When you first get your gerbil let him get used to his new home before you start playing with him. Gerbils are cautious by nature and may not trust you right away. Feed your gerbil by hand and let him get used to your smell. Soon he will start coming closer and when he does this several times, try letting him crawl on to your hand. Once he gets used to being held, play with him every day!
|Learn even more about being a great gerbil guardian by reading our Gerbil Care Guide.
Gerbils are omnivores, which means they eat plants and animal protein. A small amount of a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds every day along with rodent food from the pet supply store will keep your gerbil healthy.
All animals need water to live. Gerbils don't drink a lot but should always have fresh water available to them through a sipper bottle. Change the water every day and clean the bottle completely once a week.
An aquarium with paper and aspen wood shavings (cedar and pine can cause health problems) makes a great home for a gerbil. Add some shredded paper and hay for bedding. Gerbils should have lots of room to burrow. Male gerbils can live together if they are under eight (8) weeks old. Gerbils are social animals best kept in pairs, but never keep female and male gerbils together because they will quickly breed. There are already too many small animals without homes.
A gerbil's enclosure should be cleaned once every two weeks. The bedding should be dry and clean. A tissue box, paper tubes or similar objects make great hiding/resting places.
Gerbils need exercise like all animals. A large enclosure with tubes, an exercise wheel, ladders and burrowing material will give your gerbil plenty of exercise.
Gerbils are clean creatures that groom themselves so they don't require grooming or bathing by their guardians.
The best way to keep your gerbil healthy is to keep his cage clean and take out any food that has spoiled.
How to pick up a gerbil
Scoop a gerbil up from underneath with two hands. Be careful not to squeeze. Gerbils can be picked up if they get used to it but do not like it as much as other rodents. Never pick a gerbil up by his tail.