Gerbils are one of the cutest animals you can encounter. Many have different personalities, and it becomes a party if you have multiple little fur balls running around!
As you research about the little critters, you’re probably looking into what keeps your gerbil healthy and happy. Then, you stumble upon sand baths. So, what are the best sand baths for your gerbils?
Here’s a quick list:
Hamiledyi Hamster Bathing Sand
Niteangel Hamster Desert Bath Sand
Kathson Hamster Bath Sand
In this article, we will be discussing what a sand bath is, why gerbils need to have one, and reviews on each one. We wil alsol discuss how to give your gerbil a sand bath properly.
What is a Sand Bath for Gerbils?
If you find your gerbil's fur coated with oil or looking dirty, that is where a sand bath comes in.
Sand baths are for rodent pets, such as gerbils, hamsters, or chinchillas, to help them clean themselves.
The sand will remove any excess oils and soak them up, creating a unique experience for them.
Note: If you try and give your gerbil a water bath, it may scare and stress them out, so it’s extremely wise never to provide them with a water bath.
Why Do Gerbils Have Sand Baths?
There are roughly two reasons why gerbils have sand baths:
1. They Provide Your Gerbil a Shiny Coat
If you think about where gerbils live in the wild, it’s in the deserts. Gerbils naturally want to be near sand.
They will naturally stay in the sand to keep themselves clean. In doing so, they maintain a shiny coat. Anything stuck in their coats will get dislodged through the sand bath.
2. Preventing Bacterial Infections
Another important reason gerbils have sand baths is to help prevent bacterial infections.
The most common disease a gerbil may acquire is called Tyzzer disease, an acute epizootic disease found in many animals such as dogs, cats, birds, small rodents, pandas, deers, etc.
This bacteria is most likely to infect a stressed gerbil or young one. Signs of a Tyzzer disease include the following:
What are the Best Sand Baths for Gerbils?
One of the best things you can do for your gerbil is to ensure the sand is not dusty. If the sand is too dusty, your gerbil can develop respiratory problems and conjunctivitis.
When finding gerbil sand, look at natural sand, as it’s entirely safe for gerbils to use for cleaning or playing in. Regular sand might cause their skin to irritate. Traditional sand also does not clean them as well as natural sand does.
The first sand we will discuss is the Hamiledyi Hamster Bathing Sand. You will find it contains natural sand, which is an excellent choice for your gerbil.
This 2-pound bag will last you quite a while, and if you keep the sand dry, it will not expire, ensuring the product's longevity!
Your pet will enjoy their sand bath and continue to keep their coats healthy.
If you’re looking into something containing anti-bacterial and anti-dermatology, then the Hamiledyi Bathing Sand is your best friend! On top of that, this sand is excellent for potty training your fur baby.
Overall, your gerbil and any other small rodents you might have (chinchilla, hedgehog, guinea pig, degus, etc.) will be entertained for many hours with this.
Now let’s look at some of the pros and cons of the product:
The second on our list is Niteangel Hamster Desert Bath Sand, created for many small critters, including gerbils, mice, degus, and the like.
One of the first things you will notice is that this desert sand comes in a nice 6-pound bag, ensuring it will last quite a long time for your gerbil!
This sand is made from natural and real desert sand. Also, Niteangel creates less messy and pet-friendly products, encouraging your gerbil to relax and entertain themselves by digging and cleaning themselves.
No fragrance or color is added to this product, so you can ensure you’re getting one of the best gerbil products out there!
You can also clean and replace the sand when needed, so if you want to keep the sand in your animal sanctuary, that’s not an issue!
Here we have some advantages and disadvantages of the product:
It keeps your gerbil entertained for hours.
Cleans the oils off your critter's fur.
Some customers complain about the smell.
It may not be suitable for potty-training purposes because the area is hard to clean afterward.
For the third gerbil sand bath, we have the Kathson brand, roughly 5.5 pounds, providing your fur baby more than plenty of sand to have the time of its life in!
This sand is for other small animals as well, such as hamsters, chipmunks, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats, mice, and more.
The sand is 100% natural and consists of desert sand and zeolite particles, which is great for your animal's health. The zeolite particles will improve your gerbil's mood, strengthen their immune system, and protect them against harmful microbes.
The Kathson sand removes grease and odors for your gerbils, ensuring their fur is fluffy, shiny, and soft!
If the bath sand encounters water, it will clump up, so you can use something to scoop it up, ensuring the sand provides more extended usage!
The company recommends you use the bath sand every 1 to 3 days during the summertime. During the wintertime, they mention you use it every 3 to 5 days. They also mention keeping the nozzle on the box sealed and in a dry, ventilated place. If you go to the company's storefront on Amazon, you will also find many other great toys for your gerbil!
How Often Do Gerbils Need a Sand Bath?
Many gerbils need sand baths only once a week. However, some gerbils tend to get dirtier than others. Your fur baby also may have food, poop, or dirt on their coats from playing around all day. You can gauge their appearance and decide if they need another sand bath throughout the week.
Another instance is if your gerbil has black or dark fur, then you’ll notice their coats get greasier faster. In these instances, ensure to provide your gerbil with a bath more than once a week.
It’s crucial to fill the container with clean sand before placing it in their sanctuary.
Can I Keep the Sand in My Gerbils Cage All the Time?
In most cases, gerbil owners don’t allow their fur babies to have a sand bath for longer than 10 minutes. However, some owners may always want to keep the sand in their gerbil cages for easier access.
That being the case, you can indeed keep it inside their sanctuary. However, changing the sand and cleaning the bath container is still essential due to your gerbil potentially going to the bathroom in it.
Another quick thing to note is that if you decide to do this, ensure your gerbil's skin does not get too dry.
How to Give My Gerbil a Sand Bath
Method 1: Make the Sand Bath
1. Buy a Small Dish or Gerbil Bathtub
The first thing you need to do is make a small investment in a gerbil bathtub. You can use a cat food bowl or something similar to this.
Ensure the bowl is more than 1 inch in depth and fits into your gerbil's tank relatively well.
2. Get a Bag of Chinchilla or Gerbil Sand
Secondly, as we have listed above, you want to get a bag of chinchilla or gerbil sand. It’s essential to make sure you have chinchilla or gerbil sand instead of dust, as the dust could lead to potential respiratory problems later.
3. Pour ½ an Inch of Sand into the Bowl
Gerbils don’t require a lot of sand to clean themselves but make sure you pour ½ an inch of sand into the bowl. Doing so creates enough sand for them to play, roll around, and clean themselves in.
The sand should also be less than half the depth of your bathtub, so make sure it’s small enough for your gerbil not to burrow themselves in, as they will do that with their bedding.
4. Put the Bowl in Their Cage for 10 Minutes
Once you’re done putting their bath together, place it in an open area for your gerbil to access it easily.
Once they bathe in the sand, keep it inside their cage for 10 minutes. Make sure you allow them to do this part on their own.
5. Bathe Your Gerbil Once a Week
Just like humans need a shower a few times a week, gerbils need baths roughly once a week unless they get dirty more often. In that case, give them a sand bath more frequently.
You want to give your fur baby a chance to bathe themselves, so ensure you provide the sand bath. Alternatively, you can keep the tub inside the cage but change it frequently due to the sand getting dirty.
Method 2: Bathing Your Gerbil
1. Allow Your Gerbil to Bathe Itself
Your gerbil may do multiple things when they bathe themselves, such as:
Kicking their feet
Rolling around in the sand
Getting in and out of the bath
Play in the tub
Rub their backs against the sand
Overall, when your gerbil has their sand bath, it’s enjoyable for you to watch, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to do so!
Sometimes your gerbil may not notice the sand bath right away or will not go to it. In that case, you can gently place your fur baby inside the tub, letting them know it’s there.
Note: Make sure to scoop your gerbil up by the belly instead of picking them up from the top. That way, they will feel secure and safe.
2. Do Not Pour Sand Over Your Gerbil
Gerbils are not like dogs and cats when you clean their bodies. Make sure to allow your gerbil to clean themselves, which means don’t pour sand over them. You can even say they know their bodies best and understand what they can handle.
3. Remove the Bowl from the Cage
After they’re finished, the third step is to remove the bowl from their cage to ensure they do not go to the bathroom in their box.
Alternatively, you can toilet train your gerbil, so this may not be an issue. However, if you wish to go down this route, just know that your gerbil will be using the restroom in a sand form, so make sure the sand does not get too wet after usage.
Overall, we have many excellent sand bath options above. Make sure you follow the steps to ensure they’re getting the best bath possible. Doing so helps your gerbil to continue having excellent health and a shinier coat. We wish you the best of luck choosing which bath works best for you and your gerbil!