Gerbils are a common pet for people of all ages. They almost always enjoy seeing gerbils be social, funny, and adorable. For both hamsters and gerbils, owners need to make sure they're getting a proper diet. Indeed, it's sometimes easy to forget that these tiny animals still need a balanced and complete diet.
With gerbil food usually being in pellet form, owners can sometimes assume their pets get all the nutrition they need. However, that's not always the case. If you want your gerbil diet to be nutritious, you'll usually want to supplement their pellets.
If you want to ensure your gerbil is getting the best diet, here's what you need to know!
The Best Gerbil Diet Needs Lots of Water!
This point may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget in practice. Gerbils are active creatures, and as such, they need to hydrate regularly. The simple setup of having a cage-attached bottle can easily give your gerbil water whenever they need it. While there's nothing necessarily wrong with that setup, there are some caveats to consider. You'll want to check a few things to ensure your gerbil is getting the water they need.
You'll first want to check for leaks and breaks. Make sure there's no damage to the bottle. Any damage can make it harder for your gerbil to get enough water out of the spout.
Next, you'll want to check the cleanliness of the spout. If the fixture has any blockage or any dirt or mold in the spout, it can hurt your gerbil and cause sickness or dehydration.
Ensure the water is always fresh. You always want to make sure that your gerbil is drinking clean water. Make sure to replace the water every couple of days so that you know the water is clean and drinkable.
You'll want to check the water level. Indeed, it can be easy to forget to refill the bottle, but for the sake of your gerbil's diet, make a habit of checking the bottle every day.
Feed Your Gerbil a Balanced Diet
Much like humans, gerbils need a balanced diet to give them all the nutrients and vitamins they need to be healthy and strong throughout their lifetime. While pellet food can be good for gerbils, you'll want to make sure and do your research to find the best gerbil foods. The ones you'll want to look for will be high in vitamins and nutrients. If possible, organic foods tend to be healthier. Adding some whole foods to their diets like seeds, fruits, leaves, grass, and other natural whole foods will help regulate your gerbil's digestive system and act as a nice gerbil treat.
Part of providing your gerbil with a balanced diet involves feeding them properly. A lot of gerbil owners don't think about this aspect of a gerbil diet. When you're laying out gerbil food, most owners place it in a small bowl for their gerbil to go to whenever they find themselves hungry. While it's correct to leave a bowl of food down, there are many aspects of your pet's diet to consider.
First, you'll want to think about how much food you want to give them. When you first get a gerbil, it's essential to learn how much these little pets eat on an average day. You'll want to start with the recommended amount of food listed on the package. From there, monitor your gerbil's intake. Then, slowly adjust the quantity you give your gerbil up or down to suit how much they should eat. Overfeeding can lead to obesity in any animal, so it's crucial to regulate the quantity while making sure they're still well-fed.
As for foods, you will want to give your gerbil pellets. The bulk of their nutrition will come from these. You'll want to select high-quality pellets to ensure that this food provides all the base nutrition required. Usually, foods from Oxbow or Wild Harvest are good places to start searching for one of these foods.
Aside from pellets, you'll also want to provide your gerbil with some extra "treats" and nutrition. Gerbils can eat most fruits and veggies. They can also eat sunflower seeds, many nuts, small pieces of whole wheat bread, cheese in small amounts, and some dried fruits. Each one of these is part of a well-balanced diet. The best gerbil diets have pellets at the core, and these extras come a few times throughout the week.
Providing a High-Quality Gerbil Diet Is Essential To Their Growth, Development, and Happiness
Ultimately, your gerbil's diet is an integral part of their life and health. Therefore, as a gerbil owner, you need to make sure you're taking it seriously. Cleaning their food bowl and cage, giving them small gerbil treats, and keeping them hydrated are all things you should be doing regularly.
As with anything pet-related, talk to your vet if you have any questions. They'll always have either the answers you need or the place you can look to find the answers. When it comes to feeding your gerbil, a little effort goes a long way. When you give your gerbil the proper diet, they will be significantly happier!