Playing with your gerbil
Everybody needs somebody and you’re not the only one. Sometimes a person finds his or her true companion not in another human being but in a pet. As the famous adage goes, a dog is a man’s best friend. However not all of us can afford to keep a dog as our pet. It has its inherent hassles of feeding, sanitizing and moreover, a dog is expensive to keep.
Instead we can opt for something much smaller and yet still provide ourselves with an equivalent amount of fun. No one is replaceable but companionship is something which may be found in the quirkiest of animals. Say for example a gerbil. Gerbils are members of the rodent family and despite their tiny size they have been a steady source of happiness for countless people around the globe.
Since 1964, the popularity of gerbils as household pets has constantly been on the rise. As with human beings, one needs to be careful while building up his/her relationship with a gerbil. The main thing is that you have to gradually win over its trust. There are several ways of doing this and some of them are mentioned below.
First of all, allow the gerbil to discover you. Discovering a gerbil’s nature consciously and gradually helps the gerbil to better apprehend its master’s moves. Sit close to the cage or move about gently, allowing the gerbil to register your looks and your voice. Hopefully, your gerbil will not bite you or scratch you. Don’t shove your hand into its cage or pick it up suddenly during the initial stages of bonding. Rather let the gerbil familiarize itself with you and get to know your touch and smell.
Spending time with your pet always helps to bring you both closer. Gently stroke its head or softly pat its back. Even though gerbils are by nature very fidgety and restless, it is essential that you allow it to become accustomed to your touch.
Sometimes you will want to open the enclosure and allow the gerbil to play outside. But remember that gerbils have a penchant for escaping or hiding. So make sure all windows, cabinet and closet doors are closed so that it doesn’t accidentally get lost. It helps to keep the gerbil exercised and happy. Give the gerbil something to chew on as they need to keep their ever growing teeth trimmed and in proper shape.
Under no circumstances, should you pick up the gerbil by its tail. Always place your hand next to it and scoop it up, when it’s nicely and comfortably seated in your palm. Do not introduce non-biodegradable items such as plastic into the enclosure as gerbils will unknowingly chew them and fall sick.
Try to rev up the fun quotient of your gerbils’ enclosure by making a maze out of cardboard, with various levels, twists and turns thrown in to provide them with mental and physical stimulation.