Before you buy a Gerbil – Things to Consider

Points to consider

Before getting your gerbils, you need to decide precisely what you’re looking for. How many would you like? Which colours do you want? Would you prefer a male or female? Are you intending to breed them?

Gerbils are extremely sociable and don’t enjoy being on their own, unlike the Syrian hamster. For anyone acquiring gerbils it’s essential to acquire at least 2. Solitary gerbils have been shown to live shorter, unhealthy lives, are frequently overweight and very unhappy. In addition they are generally more difficult to tame and a lot less friendly in general. Even if you’re at home all day, and playing with them continuously, this won’t compensate for the fact that they have to sleep on their own, eat alone, and have absolutely nobody to groom them. So a companion is vital.

Females and males will get on agreeably with a partner of the same sex, particularly if they are litter-mates or have been together since they were 6 to 8 weeks old. Females are frequently a lot less stable in groups greater than two, whilst males are usually tolerant of one another in groups of 3 or higher. Nevertheless, it is suggested that the normal gerbil owner acquires no more than two gerbils, since the probability of fighting grows with bigger groups. Under no circumstances should you mix gerbils from two different groups.

Your Obligations

Listed below are points you need to consider once you take on the responsibility for your personal gerbils.

Keep in mind that, just like any pet, there’s a long-term commitment. With regards to gerbils, this commitment could be as lengthy as 4 to 5 years.

Should you be purchasing gerbils for a youngster they are going to need to be aware of the exactly what they will be signing up for. You, being the grown-up, are going to have the duty of monitoring and assisting the child to make certain that the gerbil is properly looked after.

Should you have chosen to breed gerbils you will have to provide sufficient space for a mating couple as well as for their pups. When the pups are weaned they need to be segregated into 2 different tanks, one for the males and one for the females. Each and every litter of pups must have hands on attention, in order that they will be accustomed to human contact. It is possible for a female gerbil to produce a litter every 35 to 45 days, that’s 10 litters a year. A litter could be from 1 to 8 pups and should every litter consist of 4 pups that would be 40 babies a year.

Please remember it is very unlikely that you will get rich by breeding gerbils. Pet stores often make a loss selling gerbils but make up
their profits from selling the supplies and accessories that go with them. Gerbil pups ought to be handled daily and you might need to medicate or supplement feed too, which will take extra time and expense..

About the Author

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 three very spoiled cats.

10 Comments on "Before you buy a Gerbil – Things to Consider"

  1. Okay so I have one mother gerbil, and she had 5 babies. So she put all 5 in a hole and then after 1 day took one out and put it under like a little house. That one that’s under the house tends to be moving more than the others. But will anything happen to the one?

  2. I am going to buy two gerbils and I don’t want them to breed so should I get two females or two males?

  3. My dad got me a red eyed spotted topaz male gerbil and he doesn’t know about that my gerbil needs a companionship so should I get a female or a male?

  4. U should have told your dad about getting two gerbils that know eachother and take them home because the other gerbil you buy when you bought one already may find and there might be a death in i fight so… be careful!!!


  6. We bought two gerbils.One was the runt of the litter and unfortunately died after 3 months.Alot smaller and according tobthe vet had a weak heart.The other gerbilis now on his own.Worried will fight if introduce second gerbil? Advice please

  7. Dear Paul,

    It is not possible to reach the owner of this website, but I would like to be added as breeder in New York.
    Gerbil Hub. We breed beautiful, strong and healthy gerbils that are used to be handled from a very young age.

    We are 1 hour north of NYC.
    Please contact us if interested.

  8. Andrea Martello | March 30, 2019 at 8:46 pm |

    A long time ago, we ended up with “summer vacation care” of our son’s elementary school class gerbils. They were a bonded pair and little did we know what a total joy they would be. Often lost on some, spending time just sitting and observing animals doing their own thing is the most educating thing imaginable. These two had a litter of 3 pups which we gave away when they were weaned. Later, several months later, they had 4 pups. They would take their kids to the wheel, one at a time, and with one parent standing guard while the other waited with the other “kids” back by their nest, teach the little ones how to use the wheel. A great deal of “cheering”, grooming and total love was given to each pup as they came off the wheel from their turn. Another delight was that 1 pup was not found a home when a new little was born. The parents made him (or her) its own next on the other side of the large aquarium they were kept in. When mom and dad wanted time along to play together on the wheel or just eat together or “date night”, they would go and get big brother, bring him to the nest to babysit and off they would to. Big brother (or sister) was extremely loving and caring to the tiny little babies. They were always active during the day for the most part and I have encouraged folks to get gerbils if thinking of getting hampsters, etc. Then keep them in a large aquarium with wire top for easy viewing and playing with (they love to be held, etc. with just a little gentle care) – in the kitchen or family room – wherever the family spends a good part of their home time. Their daily family life is not to be missed and, quite frankly, can teach children a lot about family harmony. That was why my son’s teacher got them in the first place. This pair never went back to school (couldn’t part with them – lol) and we had them for several years, though I don’t recall just how long they lived but the pet store was surprised toward the end of their lives, as I was buying more food, bedding and toys, that we still had them. I guess happy = a good long life.

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