Gerbil Care

If you are looking for a low maintenance pet for your Saint Lucie County home, a gerbil may be a good choice for you. These little creatures are quite friendly, playful, and curious. Gerbils do not require quite as much attention as a dog or cat, but they do have very specific needs. Like all pets, gerbils need the correct food, a proper and comfortable habitat, stimulation, and attention.

Here are a few tips for caring for gerbils.

Housing

Gerbils are diggers by nature, and need a cage that can hold enough bedding for them to dig. Wire cages are not recommended, as bedding tends to spill out of them too easily. Aquariums are a better choice. Your gerbil’s home should be placed near a window, so they can get natural light. These cute little furballs can be quite the escape artists, so you’ll need to make sure the aquarium is very secure. A 10-gallon aquarium is recommended for one gerbil. Aquariums that use their space lengthwise rather than in height are better; gerbils are more interested in burrowing than climbing. Your gerbil’s home must be thoroughly cleaned out at least once a week. Any less, and ammonia can build up and make your little friend sick.

Toys

Gerbils are very active. Exercise wheels or balls are great choices. Just make sure they are safe for gerbils, as they can get their little tails or feet caught in open-wire wheels. Gerbils also love to chew. This is a natural instinct, which in the wild keeps their teeth from growing too long. Get your gerbil chew toys, but stay away from plastic. PVC pipe is a safe option.

Diet

Gerbils do best on a varied diet. You can use store-bought seed mixes or pellets, but be sure to supplement them with treats for variety. Fresh veggies or fruits, raisins, cereal, nuts, whole grain breads, little nibbles of cheese, bits of egg and even dog biscuits are all suitable treats.

Care

In order to keep your gerbil socialized, you’ll want to spend a bit of time playing with it daily. If you have more than one gerbil, a good rule of thumb is 15 minutes per gerbil. Constant attention will keep your gerbil happy and friendly, and keep it from losing interest in you.

Gerbils can make great pets, and can be a fun and cute addition to your Saint Lucie County household. Please contact us at Morningside for any questions on the care and behavior of your little friend.

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