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Category: Pets and Animals

Why YOU Should Own A Gerbil!

A little bit of context:

I've always wanted to keep rodents, however there's never been the right time in my life to do so until recently. Finally this year while looking for rodents that are beginner friendly I stumbled upon gerbils and I fell in love! I think gerbils don't get enough attention since they make awesome pets and are clean, friendly, quiet, and easy to care for. This blog entry is to spread the gerbil love!

What the heck is a gerbil?

So if you're anything like me before this year you might not even know what a gerbil is. Is it some kind of weird hamster? Well for those who don't know - they're somewhat like if a mouse had a long fluffy tail, could stand up on two legs, and had undiagnosed ADHD.

They also come in many different colors! [1 2 3 4]

Gerbil Care:

  • Gerbils need at least 40 gallons with a topper or something to separate their bedding from their food/water/dust bath (we will get to this)
  • At least 12 inches of substrate
    • (they LOVE to dig!! it's recommended to have located areas for them to burrow down into because otherwise they WILL fling their substrate everywhere and get it in their food and dust bath and not even the will of god can stop them)
  • A food bowl and a dust bath bowl (a ceramic dish or pet bowl will work fine!)
  • Chinchilla dust
  • Gerbil food, hamster water bottle, a wheel (make sure it's big enough for them and doesn't have anything that they can get their feet or tail stuck in!), gerbil safe substrate, WOODEN chew toys and huts! (NO plastic, they WILL eat it)
Gerbil Behavior:

  • Gerbils are social creatures and need to be kept in groups of 2 of the same sex
    • It's not recommended to keep more than 2, because the more gerbils you have the more likely they are to declan**. Males of the same litter are less likely to declan than females, though
    • **Declanning is when one gerbil challenges the other and tries to kick them out of their home. Since there is no where for the gerbil being kicked out to go in a tank, they will continue to fight until one is severely injured or dead
  • Gerbils will clean themselves in dust baths and will even use it as a litter box, which makes clean up super easy! You only really need to clean their tank every couple of months :3 (aside from food bowls/water bottles/etc)
  • THEY LOVE TO CHEW AND DIG!!! they will chew through pretty much ANYTHING. their teeth continue to grow throughout their life, much like a rabbits, and they need to chew to keep their teeth down. Give them lots of wooden chew toys, and cardboard to chew on, they love to shred cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls it makes them very happy
  • they are super friendly and curious! they are the type of animal that will run up to your hand to check it out. they also very rarely bite, it's not really common for gerbils to bite people unless they are frightened. they are gentle creatures.
  • They spend most of their time sleeping together in big cuddle piles, playing, and grooming each other and it's absolutely adorable to watch.

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