this may not be the best choice!
Trixie Sand Bath
You can even use a Chinchilla sand bath for hamsters*.
Although you won’t want to fill it too high, and will need to have a hamster cage with plenty of room.
Hamster Sand Baths
Hamster sand baths can be a nice way for your hamster to clean herself, or to play around and provide a fun activity.
Have you given your hamster a sand bath before?
Let us know in the comments how it went! Did your hamster enjoy it?
Affiliate link disclosure: Links in this article marked with an * are affiliate links, and we may receive a small commission if you purchase these products. However, we selected them for inclusion independently, and all of the views expressed in this article are our own.
The Harry hamster etc sand is no longer safe as it is has had a change in formula and is now made out of clay
I bought the kaytee chinchilla sand and it’s not great. it’s super dusty and is too similar to chinchilla dust.
This is really incorrect. Dust is dangerous for hamsters because it is so fine, and it they can breath it in. This leads to respiratory problems. Use aquarium or reptile sand (not calcisand), or bake some cheap play sand and use that
i use natural reptile sand. miami the hammy doesnt roll but she likes to dig in it.
Most products that are advertised as chinchilla “sand” are actually not sand but extremely fine dust made from ground pumice (it’s supposed to be like the volcanic ash chinchillas role in in the wild). If dust is harmful to hamsters, you definitely do NOT want to use products designed for chinchilla dust baths.