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Gerbil Care Tips

July 1, 2023

Are you considering getting a small pet? Maybe you have a perfect spot for a tiny furball. Or, maybe you have a young child that is asking for an animal friend of their own. Gerbils may be small, but they have big charm! In this article from Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your local Boulder, CO vet, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, a local vet goes over basic gerbil care.


Gerbils usually live about 3 to 4 years. They are nocturnal. That is something to consider if you are thinking about getting one for a child, as they may keep your little one awake if the tank is in their room. 


Unlike hamsters, which should not be housed together, gerbils are quite friendly and sociable, and actually prefer having roommates. There are a few caveats here, though. You’ll want to only keep same sex gerbils together. They ideally also should have grown up together, as these guys don’t like strangers very much.


Your tiny pals will need a good tank or cage. You’ll need to add lots of tunnels and mazes for your little buddies. You can make many of these out of toilet paper rolls and similar items. Other accessories include nest boxes, a dust bath, a water bottle, a safe wheel, and, of course, plenty of toys. For bedding, you can use a dust-free option. Adding cardboard gives your pets something to shred, and can also be used to build tunnels. Your little buddies will also like shredded paper or tissue paper. 


You’ll need to spot clean your furry friends’ home daily, and more thoroughly clean the habitat out every two or three weeks. Gerbils are pretty clean: they are from dry areas, and don’t produce a lot of waste or urine.


Gerbils are quite small, and are easily frightened. They won’t be comfortable in a spot with a lot of commotion. They’re also sensitive to noise from things like TVs and radios. Keep them in a quiet spot.


Offer lots of chew toys. You can give gerbils many cardboard or wood items, as well as things like coconut shells and fruit tree branches. You may also want to add a lookout rock for your tiny pals. 

Do you have questions about gerbil care? Please contact us here at Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO vet, serving Louisville and surrounding areas.