First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure your gerbil has a suitable habitat. One gerbil needs about 5 gallons of space, as a minimum, but bigger is definitely better. You’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen. Make sure it’s deep enough for your little buddy to dig and burrow into. Additionally, your pet will need a hidey-hole, a water bottle, and some toys. Exercise wheels are very popular among pocket pets. Avoid wire wheels, however, as these can hurt your pet’s tiny feet.
In the wild, gerbils live with their families and are very rarely, if ever, left alone. One gerbil without any buddies may grow lonely and depressed, so consider getting your tiny pal a playmate or two. Make sure to house only same-sex gerbils together, or you may end up with more furballs than you counted on! Introduce new gerbils slowly, so they don’t fight. Also, if your gerbils are ever separated for over an hour, you’ll need to reintroduce them as though they had never met, as they won’t remember each other.
Like many pocket pets, these tiny furballs need to chew to keep their teeth from overgrowing. Provide your little ones with plenty of chew toys. You can purchase toys at any pet store, or upcycle many common household items, such as the cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towel rolls. Cardboard boxes, cat food boxes, grass houses, and untreated wood are a few more things gerbils love to chew.
You can get a commercial food for your pets’ main meals. You’ll want to supplement this with some fresh veggies, such as carrots, broccoli, and green leafy veggies. Oats, millet, wheat, dry pasta, and cereal are also safe foods for gerbils. Gerbils also like eating mealworms, and crickets. Grapes, apples, pears, cooked potato, raisins, bananas, plain popcorn, nuts, and seeds are all suitable snacks.
Do you have questions about caring for your pocket pet? Contact us any time! As your local Scottsdale veterinary clinic, we are here to help!