Gerbils are social, active and curious about their environment. They are promoted as an ideal pet for the first time pet owners because of their low cost and small size. If you’re looking for an inexpensive pet which can provide you a lot of entertainment then gerbil is the best for you.
1. WHEN YOU BUY A GERBIL :-
When you go the the pet store then make sure to find a gerbil which look healthy and not fat. If you are not sure how a healthy gerbil look like then you can consult from your veterinarian, you can also look up diagrams from the internet. Also, make sure to watch the gait of the gerbil and check if its normal and straight. A gait which looks abnormal could actually indicate a health problem or broken bone.
You should buy gerbil more than one, they should be never kept alone. Male gerbils are happier in up to four and females are better in pairs.
2. HOUSING :-
An aquarium of ten – gallon makes a tremendous cage for your gerbil. For a larger group of gerbils, you can use fifteen to twenty gallon tank. You can cover the aquarium’s bottom with shavings, thick layer of bedding, you can also put some hay in it.
You can also choose a large wire cage for a pair of gerbils which should be at least 12 by 24 by 12 inches, but many gerbil owners say that they will rub their noses as they chew the cage’s bars. They also tend to kick the bedding out of the sides of these cages and this can create quite a mess for a several foot of radius. These are the reasons ,according to which, wire cages are known as an ideal cage for gerbils.
3. FEEDING :-
It is very important to feed gerbil a nutritious and balanced diet, so that they can remain active, healthy and fit. They need a balanced diet of protein, greens vitamins and certain fats.You can buy food which are especially designed for gerbils from any pet store, you should never feed them food which has been designed for other animals as they may not be nutritious enough for your gerbil and it can also cause health problems. You can also supplement their diet by feeding a variety of vegetables and fruits including apples (seedless), cucumber, carrots, broccoli, parsley, lettuce, cauliflower etc and he’ll enjoy them as a very tasty treat.
4. PROVIDE A WATER BOTTLE :-
You should get a bottle which have a nice metal spout. If it is plastic then it will be better as you can see how full it is clearly. You can hang it from mesh lid nicely on a glass aquarium.
5. EXERCISE :-
Exercise is important for anyone including gerbils too in order to stay healthy and active. As gerbils are active naturally, so you will just have to provide them the toys and space in which they can spend their hours of activity. You can provide them wheels, balls, PVC plumbing pipes etc. They will not use wheels as much as the hamsters use but sometimes they DO use it. Some gerbils will use it many times in a day while some will never use it. You should choose the right size of wheel for your gerbil, medium size (6”) is good. Avoid providing wheel of metal bar as their legs could get caught in the bar and brake. Wheels with metal screen will be good, those model are usually modified in order to protect their tails. You can also use plastic wheels, however make sure that it will not stop them from passing under it and also, they will not try to use it. Providing balls to gerbils are the great way to remain active. This will allow your pet your house while being in just a plastic ball. Some gerbils will run like crazy in it while some will just stay motionless until you take him out of there. Do not leave them in there for more than fifteen minutes and also block all the dangerous places like stairs and windows.
6. GIVE YOUR GERBIL SOME LOVE :-
They need special consideration, emotionally. They live in groups in the wild so try to keep at least two gerbils, however if you are buying two gerbils then make sure to pick those gerbils of the same gender and that have been raised together. Sometimes, it is possible to introduced them by using the method of split cage process but this is not for inexperienced people.
7. HANDLING :-
If you want to handle your gerbil then its important to tame him so that he is manageable enough to stand up. Make sure to pic up your gerbil by his stomach, very gently. You should never pick them up by his skin or tail. Whenever you play with him, make sure to check his eyes if they are free of mucus and bright, also check if his nose is not bloody, has no bites by other gerbils, his breathing is not raspy and his teeth are not broken or overgrown.