Gerbils have gained popularity as pets among children and can provide endless fun for them. Therefore, it's important to understand their unique care needs. Our Johns Creek vets will provide a gerbil care guide to help you best care for your pet gerbil.
There are a lot of things to consider when taking care of your pet gerbil including feeding schedule, proper handling, and house needs. Here is a list of things to think about and instructions:
Gerbils are Social
Unlike many other small pets, gerbils do not thrive when kept alone. Living in solitude can negatively impact their health, leading to issues like obesity and shorter lifespans. If you're considering getting a gerbil as a pet, it is advisable to bring home two gerbils together for their well-being.
Handling your Gerbil
Gerbils are small and fragile. Your gerbil should be kept away from larger, predatory pets like cats, dogs, and even ferrets. And, you should never grab or hold a gerbil by her tail, or you could cause a serious injury.
Your Gerbils House
Gerbils, similar to other rodents, have a natural inclination to chew. It is important to avoid housing them in wooden cages, as they can easily damage or destroy them. Wire cages are also not suitable since gerbils have a tendency to dig, which could potentially cause injuries from the metal.
For gerbils, a 20-gallon fish tank or a plastic gerbil home from a pet store are often suitable options. It is recommended to avoid rounded tanks, as gerbils prefer to curl up in corners. Remember, like most pets, your gerbil's habitat can never be too spacious.
Feeding & Water
You can typically find pre-mixed gerbil food at your nearby pet store, which is suitable for most gerbil owners. In addition to that, you can supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, although it's important to avoid excessive lettuce as it can lead to diarrhea. Gerbils also enjoy treats like hard-boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and cheese, but it's crucial to offer these in small quantities due to their high-fat content.
You need to make sure your gerbil has a fresh, clean supply of water at all times. A gravity-fed water dispenser works well for gerbils.
Don't give your gerbils any toys made from plastic because they love to chew, and plastic could cause a wide range of problems for your pet. Instead, stick with natural wood products like wooden chew toys, cardboard tubes, and wood planks.
Just like any other pet, gerbils must be seen by a veterinarian on a regular schedule. These routine veterinary checks are important for keeping your pet healthy and happy.