How to Care for a Gerbil

Gerbils have many wonderful qualities that make them popular pets. These adorable furballs are quite easy to care for, and they don’t need a lot of room. They’re also quite gentle, and are fairly inexpensive. Just like other pets, gerbils do have some specific care needs, however. If you’re thinking about adopting one, or perhaps already have, you’ll want to do some research to learn how to keep your tiny furball happy and healthy. A local Cameron Park, CA vet discusses basic gerbil care in this article.


Gerbils are naturally very sociable, and will be happiest with some buddies of their own kind to play with and snuggle up to. Just be sure to only house same-sex pairs together, and to make introductions slowly.


Before bringing your gerbil home, you’ll want to get a suitable cage. For one pair of gerbils, you’ll need at least a 10-gallon tank. If you get more than two, you’ll need a bigger cage. Gerbils are great escape artists, so pick something that closes securely. Your little pals will also need a suitable substrate. Aspen is a good choice. Avoid hardwood substrates, such as pine or cedar, as these are toxic to small animals. You’ll also need to provide your tiny furballs with a hidey-hole and a water bottle. To make the cage more fun, add slopes, ramps, or climbing rocks, and some tunnels and mazes.


A proper diet is very important! Your gerbils can have commercial food, supplemented with fresh produce, and, of course, the occasional snack. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.


Your adorable pets will get quite bored just sitting in his cage with nothing to do, so provide fun toys to keep them happy and entertained. Exercise wheels are a good option. Just avoid wire wheels, as they can be dangerous. You’ll also want to offer lots of chewable playthings, such as items made from plain paper, cardboard, or wood.


You’ll want to handle your gerbils frequently and gently to keep them tame and friendly. Never scoop up a gerbil from behind, or when he’s sleeping: you could frighten the little one! You should also avoid picking gerbils up by their tails, as you could seriously injure your furry friends.

Call us, your local Cameron Park, CA animal hospital, with any questions about gerbil care. We are here to help.

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