Read About Gerbil Care

Gerbils are fun and entertaining rodents that with proper gerbil care can provide enjoyment for years to come (gerbils can live 4-5 years). Gerbils are larger than mice and have furry tails. They are social so it is best to have more than one gerbil of the same sex. Also be sure that the gerbils are from the same cage or are young when adopted so that they will accept each other and not be territorial and fight.

You should purchase your gerbils from a reputable pet supplier. Look for gerbils that are young (4-8 weeks of age), the cage should be clean with fresh water and food, eyes and nose should be without discharge, eyes should be wide and alert, and the gerbils should seem friendly.

Proper gerbil care Imageincludes handling the gerbils to make sure that they are comfortable with human contact. Taming your gerbil is easier at a younger age. Gently pick up the gerbils from the bottom. Continue to lift them from the cage as long as they do not seem to be too nervous. If they are nervous, go slowl by just touching within the tank or only lifting a few inches until they are comfortable. Hand feeding and talking soothingly will also help to acquaint your gerbil with human handling. Soon they will be very content being held and will start to explore by crawling on your arms, etc.

A ten gallon aquarium is a popular choice for gerbil housing along with a tight fitting screen top. Aquariums are easy to clean and provide adequate space for exercise. A ten gallon aquarium will comfortably hold 1-2 gerbils. Metal cages and plastic habitrails are also made for gerbils (be sure that the habitrails are large enough for gerbils). All cages should have a fresh supply of water water bottle) and food. All cages should include a deep layer of plain, non-cedar, unscented wood shavings. Nesting boxes can be provided and nesting materials should be made of paper (not newspaper which has inks that can get on the fur and when ingested can make the gerbils sick).

If you follow good gerbil care, you should change the shavings weekly to prevent odors from feces and urine. Generally, gerbils will use one portion of the cage for bathroom purposes and this area can readily be cleaned more frequently. Keeping the cage clean, out of drafty areas, and providing exercise will help to keep your gerbil healthy and happy.

Proper gerbil care also includes proper nutrition. You should change the water and clean the food dishes daily. A quality premixed commercial gerbil food is recommended to provide the right combination of protein, minerals, vitamins, and bulk. Treats for gerbils include whole grain cereals and occasionally Imagefruits and vegetables. Since gerbils tend to bury their food, if you do give fresh fruit and vegetables, provide large pieces and remember to remove them after a few hours or the food will spoil and rot. Gerbils need plenty of exercise and will entertain you while they frolic about their cages. A covered exercise wheel is fun along with an assortment of tubes, blocks of wood and other chew toys.

Gerbils are fairly hardy but can become sick especially if proper gerbil care is not given. Never pick a gerbil up by the tail since it is prone to breaking. If your gerbil appears listless or not eating, a trip to the veterinarian is warranted. If gerbils do not chew or gnaw enough, their teeth will need to be trimmed by a veterinarian. Gerbils are inquisitive, endearing animals that can make great pets. Routine and proper gerbil care will allow your gerbil to lead a lively and long life.