- Wire, barred and small wheels will cause injury. Also, any wheel or saucer without a solid track under 10” in diameter can lead to spinal injury.
- Fibrous “cotton” of fluff nesting material sometimes sold as kapok, stuffed in wide diameter cardboard tubes, in a small bag or sold in a natural pod, is highly dangerous. Hamsters can get their heads or limbs tangled in it which can cut off circulation. If swallowed, this material can cause an intestinal impaction, rectal prolapse and even kill your hamster.
- Snak Shaks, Edible Logz and other edible toys and hides made of sawdust are dangerous… always check ingredients! These products are made of sawdust and sweetened, which tricks your hamster into not just chewing, but eating it. Once consumed the sawdust can cause intestinal blockages, rectal prolapse and kill your hamster.
- Tubes too small to turn around in (i.e. standard size Kaytee tubes) can harm your hamster. Hamsters can fill their cheek pouches and get stuck in the tubes and suffocate. Ovo Habitrail tubes are considered safe, also 3”+ PVC or ABS plumbing tubing from the hardware store is a good choice.
- Chinchilla dust and Tiny Friends Farm Bathing Sand are too fine grained which can lead to respiratory issues
- Calcium sand is dangerous if ingested
Cuttle bones are unnecessary, nutritionally inappropriate and potentially harmful
- Salt licks and mineral chews are unnecessary, nutritionally inappropriate and potentially harmful
- Vitamin drops or other pet store medicines are not necessary and provide no benefit, some pet store medicines mask symptoms complicating proper veterinary assessment
- Cedar and pine bedding is toxic (See bedding section for recommendations)
- Pumice/lava ledges and chews are not recommended. Pumice is volcanic glass which is abrasive and could potentially damage teeth and cause internal injury if pouched or swallowed
- Hamster balls are controversial. We believe them to be unsafe, unhygienic and stressful for your hamster. For more information on why hamster balls are dangerous check out this article. Opt for a play pen or use a bathtub instead for supervised hamster playtime. I like these products for creating a play pen: