How Much Does a Gerbil Cost?

A gerbil sat on a pile of money. The picture is for the article; How much does a gerbil cost.

With their small size, inquisitive nature, and minimal care requirements, gerbils have become popular pocket pets. But before bringing a gerbil into your home, it’s important to understand the costs involved.

The initial purchase price of a gerbil is quite affordable, typically ranging from £5 to £20 ($6 to $25). However, essential supplies like a cage, bedding, toys, and food will add to the startup costs. And while healthy gerbils don’t require frequent vet visits, you’ll need to budget for potential medical expenses as well.

Overall, gerbils are relatively inexpensive pets, with estimated annual costs between £110 to £290 ($139 and $366). With some savvy shopping and DIY cage setups, you can reduce costs further. This article breaks down the typical purchase price, supplies, food, vet care, and other ownership costs – everything you need to budget wisely for a new gerbil friend.

Key Takeaways

  • Mongolian gerbils typically cost £5 to £20 ($6 to $25) per animal, while fat-tailed gerbils can cost upwards of £20 to £30 ($25 to $38) due to their scarcity.
  • Adoption from animal shelters or adoption centres can save you money and contribute to the welfare of gerbils.
  • Essential supplies for gerbils include a spacious and secure cage, water bottles, shallow bowls for food, deep bedding, an exercise wheel, and a plain wooden chew toy.
  • Gerbil ownership costs include expenses for food, bedding, vet care, and toys, with annual costs ranging from £80 to £126 ($100 to $160), and additional costs for vet check-ups and treatment of specific health issues.

Initial Purchase of a Gerbil

When you’re ready to make the initial purchase of a gerbil, you’ll find that the cost of Mongolian gerbils typically ranges from £5 to £20 ($6 to $25) per animal, with fat-tailed gerbils being less common and potentially costing upwards of £20 to £30 ($25 to $38) due to their scarcity. However, don’t let the cost deter you from bringing home a delightful new pet.

Consider adopting from animal shelters or adoption centers which may offer gerbils at a similar or even lower cost. These establishments rely on adoptions to sustain their operations and can provide valuable advice and support. Your choice to adopt not only saves you money but also contributes to the welfare of these small animals.

Prices vary based on availability and location, so it’s worth researching and verifying reliable sources for accurate information on gerbil costs in your area. This ensures that you’re not overpaying and that your new pet comes from a reputable source.

Essential Gerbil Supplies

Now let’s delve into the essential supplies you’ll need to ensure your gerbil’s comfort and well-being.

First and foremost, a spacious and secure cage is necessary. This will be your gerbil’s home, so it’s important to provide a safe enclosure, that allows for movement and exploration.

Water bottles and shallow bowls are also essential. The water bottle will keep your little friend hydrated, while the shallow bowls are perfect for holding food. These items should be sturdy and easy to clean to maintain a healthy environment.

For the well-being of your gerbil, a deep bedding layer and an exercise wheel are crucial. These items not only ensure physical health but also contribute to mental stimulation. A plain wooden chew toy is another great addition. It’s not just a toy, but it also helps prevent ingestion of harmful materials.

Lastly, remember to budget for recurring expenses such as vet visits, bedding replacement, and additional toys and accessories. These costs can add up over time but are necessary for your gerbil’s overall health and happiness.

Gerbil Food and Feeding Costs

Having covered the essential supplies for your gerbil’s comfort, it’s equally important to consider the costs associated with their food and feeding habits. This not only includes the food itself, but also bedding, which plays a significant role in their overall health and happiness.

Here’s a basic breakdown of the costs:

  1. Gerbil food generally costs around $50 per year. However, this can vary depending on the brand and quantity of food your gerbil consumes.
  2. Bedding costs range from £40 to £80 ($50 to $100) per year. The exact cost depends on the type and quantity of bedding used.
  3. A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for your gerbil’s health. This implies that you might need to invest in supplements or special gerbil food to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
  4. You can reduce bedding costs by using homemade shredded paper or cardboard. However, you should replace it regularly to maintain a clean environment for your gerbil.

Vet Care and Health Expenses

Just as you’ve budgeted for your gerbil’s feeding costs, you’ll also need to consider the crucial aspect of veterinary care and health expenses. Regular vet check-ups are essential for maintaining your gerbil’s health. These can cost between £28 to £160 ($35 to $200), depending on the vet and location. It’s vital to budget for this as part of your gerbil’s ongoing care needs.

Your gerbil may require treatment for specific health issues, which can add to their vet expenses. These costs can vary widely, so it’s best to be prepared. Additionally, recurring expenses such as bedding, food, and toys can range from £80 to £126 ($100 to $160) annually. These items are essential to your gerbil’s well-being and should be factored into your budget.

It’s also important to prepare for emergency vet care. Unexpected illnesses or injuries can occur, potentially incurring higher costs. And remember, finding a reputable vet experienced in treating small animals is a priority. Even if it means spending a bit more, it assures the best care for your gerbil.

Reducing Gerbil Ownership Costs

Trimming down your gerbil ownership costs is possible with a few savvy strategies. These cost-saving approaches aren’t only practical but also promote responsible pet ownership.

  1. Adopt, don’t shop: Consider adopting gerbils from shelters or rescue organizations. This not only minimizes your initial purchase costs but also provides a loving home for a needy animal. Watch out for low-cost or free gerbil adoption events, particularly during special promotions or holidays.
  2. Second-hand supplies: Utilize online resources and community forums to find affordable or second-hand gerbil supplies. You’d be surprised at the quality of cages, accessories, and bedding you can find at a fraction of the cost.
  3. DIY accessories: Explore DIY options for gerbil toys and accessories. It’s cheaper, and you can customize them to suit your pet’s preferences.
  4. Group adoption: Gerbils are social animals and thrive with companionship. Consider adopting a pair or group to reduce overall costs. This way, you’re not buying twice the supplies for two separate gerbils.


In conclusion, owning a gerbil involves more than just the initial purchase. You’ll need to budget for essential supplies, food, and vet care. While pet shop gerbils may cost between £5 to £20 ($6 to $25), breeders’ prices vary, particularly for rarer breeds or special colours.

Remember, ongoing expenses can add up, so it’s wise to consider all potential costs when deciding to bring a gerbil into your home.

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