How to Care for Gerbils: Everything You Need to Know!

When choosing a gerbil, it’s important to look for a healthy and active one. The gerbil’s eyes should be bright and clear, and they should have a shiny coat. Avoid ones that look lethargic or have discharge from their eyes or nose.

It’s recommended to get gerbils in pairs or groups since they are social animals and thrive with companionship. When introducing new gerbils to each other, it’s best to do so gradually and in a neutral area.

1.2 Setting Up the Perfect Gerbil Habitat

Gerbils need a large, clean, and safe habitat to thrive. A 20-gallon tank or larger is recommended for two gerbils. The habitat should have a solid bottom to prevent injuries to their feet, and it should be lined with bedding that is safe for gerbils, such as aspen shavings or paper-based bedding.

Gerbils also need hiding places, chew toys, and exercise wheels in their habitat. Avoid using plastic toys or accessories that can be chewed and ingested, which can cause health problems.

1.3 Preparing for Your New Gerbil’s Arrival

Before bringing your new gerbil home, make sure that their habitat is set up and ready to go. Provide fresh food and water, and avoid disturbing them for the first few days to give them time to adjust to their new environment.

Section 2: Feeding Your Gerbil

2.1 Understanding Your Gerbil’s Nutritional Needs

Gerbils are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal-based foods. They need a diet that is high in fiber and protein. Commercial gerbil food is available and is recommended as the base of their diet. Fresh vegetables and fruits can be given as treats. Avoid feeding your gerbil foods that are high in fat or sugar, such as chocolate or candy.

2.2 Choosing the Right Food for Your Gerbil

When choosing gerbil food, look for ones that are specifically formulated for gerbils. Avoid hamster or rat food since they have different nutritional needs. Make sure that the food is fresh and not expired.

2.3 Supplementing Your Gerbil’s Diet with Treats

Fresh vegetables and fruits can be given to your gerbil as treats, but they should be given in moderation. Gerbils also enjoy seeds, nuts, and mealworms as treats. However, avoid giving them too many treats as it can affect their overall health.

Section 3: Keeping Your Gerbil Healthy

3.1 Recognizing Signs of Illness in Gerbils

It’s important to monitor your gerbil’s health regularly and look for signs of illness. Signs of illness in gerbils include lethargy, loss of appetite, discharge from their eyes or nose, or changes in their behavior. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take your gerbil to the vet as soon as possible.

3.2 Preventing Common Gerbil Health Issues

To prevent health issues in gerbils, make sure that their habitat is clean and free from mold and mildew. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or drafts, which can cause respiratory problems. Also, avoid using cedar or pine bedding since they can cause respiratory problems as well.

3.3 Taking Your Gerbil to the Vet

Regular vet check-ups are important to ensure that your gerbil is healthy. Gerbils should see a vet at least once a year for a check-up and any necessary vaccinations.

Section 4: Providing Enrichment and Exercise for Your Gerbil

4.1 Choosing the Right Toys and Accessories for Your Gerbil

Gerbils need toys and accessories that provide mental and physical stimulation. Exercise wheels, tunnels, and chew toys are great options for gerbils. However, avoid using plastic toys that can be chewed and ingested.

4.2 Creating a Safe Environment for Your Gerbil to Play

When allowing your gerbil to play outside of their habitat, make sure that the area is safe and free from hazards. Also, supervise them to ensure that they don’t escape or get into anything dangerous.

4.3 Exercising Your Gerbil to Keep Them Healthy and Happy

Exercise is important to keep your gerbil healthy and happy. Exercise wheels and tunnels are great options for gerbils to get exercise. You can also provide them with opportunities to climb and explore their habitat.

Section 5: Breeding and Raising Gerbil Babies

5.1 Understanding the Gerbil Reproduction Cycle

Gerbils can breed at a young age, and females can have litters every 24 to 26 days. It’s important to separate males and females to prevent unwanted breeding.

5.2 Preparing for a Gerbil Pregnancy

If you plan to breed your gerbils, make sure that the female’s habitat is prepared for her pregnancy. Provide nesting material and extra food to ensure that she has everything she needs to care for her pups.

5.3 Raising Gerbil Pups and Finding Homes for Them

Gerbil pups are born hairless and blind, and they require extra care and attention from their mother. It’s important to handle them gently and not separate them from their mother too early. If you plan to find homes for the pups, make sure that the new owners are prepared to care for them properly.


Caring for gerbils is easy and rewarding. By following the tips and guidelines in this blog post, you can ensure that your gerbils are happy, healthy, and thriving. Remember to choose the right gerbil, set up their habitat properly, feed them a healthy diet, keep them healthy, provide enrichment and exercise, and if you plan to breed them, make sure to do so responsibly. With proper care, your gerbils will make wonderful and beloved pets.

ThePetFaq Team