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Basic Gerbil Care

Are you considering adopting a gerbil? Gerbils can make great pets! These little guys are quite adorable, and they are also easy to care for. Read on as a local Fayetteville, NC vet discusses basic gerbil care.

Buddies

Gerbils are very friendly and sociable little furballs. In the wild, gerbils live in groups, known as a clan. Your pet will be much happier with a buddy to play with and cuddle up to. Just take care to introduce them slowly, so they don’t fight.

Cage

You’ll want at least a 10-gallon tank for a single pair of gerbils. Choose one with a secure top, as these little guys are great escape artists! You’ll also want to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen, as well as some nesting material. Plain tissue paper is a good choice. Don’t use pine or cedar substrates, as they are dangerous to small animals. Be sure to make the substrate deep enough to support your furry friends’ burrowing predilection! Your gerbils will also need a water bottle, a hidey-hole, and lots of toys. One great thing about gerbils is that they are very clean, and produce minimal waste. You’ll still need to scoop your pets’ tank daily, and clean and disinfect it regularly.

Diet

You can feed your gerbils commercial food for their main meals. To round out your little furballs’ nutritional needs, you can supplement this with grass hay, millet, oats, sugar-free cereal, wheat, plain popcorn, or dry whole-wheat pasta. Gerbils can also enjoy some fresh produce, such as carrots, cooked potatoes, string beans, celery, cucumbers, peas, grapes, apples, raisins, pears, or bananas. For treats, you can give your furry pals live mealworms or crickets. Nuts and seeds can also make great snacks. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Entertainment

In order to keep your tiny pets happy and entertained, you’ll need to provide plenty of toys. Include chewable playthings, such as plain cardboard, paper, or wooden items. Change the toys out frequently to keep things fun for your pint-sized buddies. Exercise wheels are always lots of fun for these little ones. Be sure to pick a solid one, as wire wheels can be dangerous. You can also provide your gerbils with little mazes and labyrinths to explore.

Do you have questions or concerns about caring for gerbils? Call us! As your local Fayetteville, NC veterinarian, we are happy to help!

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