Can Certain Foods harm Gerbils? A Comprehensive Guide for Gerbil Lovers!

Gerbils are omnivores, which means that they require a balanced diet that consists of both plant and animal-based foods to thrive. A healthy gerbil diet should include protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

The Importance of Proper Nutrition

Feeding your gerbil a proper diet is essential to their health and wellbeing. A lack of proper nutrition can lead to obesity, dental problems, digestive issues, and a weakened immune system. Feeding your gerbil a varied diet that meets their nutritional needs will help them maintain a healthy weight and prevent the onset of health problems.

Foods that are Harmful to Gerbils

Processed and Packaged Foods

Processed and packaged foods are not suitable for gerbils as they contain preservatives and additives that can harm their digestive system. These foods are also high in salt, sugar, and fat, which can lead to obesity and other health problems.

Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid

While fruits and vegetables are generally considered healthy for humans, some are not suitable for gerbils. For example, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are too acidic for their digestive system. Avocado is also toxic to gerbils and should be avoided.

Meat and Dairy Products

Gerbils are not recommended to consume meat and dairy products, as they are high in fat and protein, which can lead to obesity and other health problems. These types of foods can also cause digestive issues in gerbils.

Common Kitchen Ingredients that are Harmful

Some common kitchen ingredients can be harmful to gerbils. For example, onions and garlic can cause anemia in gerbils. Chocolate and caffeine are also toxic to gerbils and can cause seizures, tremors, and other health problems.

Safe Foods for Gerbils

Commercial Gerbil Food

Commercial gerbil food is a great option as it is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of gerbils. These foods are usually made up of a combination of grains, seeds, and pellets and can be found at most pet stores.

Hay and Grasses

Hay and grasses are an essential part of a gerbil’s diet as they provide fiber and other important nutrients. Timothy hay is a popular option that is readily available at most pet stores.

Fruits and Vegetables that are Safe for Gerbils

Some fruits and vegetables that are safe for gerbils include carrots, cucumbers, peas, and apples. These foods should be given in moderation and should be washed thoroughly before serving.

Protein Sources for Gerbils

Gerbils require protein in their diet to maintain good health. Good sources of protein for gerbils include mealworms, crickets, and boiled eggs. These foods should be given in moderation and should be cooked before feeding.

How to Feed Gerbils Properly

Portion Control

Portion control is essential when feeding gerbils. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems. A good rule of thumb is to provide your gerbil with a tablespoon of food per day. This can be split into two meals, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Meal Frequency and Timing

Gerbils have a fast metabolism and require frequent meals throughout the day. It is recommended to feed your gerbil twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. It’s important to establish a feeding routine to help your gerbil maintain a healthy weight.

Supplements and Treats

Supplements and treats should be given in moderation to gerbils. Vitamin supplements can be added to their food to ensure that they receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Treats such as seeds, nuts, and dried fruits can be given occasionally as a reward.


In conclusion, feeding your gerbil a proper diet is essential to their health and wellbeing. Knowing what foods are harmful and what foods are safe is crucial in ensuring that your gerbil receives the necessary nutrients for good health. By following the tips outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can provide your gerbil with a healthy and balanced diet. Remember to always provide fresh water and consult a veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pet’s diet.

ThePetFaq Team