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Gerbil Care

Are you looking for a small pet that is really cute but easy to care for? Gerbils may very well fit the bill for what you are looking for. These adorable little furballs are very popular pets, and are often chosen as children’s first pets. Here, a Sugar Land, TX vet lists some gerbil care basics.

Basics

Gerbils are tiny little furballs that live about 3-5 years, on average. Usually smaller than 4”, these cute desert rodents are quite sociable, and should not be kept alone. Try to get siblings, if possible. However, you should only keep same-sex pairs together. One great thing about gerbils is that they don’t urinate much, so their cages don’t usually smell.

Cage

We recommend getting a wire cage or a tank with a mesh cover. For two gerbils, you’ll need at least a 10-gallon tank. If you have more than that, they’ll need a larger home. You’ll need to add a few inches of bedding, as well as shredded tissue paper for nest materials. Avoid pine and cedar products, as they are toxic to pets. Last but not least, make sure the little guys have a small hidey-hole, like a cave or flower pot. Gerbils also like lookouts, so use rocks or decorations to give them a higher vantage point.

Food

Your tiny furballs can have gerbil food, which contains grain, seeds, pellets, and dried veggies. Make sure your pets have fresh water at all times as well. You can supplement these things with safe, suitable produce, like apples and bananas. Gerbils can also have sugar-free cereal and whole-wheat bread.

Playing

Gerbils are very playful! Give your tiny buddies lots of hay, bedding, and paper towels for digging. Your furry pals will also like PVC pipes and cardboard tubes. Toys are also fine. Chew toys are especially important, as your pets can develop dental trouble without them. Just avoid anything small or sharp. Plain wood is fine. Dog biscuits will also work.

Cage Cleaning

Remove soiled bedding, droppings, and uneaten food from your pets’ cage daily. Follow up with more thorough cleanings every week.

Illness

Just like any other pet, gerbils should be examined regularly by a vet. At home, watch for signs of illness, such as diarrhea, sneezing, and lethargy.

Please contact us, your Sugar Land, TX pet hospital, with any questions or concerns about gerbil care. We’re here to help!

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