What Food Can Gerbils Eat?

What Food Can Gerbils Eat?

Gerbils, those small omnivores, need a balanced diet that replicates their natural food sources. In the wild, these furry critters forage for seeds, leaves, herbs, and even insects like locusts, worms, and beetles. When kept as pets, gerbils require specially designed gerbil food to ensure they receive the necessary protein, fiber, and essential nutrients for proper digestion, bone and teeth health, and a shiny coat. Of course, they also enjoy small portions of fresh fruit and vegetables.

A Healthy Gerbil Diet

To provide a nutrition-packed diet for your gerbils, opt for specially formulated gerbil nuggets that mimic their natural food. Avoid muesli-type mixtures as gerbils tend to pick out the sugary parts, which can lead to dental problems and an imbalanced diet. Additionally, provide high-quality feeding hay for gnawing and untreated softwood, such as hawthorn, hazelnut, pear, poplar, or apple wood, to keep their teeth in good shape. As for treats, offer small amounts of gerbil-safe fresh fruit or vegetables, being cautious not to overdo it with the greens as they can cause gastrointestinal issues. Remember to always research which fresh foods are safe for your furry pals.

Gerbils also need a constant supply of fresh drinking water. Make it easier for them to stay hydrated by choosing a bottle with a valveless sipper tube, and ensure the spout is placed at the appropriate height.

Fruit and Vegetables for Gerbils

Gerbils can enjoy a variety of fruits in small amounts as treats. Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and even apples, pears, peaches, and melons are suitable options. However, it’s essential to avoid giving gerbils citrus fruits, rhubarb, or grapes, as these can be toxic to them.

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When it comes to vegetables, gerbils appreciate some variety in their diet. Offer small slices or cubes of carrot, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chicory, spinach, sweet peppers, cucumber, cress, courgette, fennel, pumpkin, and herbs like basil, sage, parsley, and coriander.

Foods to Avoid

Besides fresh foods, there are several human foods that gerbils should never consume. Gerbil muesli, colorful treats high in sugar, nuts, and high-fat seeds like sunflower seeds should be avoided. Additionally, gerbils should steer clear of high carb foods like bread, pasta, crackers, and biscuits as they can cause digestive problems. It’s important to note that chocolate, dairy products, potatoes, tomato leaves, onions, garlic, and citrus fruits are all poisonous to gerbils. When in doubt about the safety of a particular food, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Feeding Schedule and Enrichment

Feed your gerbils once a day, preferably in the morning, as they are diurnal creatures. Provide them with approximately a tablespoon of gerbil nuggets each day, avoiding overfeeding. To encourage natural foraging behavior, scatter some of their food around instead of just placing it in a bowl. Gerbils love to hoard food, so be sure to remove any stale items they have stashed away.

Gnawing, chewing, and shredding are natural gerbil behaviors. Offer a variety of safe items for them to indulge in, such as cardboard, coconut shells, hay bars, pumice stone, banana leaves, and seagrass toys.

Why Choose Burgess Gerbil Food?

Burgess is committed to providing only the highest quality gerbil food made from nutritiously balanced ingredients. Their products, including nutritious pellets and high-quality feeding hay, ensure that your gerbils receive the vitamins and minerals they need. Ordering online is convenient, and you’ll even receive free delivery on orders over £25.

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Need Expert Advice?

If you have any uncertainties about feeding your gerbils or specific nutritional requirements, don’t hesitate to consult your local veterinary practice for guidance. You can also reach out to Burgess’ expert team during business hours at +44 (0)1405 862241. They will be more than happy to assist you. Alternatively, use their online contact form to get in touch.

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