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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there were a couple of topics about this on the old forums, but I just want to get something clear. Everyone is so worried that if you let your hedgie play in sand, they will get it in unwanted places. True, but isn't that the exact same thing that would happen in the wild? And like someone else said, its like if you go to the beach, you get sand in every crevice of your body, but you take a shower and it all comes out. So if you give your hedgie a bath after he's done playing in the sand, it would come out too, wouldn't it? I've been wanting to let my hedgie dig in some sand. Does it HAVE to be expensive sand that you buy? or can it be natural sand from your yard (not dirt, but sand.)? because I have a LOT of nice, white sand on the land at my house.
 

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That is a good question! I don't have an exact answer, so I'll just wait around and see what the others have to say as well. :)
 

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I think sand would tend to dry their skin out but I'm sure they are in sand in the wild.

I would be concerned that sand from outdoors would have sand fleas or mites in it so I'd bake it in the oven before using it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bake it in the oven? Wow, I would have never thought of that! but that is a good idea - it would kill anything that may be living in it! How long should it bake for? I would think it wouldn't take too long but I've never tried it so I don't know.
 

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Out door sand as well as kiddie sand has tons of bacteria in it. If it were me I would put it in the oven for a couple of hours at 250-300 and then put it directly in the freezer for a couple of hours. The combination of high temp and low temp should kill anything you would need to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, a couple of hours? Okay, I'll do that. Should I do this again after a certain amount of time?
 

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You dont necasarly have to put it in the freezer after baking it for the reason that freezing will not kill all bacteria. It will slow the growth fo the bacteria how ever and kill most of it. I personaly would bake for about an hour at 350-400 this will kill everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I tried the sand once and will never do it again :lol: He wasn't really all that interested in digging in it, and it was so dusty that he was filthy when i took him out and i had to give him a good bath. But if your hedgehog is a digger, you can try it :p Mine, apparently, is not.
 

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I decided to just crush a whole bunch of cat/dog food and put it in a tub, put the mealies in that, and Inky can eat as much as he wants of anything, without getting sick! Of course, you'd have to replace the food often, but it works...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That sounds cool, but what if inky pees/poops on the food, and as he's running around he contaminates a lot of the food, and you dont know what's safe and what's not safe to eat anymore? Then you'd have a lot of wasted food :lol:
 

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That's why you use cheap food and replace it often. :lol: I never let him stay in there long though, it's just so he can dig around in that one area for mealies. There are other rooms to the "playground", so once he's done in there I just block it off.
 

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ya know what i was thinking.. OATMEAL. you can get huge cans of plain oatmeal really cheap. You actually use it as meal worm bedding, and its safe if they eat a little.. its too big to get stuck in dangerous places.. I think that would be LOADS of fun for a hedgie.. Just another alternative to sand i guess..

I used to use the saw dust that the meal worms come in from pet co, it was always really fun to watch him, i can see what you would want to figure something out.
 

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Usually mealies are kept in wheat bran, but since it is so fine and "flaky", I was afraid of a hedgie inhaling it etc...
 

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This is a cool topic, good ideas! When I was litter training Luna she was convinced for the first two weeks that the litter box was a sand box :lol: There was litter being shoveled out all over her cage. I like the idea of a sand box, but outside sand would need to be treated. I like the cooking sand idea, its logical! As well as freezing it after. I dont know much about expensive sand, I know you can buy sand for aquariums, as well as sand for reptile housing. I dont know the prices though. There is also gardening sand, but that will probably not be clean sand, more like outdoor sand.
I'm wondering myself about chinchilla sand? I know they use it to substatute their baths and keep their fur soft. Would it be something a hedgie might like to play in like a sand box?
 

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Because hedgies have wet noses and smell everything in- well, smelling-range! chinchilla sand may not be a good idea. It's possible they would inhale it and get it stuck on their nose. If one had an odd penchant for eating the stuff, they could get compacted.

I have heard of hedgies enjoying dust baths, though.
 

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Oh, yeah, thats not good at all then or at least not for a sand box. It sounds like its more dust than sand so thats a no no for sure! haha thanks for pointing that out too! If you're going to use chinchilla dust use it under very close supervision.
 

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I flipped an igloo upside down since he's too big to fit in it, filled it with non-clumping cat litter.

He enjoys laying in it and digging around to make it flat.
He does the same in the litter box too if I remove the poop, making the surface different.
 

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Please don't resurrect old threads. This ones 9 years old! Cat litter is not safe to use with hedgehogs. It can get stuck in their genitals and cause infections and other problems.
 
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