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Although this is called Chinchilla sand, it is also ideal for hamsters, when I purchased the hamster for the kids, it came with the cage all included, inside the cage was a plastic small bath like thing, that was filled with sand.
I was recommended to buy a bag of sand to go with it which cost me £4 for a decent sized bag, that so far does not seem to be going down by much, and I have had it for about a month. I usually have to fill the bath up once a week, as they do like to use it quite a bit, and the sand does soon empty around the cage, and also does get stuck in their fur a little bit.
The pet shop owner did say that hamsters love to bath in this, but I thought it might just be an excuse for them to make more money, but my hamster does seem to go in quite a lot. And seems to love using it. It is quite funny to watch the hamster use this as it rolls round in it pretty fast, and gets all its body rolled in the sand.
The sand looks like just any normal sand that you would see, but I was warned that I must only use proper chinchilla sand for the hamsters as normal sand could harm them. The sand is worth the money I paid for it, as I can see it lasting a good few months still, and the hamsters do seem to enjoy taking a bath in this, although I do think they could also do without it, so it depends on how spoilt you want your hamster to be.
I'm a real animal lover (aren't we all!) and I've had a whole menagerie of animals over the past few years. One of my favourites had to be my Chinchillas. Chinchillas are notoriously cute but also quite tricky animals to look after. A part of the reason I was attracted to them and I think they look so cute is because of their massively fluffy coat, unfortunately this is also one of the reasons they are so difficult to care for. Their coat is a lot thicker then it looks, only after owning mine and finding my hand completely disappear in their fluff did I realize how much fur there was and how little actual chinchilla!
Anyway, this coat causes a problem for several reasons. Firstly, their coat attracts oil in the same way that our hair does and so you need a way to remove some of these oils to prevent build up. This is a simple problem for us, we merely wash our hair to keep it clean. Chinchilla's however should never be bathed in water. It's not so much the water itself that causes the problem but the fact that they are so difficult to ensure that their coat is completely dry due to the thickness. This is especially important as if their coat remains wet fungus and other organisms can grow against their skin - not nice stuff!
So then, if you can't wash it how do you control the oils? Well, in the wild they would roll around in ash so the best way to recreate this in your home is to give your chinchillas a sand bath every day. The sand helps to keep down the oils in their coat and generally keep it clean. I have tried many different brands of chinchilla sand but essentially they are all the same thing a very fine grain sand that feels more like dust and is coloured cream.
This simply gets put inside a sand bath which is placed inside their cage for a set amount of time each day. The suggested length of time varies depending on the pack you buy, I tried many different brands depending on what was on offer at the time and left the sand bath in for 45 minutes every night (I had two chinchillas so just over 20 minutes each). Since Dooyoo's picture and mentioned brand here is Zooplus they suggest a minimum of half an hour every day so according to this I was actually not giving them enough time but it worked for me and my pets. I'd suggest finding a routine that works for you and your pet and go by that. I never left my Chinchilla's alone with a sand bath and would recommend that you don't either - no real harm will come to them but I was a protective chinchilla mummy (besides, it's great fun to watch them rolling around in it and who would want to miss out on that?)
Chinchillas are very social animals and love human company but they're also nocturnal. So, I found it best to let them run around with me (again, they should always be supervised, they can and will chew everything they can find) and then put them in their cage with a sand bath before going to bed myself. This might work for you, it might not but again find your own routine.
The sand itself worked extremely well, there was never any excess of oil on either of my chinchillas fur, it always looked clean and well groomed. Unlike some other brands that aggravated one or both my chinchillas eyes and nose - I never found this problem with this sand.
The only real problem wasn't specific to this brand and I'm sure my chinchilla's would have seen it as a good thing! Chinchilla sand is very fine to ensure that it doesn't aggravate them, however since they're so energetic when rolling around in the stuff it tends to go everywhere. Since it's so fine it's a pain to clear up, especially if it gets on the carpet as it tends to work itself into the fibres and stick there; so I would strongly suggest either using a high sided bath/bucket to contain the sand or use it on a hard floor that you can just sweep up after. However as I said, this is a general problem and not specific to this brand.
I used to buy singular 5kg bags from my local pet shop for about £4 (this was 2-3 years ago) I haven't seen it in pet shops locally recently but then I haven't been looking either. It is however available online from the Zooplus website (www.zooplus.co.uk) as 3, 5kg bags for £15.69. I used to use about 1-2 inches of sand in the bottom of a sand bath and change it nightly (you can reuse if it's still clean but I preferred to change) and a 5kg bag would last about 2-3 months.
As for recommendation, chinchilla sand is a must for chinchilla owners so it's really a matter of whether or not the brand was any good. There are some cheaper sands around especially since if buying online from Zooplus you have to buy in bulk. From my experience I am happy to recommend it, it cleaned their fur and kept it oil free whilst not irritating them. Having said that, I do appreciate that what works for one animal may not work for another and so feel free to try other cheaper options first as they may suit you and your pet. However if you do find that you have problems with them, then this is a good quality sand that's definitely worth a go.