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Caring for a Gerbil

Are you looking to add a new pet to your home, without also adding a lot of expenses, duties, or goods? Do you need a bit of brightness in your home? A gerbil may be a great bet! These little guys are super cute and easy to care for. They’re also suitable for children! Read on as a Somerville, MA vet offers some gerbil care tips.

Basics

These tiny furballs rarely live more than 5 years, so you don’t really have to worry about long-term commitments. Gerbils are also pretty tiny, rarely getting bigger than 4 inches. Another good thing about them? They’re adorable! Last but not least, they are very clean, and don’t really cause odors.

Cage

Your pint-sized pal will need a good cage. We recommend getting at least a 10-gallon for one furball. If you have more than one, you’ll need a bigger cage. Choose one with a good cover! Add a few inches of bedding. You can use shredded tissue paper for nest materials. (Note: avoid pine and cedar products, as they are toxic to small animals.) Your little buddy will also need a hidey-hole, like a cave or flower pot, as well as some lookout spots, like rocks.

Food

Gerbil diets generally consist of grain, seeds, and pellets, along with dried veggies and small amounts of safe, suitable produce, like apples and bananas. Sugar-free cereal and whole-wheat bread make good treats. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Playing

Did you know that gerbils are actually quite playful? Give your pets plenty of hay, paper towels, and bedding to dig through. These guys also enjoy exploring mazes, which you can make out of things like cardboard tubes and PVC pipes. Also, provide plenty of chew toys. Dog biscuits are fine, but you can also make toys out of plain wood, paper, or cardboard.

Cleaning

Gerbils are quite easy to care for. The only things you’ll need to do every day is feed your furry pals and remove waste and uneaten food from their cage. However, you will need to deep clean and disinfect the cage regularly.

Illness

Gerbils are susceptible to illness and injury, just like any other pet. Watch for warning signs, such as diarrhea, sneezing, and lethargy. Call your vet if you notice anything amiss.

As your Somerville, MA vet clinic, we are always here to help. Contact us anytime!

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