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Ive read some people say yes and others say noway! -i know it has no benefits apart from them enjoying it and it being cute to watch-

I have this for my gerbils... It says dust free. Its soft natural sand. And i know anything dusty would affect a gerbil or chinchilla (or Hedgehog) respiratory systems so its been made especially for small animals, but i understand a hog may be totally different and not allowed any sand atall..

Opinions?
This is what i have:
 

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I've been trying to do some research into this. I haven't found a definitive answer for any specific type of sand. There are very few (I found four total) recorded instances of illness caused by sand or chinchilla dust in Canada, but I think a lot of owners probably wouldn't take their hedgie to the vet unless the problem (typically sneezing or pieces stuck in male genitalia) was really bad, so that may skew the results. Or there may actually be only four instances.

The dust bathing response is definitely hardwired into hedgehogs, so it likely has some benefits, but again, I couldn't find much in the way of reliable research.

I, PERSONALLY, would say that brand is probably fine. Only let your hog use it under supervision and check for particles stuck in eyes, nose, ears, and genitals after use. If you notice sneezing, discontinue use.

Other than that, have fun!
 

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I would never use a sand. The particles would get stuck, and they have incredibly sensitive skin as it is. Regular water baths are probably far better!
 

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I'm for. Mine has a sandbath to use only during play time, not in his cage. His skins great, nothing's got stuck yet and no lung infection yet. In Europe it's common but Americans don't seem to like it.

My suggestion is see how they respond to it and make a decision.

To me it seems so natural that I would consider it a cruely not to provide it. I've only ever seen mine groom when in sand. He'll comb the sand through his fur with his teeth after the usual rolling activity. I'm sure this is what they do in the desert as it's clearly not just a play activity.

I also struggle to believe that a desert hedgehog that walks about 1cm off the ground and spends most of the time sniffing the ground would have a problem with an occasional sand bath.

I definitely would not use it as a substrate though!

Ultimately it's your pet and you need to make the call, but having seen what pleasure mine gets from it I simply couldn't deny it.
 

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In various countries in Europe it's common to give your hedgehog a sandbath and most people use chinchilla sand :) It's natural behaviour for them and they clean themselves in the sand. I've never heard of problems with sandbaths.

For example in Germany a lot of people see giving your hedgehog a bath with water almost as animal abuse. Most hedgehogs hate water, so I can see their point - so there are a lot of people who prefer sandbaths in which the hedgehog can clean itself. It's definitely more natural and most likely more fun for the hedgehog as well.
 

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He everyone! I've never given my hedgie a sand bath before because I've always need negative things about it. But reading this thread has changed my mind!! What does a sand bath do for your hedgie besides play into their instincts. Does it actually help clean and exfoliate the skin?? Does it have health benefits?? Or is it just for play. Either way, seems fun!!
 

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So it has no effect on skin dryness? Dry skin is a major battle we're fighting right now. I really want to try this if that's the case, but I'm wondering if Humilac applied to the skin the day before, or the day after might make the sand stick and cause problems.

How often can you let your hedgie sand bathe?
From what I've seen it actually benefits the skin. I don't give mine many sandbaths but I know a lot of people who just leave the sandbath in the cage all the time. Not sure if the hogs use it every night though.
 

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I used to leave mine in the cage but removed it due to the insane mess he'd make and sand finding itself round the whole house. He would roll numerous times a night in it.

In response to sc2001 the main benefit I see is he grooms in it. The rolling in the wild I imagine helps remove parasites, but the main benefit to a domestic hedgehog seems to be encouraging grooming. Mine will ball up and run all his fur through his teeth like a dog cleans itself. Without sand I've never seen this behaviour.

P.s. Since removing the sand from his cage his skin appears flakier and his feet dirtier so it's going back in.
 

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If the dust free chinchilla sand the OP posted is actually dust free, that would probably be perfect. Finn won't use chinchilla sand, so I've been using the soil I bought for substrate for my dart frogs mixed with my snakes' ground up walnut shell sand. It's pretty low dust and it simulates what the wild African hedgehogs would be using.
 

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I've used a sandbox before. It became a potty corner after a couple of weeks.

Might would prefer digging through fleece covers and wood shavings than sand itself.
 
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