Can Gerbils Survive Alone for a Week? Tips and Advice for Pet Owners

Gerbils are social animals that thrive on companionship. They are happiest when living with other gerbils and can become lonely and depressed when left alone for an extended period. Gerbils typically live in family groups consisting of a breeding pair and their offspring. They communicate through scent marking, vocalizations, and body language. Gerbils groom each other, sleep together, and play together, forming strong bonds. Therefore, leaving your gerbil alone for a week can be stressful and harmful to their health.

Gerbil Diet and Water Requirements

Gerbils are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants. Their diet should consist of a combination of dry food, fresh vegetables, and fruits. They also need access to fresh water at all times. Without a reliable source of food and water for a week, your gerbil will suffer from dehydration and malnutrition.

Gerbil Habitat and Environmental Requirements

Gerbils require a clean and safe habitat that mimics their natural environment. They need a cage with plenty of space to run and play, bedding to burrow in, and toys to chew on. The cage should be placed in a quiet and cool area away from direct sunlight, drafts, and other pets. Gerbils are sensitive to temperature changes and can suffer from heatstroke or hypothermia if exposed to extreme temperatures.

Can Gerbils Survive Alone for a Week?

Possible Scenarios and Risks

While gerbils can survive on their own for a few days, leaving them alone for a week is not recommended. The risks involved in leaving your gerbil alone for a week are numerous. Your gerbil may run out of food and water, their cage may become dirty and unsanitary, or they may become ill or injured without proper care.

Factors that Affect Gerbil Survival

Several factors can affect your gerbil’s survival during your absence. These factors include their age, health, and temperament. Older gerbils or those with underlying health conditions may not be able to withstand the stress of being alone for a week. Similarly, gerbils with aggressive or anxious temperaments may become destructive and harm themselves or their environment.

Preparing for Your Absence

If you plan to be away from your gerbil for an extended period, there are several things you can do to ensure their safety and well-being.

Getting a Pet Sitter

One of the easiest ways to ensure your gerbil’s safety is to hire a pet sitter. A pet sitter can come to your home daily to check on your gerbil, provide fresh food and water, and clean their cage. You can find a trustworthy pet sitter through online services or by asking for recommendations from family and friends.

Leaving Your Gerbil with a Trusted Friend or Family Member

If you have a trusted friend or family member, you can leave your gerbil with them while you’re away. Make sure that your pet sitter knows how to care for gerbils and is willing to follow your instructions. Provide enough food and water to last the week, and leave detailed instructions on how to care for your gerbil.

Leaving Your Gerbil Alone with Preparations

If you cannot find a pet sitter or a trusted friend or family member to care for your gerbil, you can leave your gerbil alone with preparations. Provide enough water and food to last the week, and ensure that their cage is clean and safe. You can also invest in an automatic feeder and a water dispenser to ensure a steady supply of food and water.

Emergency Measures: What to Do When Your Gerbil is Alone for Too Long

If you return home to find your gerbil alone for too long, there are several emergency measures you can take to ensure their survival.

Checking on Your Gerbil and Assessing the Situation

The first step is to check on your gerbil and assess the situation. Look for signs of dehydration, malnutrition, or injury. If your gerbil is severely dehydrated or malnourished, seek veterinary care immediately.

Providing Water and Food

If your gerbil is hungry or thirsty, provide them with fresh food and water immediately. Offer fresh vegetables, fruits, and dry food. Refill their water dispenser and ensure that they have access to clean and fresh water at all times.

Resetting Your Gerbil’s Habitat and Environment

If your gerbil’s cage is dirty or unsanitary, clean it thoroughly and replace the bedding. Provide fresh toys and chew sticks to keep your gerbil occupied and happy.


In conclusion, gerbils are social creatures that need companionship, a proper diet, and a safe and clean environment to thrive. Leaving your gerbil alone for a week is not recommended, as it can cause stress, anxiety, and harm to your pet. However, with proper preparations, you can ensure your gerbil’s well-being in your absence. Consider hiring a pet sitter, leaving your gerbil with a trusted friend or family member, or leaving your gerbil alone with the necessary preparations. In case of an emergency, check on your gerbil, provide food and water, and reset their habitat and environment. With these tips and advice, you can enjoy your time away from home while ensuring your gerbil’s safety and happiness.

ThePetFaq Team