Gerbils are fun and friendly animals to keep, though you’ll only get a happy pet with all the right equipment. With this in mind, OlliePets offers a wide selection of gerbil cages, stands, toys, foods and other accessories to ensure they can stay happy, healthy and safe!
Owning a gerbil
There are over a hundred different types of gerbil, but the one most likely to be joining your family is the Mongolian gerbil. They’re active, sociable and low maintenance, making them ideal first pets for kids. They’re full of character too, and it’s great seeing your pet’s personality develop.
Gerbils can grow up to 4-5 inches long, but don’t worry – half of this will be their tails so they won’t scare your little ones! They’re usually active during the day but are often up and about at dawn and dusk. So if you don’t want an early wake-up call, it’s a good idea to keep them out of your bedroom.
Gerbils’ teeth never stop growing, so this is very important to help your pet Gerbil keep them short. They love to burrow and need plenty of nesting material to make their beds too.
As your gerbils like to keep busy, make sure they’ve always got access to plenty of fresh water so they can stay hydrated. Making sure that you choose the right food also has a big impact on their quality of life, so be sure to choose carefully.
Gerbils make great pets as they are relatively easy to look after, it’s important to know how to spot any health problems and learn how to care for them correctly. There’s some helpful information below on helping your gerbil stay happy and healthy.
Keeping your gerbil happy and healthy
Small and active, gerbils make wonderful pets for those looking for friendly and rewarding pets. They’re not known for having many health problems and can typically live for around three to four years with the right care and attention. Read on for plenty of tips on how to keep your new furry friends healthy as well as how to spot any potential health issues.
What are possible health problems for gerbils?
While gerbils are generally healthy creatures, it’s still possible for them to develop certain conditions. These will mostly be triggered by their diet and environment, and you’ll find they may become stressed by environmental changes.
There are a few health problems that you should watch out for:
- Teeth issues – Gerbils’ teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, so it’s crucial that you provide them with things to gnaw on (such as wooden blocks) to avoid them growing too long. A gerbil with teeth that are too large will experience discomfort and is more likely to develop other health problems.
- Seizures – It’s not unusual for some Gerbils, especially young ones, to suffer from seizures every so often. You’ll know that your gerbil is having a seizure if they suddenly start to twitch, their ears drop down and they begin to drool. Seizures are normally associated with stress so if you find they’re a frequent occurrence with your gerbil, you may want to assess their environment to see what might be triggering them.
- Allergies – Gerbils skin can react to the oils in certain types of wood. These commonly include fresh pine and cedar; one of the most common symptoms of this is a sore nose. If you suspect your gerbil has had a reaction to bedding, try using a paper-based bedding material instead.
- Tail problems – If a gerbil is handled roughly or grabbed by the tail, it can cause it to become detached or strip it of its fur. If this happens to your gerbil, you’ll need to make sure that their tail dries out properly and doesn’t become infected. Seek veterinary advice.
- Digestion issues – It’s important that you feed your gerbils the correct diet to avoid them getting stomach upsets. You should avoid feeding them large quantities of sugary fruit and foods which are rich in fat.