Gerbil Accessory Guide
Posted in Gerbilarium on 05/02/2018
Our guide to gerbil accessories lists the items that are essential for your gerbil.
To keep your gerbil happy and in the best of health, you need to create a rich environment for them that includes everything they need.
If gerbils aren't happy in their home they will develop behavioural problems which may lead to fighting and possibly declanning.
Gerbils love to chew things and anything made from plastic will not last very long.
For a food bowl, the best option is a small ceramic or glass dish. These are easy to clean and gerbils cant chew them up. Just be sure it is large enough to hold enough food for all of your gerbils.
Some gerbils like to bury their food bowls. If your gerbils like to do this you can leave them to it as it can become a constant battle.
Also, gerbils can get upset that you are changing their environment. It takes a lot of work to make a mess of a clean and tidy home don't you know!
Gerbils that constantly cover up their food bowl may prefer you to sprinkle their food onto the substrate in their home.
Gerbils will quite often take some of their food and bury it somewhere to go back to later.
A Water Bottle
Finding the right water bottle is not as simple as it may seem.
The type of water bottle you choose will need to be based on the number of gerbils you have and the type of home you have chosen.
If you bought a gerbilarium and a water bottle wasn't included the choice is pretty straightforward. A bottle can be mounted on the outside of the cage part of the gerbilarium and you are ready to go.
Aquarium based homes are a little trickier. If you have added a cage section to the top of the aquarium A bottle can be mounted on the outside like the gerbilarium.
If there isn't a cage section you will need to put the water bottle in the living area. Do not put a plastic bottle in the living area, it will get chewed on, get a glass bottle.
Stands can be purchased to hold the bottle upright or you can make your own. Water bottles can also be suspended from the top of the tank or the lid.
Some people choose to use small suction cups to hold the bottle in place but these can become annoying if they don't stick well and fall off and they may be chewed.
The same solutions for aquarium homes apply to bin or storage container homes but there is also an additional option.
With a bin home being made from plastic you can drill a hole for the spout of the water bottle to fit through and secure the bottle to the outside.
This has the advantage of keeping the bottle outside and not taking up space inside the home.
A disadvantage of this solution is that it creates a weak spot for the gerbils to gnaw at and potentially escape. This can be combatted by reinforcing the hole in some way to prevent the gerbils from chewing at the exposed plastic.
Make sure that the water bottle is set at an appropriate height for your gerbil to be able to reach it. Also, ensure it is not to low down so as to come into contact with any substrate or bedding.
If the water bottle is in contact with substrate or bedding it will drip until the bottle is empty and you will be left with a big soggy mess to clean up and thirsty gerbils!
A Sand Bath
Gerbils love sand baths and we consider it to be an essential gerbil accessory.
Gerbils live in sandy places in the wild. They use the sand to roll around in to clean themselves. Rolling around in the sand helps to remove dirt and grease from their fur.
A sand bath needs to be large enough for a gerbil to roll around in so it needs to be around SIZE. As with the food bowl, choose a ceramic or glass dish for the and bath.
Some people choose to use a small glass fishbowl. This works very well although you need a large house to accommodate one.
It is important to use the correct sand for the sand bath as some sand can be too fine and can cause respiratory irritation. Chinchilla sand is a good choice but does not to confuse it with chinchilla dust as that is far too fine for gerbils.
Gerbils love to have a cosy little space for sleeping in. They will chew up cardboard, paper and substrate and carefully create a little snug for themselves.
Providing your gerbil with a nesting box to sleep in will keep them happy and healthy.
When choosing a place for your gerbil to nest to make sure it is large enough for all of your gerbils to fit inside and only set up one place for them to nest in.
If your gerbils don't have room to sleep together or they have the option of sleeping elsewhere they may de clan. - LINK TO GERBIL BEHAVIOUR
As to what to use for their nest, just use your imagination! But NO PLASTIC!
You can use a cereal box or a small cardboard box. Keep in mind that this won't last very long as they will get chewed up.
A wooden box either bought or built yourself also makes a great nesting place. These will get gnawed on but will last longer.
Glass or ceramic jars with a wide opening can also be used. These are not only hard wearing they are also easy to clean and won't retain any smells, unlike wood or cardboard options.
An old clay drainage pipe can also make a durable and fun place to build a nest.
The only hard and fast rules in regard to a nesting bow are ensuring it is not made of plastic and it is safe for your gerbil.
These are what we consider to be essential items to have in your gerbils home.
Is there anything we have missed or you think is a must-have in a gerbils' home? Let us know in the comments if there is anything we should add.