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Southlake Animal Hospital
Give us a call today! 219-942-0909
Call us today! 219-942-0909

3570 E. Lincoln Hwy
Merrillville, IN 46410

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Gerbil Care Basics

February 1 2018

Are you looking for a small but super cute little pet? A gerbil may be a great fit for you! These tiny furballs are quite charming. They are also very easy to care for. Read on as a Crown Point, IN vet offers some tips on keeping your pint-sized pal happy and healthy.


Gerbils are very sociable, and will get lonely and depressed without any buddies. We recommend getting at least two. Just be sure to keep only same-sex pairs together. Otherwise, you may end up with more pets than you bargained for! Try to adopt siblings, if possible. Keep in mind that if your pets are ever separated for more than an hour, you’ll need to reintroduce them, as otherwise they may fight.


Making sure your pets have a clean, comfortable cage is very important. For one pair of gerbils, you’ll need at least a 10-gallon cage. If you have more than that, you’ll need something larger. Of course, bigger is always better, so get the biggest one you can. You’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen, and some shredded tissue paper or paper towels for nesting. (Note: avoid pine and cedar products, which are toxic to small animals.) Your furballs will also need a hidey-hole and a water bottle. Gerbils like to climb to good vantage points, so add a ‘lookout’ rock as well.


Your tiny pals can have commercial food, like pellets and/or seed mixes, for their main meals. You can supplement this with safe fruits and veggies, such as carrots, apples, zucchini, and spinach. Your furry little friend can also have certain cereal products, such as puffed rice or whole-wheat cereal. For treats, you can offer dog biscuits, mealworms, or the occasional piece of cheese. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice.


Even tiny pets need entertainment to stay happy. Keep your gerbils active and amused by offering them lots of suitable chew toys. Many wood, wicker, and cardboard objects are fine, as long as they do not have small parts, sharp edges, or dangling ropes or threads. Your little furballs may also enjoy an exercise wheel. Just be sure to get a solid wheel: wire ones can be dangerous.

Do you have questions about your pet gerbils’ health or care? Contact us, your Crown Point, IN pet hospital, anytime. We are always happy to help!