Gerbils are active, social pets that make a great small pet choice for beginners. Here’s what new gerbil owners need to know:
Why Gerbils Make Great Pets
- They are very active and entertaining. Gerbils love to run, jump, and play. It’s fun to watch them explore toys and tubes.
- They can be handled easily. Gerbils rarely bite and become quite tame with regular handling.
- They thrive in pairs. Gerbils are social and do best when housed with a same-sex companion.
- They don’t require lots of space. A 10-20 gallon aquarium tank housing 2 gerbils is sufficient.
First Time Gerbil Owner Tips
Follow these tips for first time gerbil success:
- Use a tank with a wire lid for ventilation. Tanks are ideal over wire cages which can snag gerbil tails.
- Use a substrate like aspen bedding. Spot clean soiled areas daily.
- Provide chew toys and hiding spots. Unpainted wood, cardboard tubes, and huts work well.
- Feed a quality gerbil food mix. Supplement with timothy hay and limited veggies.
- Attach a water bottle to tank wall. Refill with fresh water daily.
- Allow free playtime in a gerbil-proof space. Supervise to prevent escapes.
- Scoop soiled bedding at least weekly. Deep clean tank monthly.
- Find an exotic vet to establish care before emergencies occur.
With proper habitat setup, social pairing, and handling, gerbils make fun, active pets for first time owners!