Ten Things you need to know before Adopting a Pet Gerbil

Things you need to know about Gerbils

Gerbils crave company. You should try to get two gerbils that know each other and have already lived together.  While they enjoy company, if you put two gerbils who do not know each other there can be problems. The gerbils may fight and that may lead to injuries or death of one of the gerbils.

Gerbils have a lifespan of 3-4 years. But with proper care they can live up to  4 years.

Carefresh or aspen is recommended for bedding of the gerbils. Cedar or pine are a strict no-no for bedding  because these can create liver,  respiratory  and other health problems. Fluffy nest budding is also not recommended as the gerbils may accidentally swallow some of the cotton which could lead to bowel blockage. Using straw for bedding purposes is not recommended as the edges are sharp and may be uncomfortable for your pets.

An aquarium-like glass chamber with a cover and proper ventilation is the best home for gerbils. If you use a cage you should choose a strong metal one because gerbils can easily chew through wooden cages and escape. Gerbils prefer to curl themselves in the corners of cages, so avoid buying round ones.

You should feed them good quality commercial food such as Gerri Gerbil Food which made especially to fulfill the dietary requirements of  gerbils. Fresh vegetables, plain cereals, seeds, small pieces of fruits etc can be used  as  supplements to their basic diet. But these should be given to the gerbils only occasionally. Sunflower seeds and peanuts have a high fat content. Although gerbils love these seeds high amounts of them may result in obesity. A gerbil shouldn’t be given large amount of lettuce because it contains a lot of water and it may cause diarrhea.

If the gerbil is brought for children, then an adult should always supervise its  handling.  You should never hold gerbils by its tail or pull its tail as it is very fragile. Obviously you shouldn’t allow cats, dogs, ferrets or other animals to loiter around your gerbils.

You shouldn’t give your gerbils plastic toys to play with as they will chew them and swallow the plastic, which is very harmful for their health. They love  cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet rolls. Wooden chew toys are another option.

You can give gerbils occasional sand baths, they love them!

You should provide your gerbils with wooden planks so that they can chew them. Gerbils teeth grow continuously so they need to chew something to wear them down. If their teeth continue to grow they can split through the cheek of the gerbil causing a mouth injury.

Gerbils require regular veterinary checks.

written by

I'm a (fairly) old Welsh guy who writes about keeping small pets as hobby. I live in the beautiful Italian Alps with my long suffering partner and two very spoiled cats.

25 Responses to "Ten Things you need to know before Adopting a Pet Gerbil"

  1. TAYLOR says:

    awsome but I would not want that to happen to my gerbil
    piper

  2. piper says:

    my gerbils are really cute cocoe and kelly i love them alot.

  3. lena-melody leong says:

    hey 1 of my gerbils are like that

  4. CUTIE 110 says:

    HEY THAT’S A GOOD IDEA…………………….MAYBE I SHOULD TRY THAT

  5. cloclo says:

    i can only have one gerbil but if they are cheap i might be able to get 2 so could someone tell me how much they are?

  6. Katrina R. says:

    I just bought my two pet gerbils named bruce and alfred and they cost at petsupermarket about 8 bucks each. They are so sweet and awesome. They have great personalities and are going to be spoiled rotten.

  7. tony says:

    they are $12.00-$30.00.

  8. Chris says:

    tony, if you are spending 12-30 on gerbils you need to find a new pet store. I have 3 in my immediate area, and they range from 6-12

  9. Wendy says:

    I got my gerbils Zeus and Zerry at the pet store for 10 dollers each. cloclo It is very important for gerbils to have a buddy so they will live longer and be happier. You should be careful to get 2 boys or 2 girls because my petstore sells them at 4 weeks so you cant tell now i have a boy and mommy whos babbies should be coming any day now

  10. Claire says:

    You can determine their gender when they are quite young aswell using the nipple method so your pet store should have known whether they were boys or girls.

  11. Devyn says:

    im only getting one, is it possible for her to live long, even though she is alone??

  12. Jordan says:

    How do you do a sand bath? I’m confused…..

  13. Lexi says:

    Jordan, this is how to give a sand bath.
    1. Get some chinchilla sand at the store. This is available at Petsmart.
    2. Put the sand in a gerbil-sized clay bathhouse, also of wich can be purchased at Petsmart.
    3. The gerbils will find out about the bathhouse, and naturally explore it, and eventually start to roll around in the sand, thous giving themselves a sandbath.
    By,
    Lexi

  14. Paigey975 says:

    Aww thats cool well i dont have a gerbil but ive been pestering my mom to get me one so maybe??. Im excited though!:) thats great info to consider for my new pet

  15. Paigey975 says:

    Have any good facts about having a gerbil as a pet to tell my mom?:)

  16. Lorrie says:

    Paigey975, I highly recommend a gerbil instead of a hamster, since these are much more friendly than hamsters. My children (who are now adults) have always had pets and I have bought them from fish, to iguanas, turtles, birds, dogs, cats and hamsters. Where I live (Puerto Rcio) you couldn’t buy gerbils, as a matter of fact, I knew about them for the first time when PetSmart arrived two and a half years ago. When I saw them I just fell in love. So I didn’t buy it for my kids, already adults, but for my students. Many of them can’t have a pet because their parents don’t want the responsibility. So I bought one to keep at school. My students called him Charlie. He’s been a very good boy and loves to be cuddles in the kids hands. Very easy to take care of. Likes fresh veggies and seeds. They urinate in a separated place from where they sleep and play and eat, so it is very important to have that in mind when buying a cage. It should be comfortable for it to move around and to have his place to so their bussiness. Hope you convince your mom to buy you one.

  17. G J says:

    I have a plastic cage……..is that safe???????

  18. Blakelee says:

    I need boy and girl names I am getting one for chirstmas . The cage has a cute little slide

  19. Blakelee says:

    Ideas for fun stuff to do with ur gerbil thank u

  20. Blakelee says:

    Reply

  21. Jessie says:

    I’m getting a gerbil but I don’t know what to name it

  22. Jessie says:

    Blakelee you could call your gerbil marshmallow, popcorn,pickles and muffin.

  23. gerbilsrock44 says:

    this is very helpful thanks but i already have a guinea pig and a hamster and i was told that if i get a gerbil it might attract RATS is this true?

  24. vente priligy says:

    Right here is the right webpage for everyone who
    wishes to understand this topic. You realize so much its almost
    tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that has
    been discussed for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  25. You Won’t Know Until You Try says:

    [...] Gerbils as Pets | Ten Things you need to know before … Things you need to know about Gerbils. G erbils crave company. You should try to get two gerbils that know each other and have already lived together. more… [...]

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