Can Hamsters Have Sand In Their Cage? (Safe + Unsafe Sand)

If you are a new Hamster owner, you might be wondering about sand in your little one’s enclosure. Hamsters love to play in sand, but is it safe for them? Do they really need it? Can it lead to any health complications in them? I’ve gone through the same troublesome situation, and so today I’ve decided to help you.

Although sand is not something your Hamster won’t be able to live without, but it is very helpful in keeping them clean and healthy. However, you must keep in mind that not all kinds of sand are safe for our Hamsters. Play sand, reptile sand, or even chinchilla sand works best for our Hamsters.

Choosing the perfect sand is often a challenging task for most Hamster owners. Hamsters may suffer from severe health problems if we provide them with bad quality sand. Therefore, it is important to be very careful while choosing the sand for your little ones.

Keeping these points in mind, let us learn more about sand and sand baths for our Hamsters.

Also read, ‘Do Hamsters Need A Sand Bath? (Step By Step Guide)

Picture Credits: Bean ,The Russian Dwarf Hamster; Instagram Handle: @kensiesanimals

Do Hamsters Like Sand?

Sand is a Hamster’s way to keep itself clean. They love to roll down and get their fur coated with sand.

Even in the wind, Hamsters are known to use sand to keep themselves clean and hygienic. Sand helps our Hamsters in several ways.

Sand is a great way to keep your Hamster’s fur soft and smooth. As water baths can make our Hamsters sick and lead to organ failures, sand baths are very popular among Hamster owners.

Sand helps in the equal distribution of the natural oil in our Hamster’s skin. The dried poop stuck in our Hamster’s fur even falls out when they bath in sand. It also helps to remove all the dust particles and debris from your skin.

Sand baths assure the cleansing of our Hamsters, without hampering their lives. Also, sand baths sessions are fun and relaxing for our Hamsters.

How Deep Should A Hamster Sand Bath Be?

An average of 2 inch of sand is perfect for our Hamsters. However, you should decide the depth in the basis of the size of your Hamsters.

If you have a tiny Hamster 1 or 1.5 inch would work. If your Hamster is quite big, then you can even go for 3 inch deep sand.

Do not go for less than an inch. As Hamsters love to dig and roll in their sand box, they need adequate sand.

Can You Leave Sand Bath In Hamster’s Cage?

This decision depends on you more than your Hamsters. Even if your little one uses sand everyday, it is not harmful. However, you need to make sure that the sand is clean.

Many Hamster owners prefer to put the dish once every three to four days in their Hamster cage, while others leave it with their Hamster the entire time.

Often hamsters misunderstand sand containers as litter boxes. Therefore, keeping an eye on your Hamster is really important.

Also, if your Hamster uses the sand bath daily, rotate it every 3 to 4 days. Poor sand quality can contribute to bad skin-related allergies in our little ones.

Have a look at these Hamster sand trays, your little one will surely love it!

What Happens If My Hamster Eats Sand?

It is very important to keep an eye on your Hamsters when you provide them with the sand bath for the very first time. Most Hamsters tend to taste the sand before they use it and it is quite natural.

Consuming this little amount of sand won’t hurt your Hamster. However, you need to make sure that your Hamster does not continue to do so.

Continuous consumption of sand will make it difficult for Hamsters to digest. It could also lead to intestinal or stomach blockages.

If your Hamsters keeps on eating sand. Then I would advise you to remove the sand immediately from their enclosure. Put the sand container in their cage only under your supervision.

Safe Sand For Our Hamsters

Not all kinds of sand are safe for our Hamsters. Some brands can cause serious skin or health complications in Hamsters.

Each sand has its own pros and cons. Therefore, you need to be very careful while choosing the perfect brand for your Hamsters. Now, let us check out the best recommendations by the experts.

Children’s Play Sand

Children’s play sand is one of the best sand for our Hamsters. Most of these sand are treated to remove any kind of germs or bacteria growing in it.

However, if the sand is not heat treated it is important to bake it before giving it to your Hamsters.

Bake the sand at 350-400°F for at least 45 mins to one hour. Then, make sure you cool the sand before giving it to your Hamsters. Also, as children’s sand is quite rough, you should sieve it before giving it to your Hamsters.

You can easily get the pack of children’s play sand, from any general store.

Reptile Sand

Plain reptile sand is another great choice for our Hamsters. I would personally recommend you to go for, ‘Zoo Med ReptiSand’.

It does not have any artificial colors added to it. Also, it encourages digging behavior in our Hamsters.

Zoo Med ReptiSand®, 10 Pounds, Desert White
  • All natural no dyes or colors added
  • Perfect for desert reptiles

Chinchilla Sand

Some Hamster owners also recommend chinchilla sand for Hamsters. They clam it to be their little one’s favorite.

You will easily find chinchilla sand in any local pet store. If not, you can always buy it online.

Supreme Tiny Friends Farm Bathing Sand 2.2lb
  • 52.8 oz. Chinchilla Sand.
  • Constructed with the highest quality materials for your pet.

Sand To Avoid

There are a few things that you must considering before choosing the perfect sand for your Hamsters.

Picture Credits: Bean ,The Russian Dwarf Hamster; Instagram Handle: @kensiesanimals

Listed below are a few things that you must avoid:

  • Never buy anything labeled as ‘dust’ or ‘powder’.
  • Look for bacteria-free sand for your Hamsters.
  • Make sure that the sand does not has any added artificial colors.
  • Look for sand that observes Hamsters’ urine and prevent smell.
  • Do not buy sand that has an excessive amount of calcium in it.

Are Dust Baths Good For Hamsters?

You should never give your Hamsters dust baths.

Dust baths can cause serious respiratory complications in our Hamsters as dust granules are much finer in comparison to sand.

Hamsters may also face difficulty in breathing. Therefore, it is best to avoid dust baths.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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