Gerbils are very popular pocket pets, and with good reason. These adorable tiny furballs are very gentle, don’t need much room, and are easy to care for. They’re also quite clean, which is a definite bonus! Just like any other pet, however, gerbils do have some certain specific care requirements. In this article, a local NW Las Vegas, NV veterinarian discusses gerbil care basics.
Gerbils live with their families in the wild, and are rarely, if ever, alone. Your furry little pal may get lonely or depressed without any buddies to keep him company and snuggle up to at naptime. We recommend getting at least two gerbils. Make sure to choose same-sex pairs! You’ll need to introduce your pets slowly, so they don’t fight. Also, if they are ever separated, you’ll need to re-introduce them, as they won’t remember each other.
A comfy habitat is very important to your tiny pet’s health and well-being. Get a cage that offers about 5 gallons of space per gerbil. Choose one with a secure lid, as these little furballs are quite talented escape artists. We recommend a mesh or wire top to ensure proper ventilation. Once you have the cage picked out, you’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen. Avoid pine or cedar substrates, as they are toxic to gerbils. Your furry friend will also need a comfy hidey-hole; some suitable toys; a water bottle; and nesting material, such as shredded tissue paper.
Your pint-sized pet can have commercial food for lunch and dinner. This may be either a pellet food, or a seed mix. Gerbils like to forage, so you can scatter the food on your pet’s bedding. Your furry buddy can also enjoy small amounts of fresh produce, such as pear, melon, apples, cucumbers, and carrots. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
Offer your little buddy plenty of fun toys, including chewable playthings, such as cardboard toys. Gerbils also enjoy tunnels and mazes. If you get an exercise wheel, get a solid wheel, as wire wheels can hurt your furry pal’s tiny paws. These adorable furballs like climbing things, so consider adding suitable lookout points, like rocks or coconut shells.
Do you have any questions about gerbil care? We can help! Please contact us, your local NW Las Vegas, NV vet clinic, for all of your tiny furball’s veterinary care needs.