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Can You Use Sand for Hamster Bedding?

Can You Use Sand for Hamster Bedding?

Hamsters love digging and making tunnels. So, you can’t use rugged materials for their bedding. Elements like wood, paper, or aspen shaving can be used though not all the items provide every convenience.

However, sand can be an appropriate solution. A hamster can burrow, create tunnels, and even pee on it. Also, your cleaning procedures become easier with the sand. But if the entire bedding is of sand, hamsters may pee everywhere.

So the biggest question is, can you use sand for hamster bedding? Let’s find out.

Can You Use Sand for Hamster Bedding?

Yes. But in a small amount at a specific place. Sand should be used as a part of the bedding. Maybe half or a quarter of the cage is suitable for sand bedding.

If you use sand for the entire hamster bedding, you can find them peeing everywhere. It’ll create more hassle because clearing a tank full of sand is more troublesome.

On the other hand, using sand in a corner won’t require any toilet training for your hamsters. From our experience, we’ve learned that hamsters love sand for digging, playing, and toilets. Once you place a small amount of sand beside their bedding, they’ll know what to do.

Advantages of Using Sand Beside Hamsters Bedding

Hamsters need places for digging and making tunnels. Woods or any rugged materials prevent them from doing it. Yet, sand is the appropriate element for them. They can dig, bathe, play, and pee on the sand.

Here are the more advantages you can get from the sand:

  • Make your cleaning effortless
  • Hamsters can use them as a toilet
  • Their digging trait gets fulfilled by it
  • It stimulates the natural environment
  • Improves Hamster’s quality of life

Disadvantages of Sand Bedding

Using sand all over the cage sometimes causes trouble. First and foremost, it’ll cost you time while cleaning. Secondly, hamsters can find themselves buried as they’ll dig for tunnels by nature.

Here are a few more disadvantages you should know:

  • Take more time to clean
  • Give no room to make tunnels for hamsters
  • Spreads odors
  • Hamsters can’t burrow in it
  • Gets hard to get them out of the tank while changing the substrate of the bedding

Do Hamsters Need Sand?

Hamsters are relatively clean creatures. They keep themselves fresh by bathing in sand. It helps to keep the fur from becoming oily and stinky. 

They get dirty, and their fur grows oily, even if the cage is clean. As the hamsters despise water and baths, the sand is a better option for cleaning them. Also, for their playing purposes, hamsters do need sand.

Hamsters and their cages should be kept tidy by replacing the bedding on a regular basis. If you keep the sand bath in the cage for a lengthy period, it’ll get dirty as it absorbs the oils from the hamsters’ fur.

It’s also possible that your hamsters will start using the sand as a toilet. You should remove the sand and clean the tub after each sand bath.

Consult a veterinarian if your Hamster looks exceedingly smelly or if the stench lingers after a sand bath.

What Kind Of Sand To Use For Hamster Bedding?

It’s critical to provide your Hamster with the appropriate sand. Use a type that is chemical-free and safe if possible.

You should also make sure that there is sufficient sand in their cage so that they don’t feel confined or bored. Finally, consider how deep you want to fill the tub. A bath that is too shallow may not give enough bathing room, while a bath that is too deep may provide a risk of drowning.

How Much Sand Do I Need To Fill Up My Hamster’s Cage?

About 2 to 5 pounds of sand is required to fill a part of the cage. It’ll be enough to make a deep layer that your Hamster can easily dig into and play with.

Keep in mind that 10 pounds of sand will only fill half to two-thirds of a typical hamster cage. We recommend buying the largest bag you can afford so that changing it with new sand does not cost you any more money.

After you’ve set up the cage and filled it with sand, keep an eye on your pet to make sure no sand gets into their eyes, ears, or mouth.

How Do I Clean My Hamster’s Sand?

Every week, you must clear the sand. Sifting it through a wire mesh strainer or colander is the most effective way to achieve this. Food fragments and other trash in the sand will be caught by wire mesh.

Changing the sand every 15 days (maximum 30 days) helps to keep smells away, and your pet feels fresh.

Some scents, on the other hand, may grow far too strong for them if their bedding is kept untouched for a long while. It’ll also make them feel uneasy. So keep changing the sand every 15 days.


What can I use instead of Hamster bedding?

Well, you can go for multiple alternatives, like shredded cardboard, newspaper, paper pulp, hay, shredded paper, etc.

What sand is unsafe for hamsters?

It’s pretty daunting and challenging to figure out the amount of clay dust in sands. As a result, we highly recommend keeping away clay-based sands. Plus, Hygiene and deodorant sands may feel good, but still, keep enough potential to harm the Hamster.

Should my Hamster have a sand bath?

It’s quite evident that Hamsters don’t love water baths, instead, they blend in a sand bath. If they feel a bit untidy, they’ll surely be cleaning up themselves in an enjoyable sand bath.

Last Words

So did you get your answer to the question; can you use sand for hamster bedding? We hope you did. Placing sand in a sufficient amount will keep your hamsters fresh and charming.

Yet, not only keep the sand but also replace it regularly. Thus, you’ll be able to create a great environment for your pocket pet.

John Thompson
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