Are you looking for a loving, active, and entertaining pet? Gerbils may be the perfect fit! These small, furry creatures are not only incredibly cute but also easy to take care of.
In this article, you will learn the basics of gerbil care – from feeding and housing needs to proper handling techniques. Plus, you’ll discover the pros and cons of having a gerbil as a pet to help you make an informed decision.
So, let’s dive in and explore the world of gerbils together!
- Find a veterinarian experienced with small animals before bringing a gerbil home.
- Gerbils require a diet consisting of seed mix, hay, and fresh vegetables.
- Choose a cage that is at least 12 x 24 inches and tall enough for climbing.
- Handle gerbils gently to form a bond and make them comfortable.
Gerbil Care Basics
Taking care of a gerbil doesn’t have to be difficult; here’s an overview of the basics.
Before bringing a gerbil home, find a veterinarian who has experience treating small animals, so you’ll be ready if something goes wrong.
Once you have a vet, acquire the necessary supplies, such as water bottles, food, bedding, and toys for the gerbil to explore.
Gerbils have specific grooming needs; they need a sand bath once a week and their claws should be trimmed every few months.
Additionally, gerbils love to chew, so make sure to provide them with plenty of chewable toys to prevent them from chewing on furniture.
Lastly, gerbils need a lot of attention, so be sure to spend plenty of time interacting with them.
Once you have the gerbil in its new home, how often should you feed it?
In general, the diet for a gerbil should consist of a good-quality seed mix, hay, and fresh vegetables. You should also consider providing treats such as mealworms and nuts. A healthy diet is essential for a gerbil’s well-being, so it’s important to understand the needs of your gerbil.
The amount of food you provide to your gerbil should depend on its size and age. For adult gerbils, you should provide a teaspoon of food per day. If the gerbil is still growing, you should increase this to two teaspoons of food per day. Make sure to remove any uneaten food after 24 hours to avoid spoiling.
It is important to provide a variety of food for your gerbil. A basic gerbil diet should include hay, fresh vegetables, and a good-quality seed mix. You can also give your gerbil treats such as mealworms and nuts, but make sure to do so in moderation.
Gerbils also need plenty of fresh water. Make sure to change the water daily and clean the water bowl regularly to prevent bacteria from growing.
Providing the right cage environment is key to keeping your gerbil happy and healthy. When it comes to gerbil behavior, size matters. It’s best to choose a cage that’s at least 12 x 24 inches. The cage should also be tall enough to allow for several levels, as gerbils love to climb. Additionally, the cage should have plenty of room for exercise, as well as hiding spots and chew toys.
Here are some key items to remember when setting up the gerbil’s cage:
- Use a solid bottom or a wire mesh bottom with a solid bottom tray to ensure the gerbil’s feet don’t get caught.
- Use bedding made of paper, aspen, or corn cob. Don’t use cedar or pine shavings, as the fumes can be toxic to your gerbil.
- Clean the cage at least once a week, and spot clean more often if needed.
Gerbils are social animals and do best when kept in pairs. If you plan to house two gerbils together, make sure the cage is large enough to provide adequate space to prevent fighting. Additionally, it’s important to provide multiple hiding spots and plenty of toys to keep the gerbils occupied.
With the right cage environment, your gerbils will be content and healthy.
Gently handling your gerbil is key to forming a bond with them and helping them feel comfortable around you. Gerbils are friendly and social animals, and as such, they love to be picked up and held. When you first get your gerbil, it’s important to handle it slowly and carefully in order to get it used to you. Give it time to explore and sniff your hand before picking it up. As your gerbil gets more comfortable, you can start to pet and stroke it. Every gerbil has different levels of comfort when it comes to handling, so be sure to pay attention to your gerbil’s personality and body language.
Gerbils are active animals and they love to explore and play. It’s important to provide them with enough exercise, and you can do that by letting them out of their cage for some supervised playtime. This is a great way for you to bond with your gerbil and get to know its personality and preferences. Always be sure to provide your gerbil with a safe environment for playtime, and when you’re done make sure your gerbil is secure in its cage.
With the right amount of handling and exercise, you and your gerbil can have a long and happy life together.
Pros & Cons
When it comes to owning a gerbil, there are both pros and cons to consider.
On the plus side, gerbils are relatively low-maintenance pets and can be a great choice for those who don’t have a lot of time to devote to pet care. They have got a long lifespan of up to 5 years and only require basic items such as food, bedding, and a cage, making them a relatively inexpensive investment. Additionally, gerbils are highly active and enjoy exercise, so they require regular playtime and activity to stay happy and healthy.
On the other hand, gerbils can be very sensitive to their environment and require a clean and secure habitat. They’re also quite active and need plenty of space and exercise opportunities, so they may not be the best choice for those with limited space or small children who may not be able to provide proper supervision. Furthermore, gerbils can become stressed easily, so it’s important to monitor their behavior and provide them with a calm and supportive environment.
Overall, gerbils can make great pets for those who are willing and able to provide them with a safe and secure habitat, as well as plenty of exercise and attention. Here are some of the key points to consider when caring for a gerbil:
- Provide a clean and secure habitat
- Monitor their behavior and provide a calm environment
- Ensure they get enough exercise and playtime
- Provide regular veterinary care and a healthy diet
- Be aware of their long lifespan and exercise needs
Taking care of a gerbil can be a rewarding experience, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re on the fence, consider the pros and cons, as well as your lifestyle.
That said, if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can have a ‘pocketful of fun’ with your new pet. With the right knowledge, preparation, and commitment, gerbil care can be a breeze.