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Pet Gerbil Care - Learn How to Take Care of a Gerbil

Gerbils are one of the smallest rodents that have stolen the hearts of many young and older enthusiasts of these animals all over the world. The animal has a characteristic body type and a long tail, which make it distinct against other rodents. Although it's unlikely to mistake it for a hamster or a rat, the gerbil needs similar care when kept in domestic conditions. Find the best cage type for your gerbil and learn how to take care of this animal.

Pet Gerbil Care - Learn How to Take Care of a Gerbil

What is a gerbil?

Gerbils are small rodents included in the Muridae family. As claimed by experts, the most popular type of gerbil originates in Mongolia. Apart from the characteristic looks and way of moving, the gerbil is not a very unusual animal in terms of taking care of it. Because of the easy and undemanding care, these rodents became one of the favourites. They are often picked instead of common degus or djungarian hamsters.

What does a gerbil look like?

Gerbils are small rodents. Their body length reaches up to 10 centimeters. But one needs to add the long tail to that - it measures 10 centimeters as well - so it’s as long as its body. Depending on the diet, species and gender - these small rodents weigh from 50 to 100 grams. They have relatively long fur, which is typically a mixture of white and brown - but it’s not a rule. Depending on the type, gerbils have different colors.

What does a gerbil look like?

Gerbil types and species

Gerbil is not just a popular animal breed. There are over 100 different species of this animal - depending on the country and the environment they live in. But the most common type is the one coming from Mongolia.

Fat-tailed gerbil is one of the most interesting varieties of the rodent. It has a short and very thick tail. Its fur is long, but the rodent itself is tiny and weighs less than other types.

Can you keep gerbils at home?

Domestic gerbils are easy to take care of. That’s why more and more people want to have them. Pet gerbils don’t need any special conditions, and the food for them is relatively cheap. They are very sociable, provided they are properly introduced to humans. It’s important to keep them separated from other species. They demonstrate distinct social behaviours, which might be incorrectly interpreted by other animals.

Gerbil - cage and conditions it needs

If you want to keep gerbils at home, make sure to provide the best conditions to them. You can pick between a cage and aquarium - regardless of what you pick, the container should be tall enough so that the animals can hop around the upper levels.

A cage for a gerbil should have a tall base so that it can contain a lot of bedding material - 12-15 centimeters is the minimum. There should also be a space above the substrate, where the animal can be active.

Gerbil - cage and conditions it needs

What do gerbils eat?

Gerbils’ diet is not too complicated. They mostly eat wheat, rye and oat seeds. You can also give them special food designed for gerbils. Make sure to enrich the rodents’ diet with fresh foods - fruit and vegetables. In this case, you can feed your pet gerbil with:

  • parsnips,
  • carrots,
  • cauliflower,
  • apples,
  • bananas,
  • pears,
  • pumpkin and sunflower seeds,
  • turnips.

Gerbils can also eat grass and peanuts from time to time. Make sure the latter are natural - don’t feed your pets with salted or flavoured products.

What is a standard lifespan of a gerbil?

Gerbils aren’t long-living animals. If you are planning to buy such an animal for your child - make sure to prepare them for this. The average gerbil lifespan is from 3 to 5 years. Animals kept at home, don’t live more than 6 years, despite perfect conditions.

Where to buy a pet gerbil?

Gerbils aren’t special animals nowadays, so you can find them in any pet store. You can also seek for offers directly from a breeder on the Internet. Make sure to buy from trusted sources - this way you can be sure you get a healthy pet.

How much does a gerbil pet cost?

Gerbils aren’t the most expensive animals. Anyone can afford one. The average price for one pet gerbil falls between $5 and $10. It depends on the age and gender of a rodent.

If you decide to buy a gerbil, remember that it needs a special cage, equipment and food. The price of the animal is not the only cost you should prepare for.

How much does a gerbil pet cost?

📍 What are gerbils?

The gerbil, also spelled 'jerbil', is one of the most popular domestic rodents. Over 100 different wild species have been distinguished. Rodents measuring about 10 centimeters are the most popular ones. Their tail is equally long - 10 cm on average. These rodents weigh from 80 to 100 g.

📍 How long do gerbils live?

Gerbils and their lifespan are strictly related to the conditions they are kept in. Their average lifespan is from 3 to 5 years. In rare cases, gerbils can live as long as 5-6 years.

📍 What do gerbils eat?

A gerbil's diet is not very complicated. It consists mostly of wheat, rye and oat. You can use special mixes. The rodent can also eat fruit and vegetables: carrots, apples, parsnips, endive and more.

📍 How much do gerbils cost?

Gerbils aren't expensive. The price of a pet gerbil is $5-$10 on average. The price mostly depends on the animal's species.