Gerbils are furry, adorable little rodents that children are always clamoring for as a pet. They are one of the safest and less demanding pet that you could give to your children to play with and to teach them responsibility. Before you surprise your children with a new furry pet though, know how to care for a pet gerbil first because they are living creatures that deserve to live healthy and happy just like you.See also:
Why a Pet Gerbil
If your children are begging you for a pet but you aren’t sure about their ability to care of an animal, get them a really easy pet to care for first. Without saying that gerbils can be your children’s lab rat, gerbils are pretty easy to care for because they don’t demand to be petted, walked, or bathed like other pets do. So giving your children a pet gerbil is the best way to introduce responsibility toward another living creature – they could get their pet dog if they could manage to keep their gerbil alive and happy.
Choosing a Pet Gerbil
Gerbils have no problem breeding in captivity; unless you want a litter, get only one gerbil for your children or two same sex gerbils, preferably females. And before shopping for a gerbil, try to call your friends or neighbors if they have pet gerbils they want to give away for adoption first. Adopting a gerbil is teaching your children compassion toward animals.
If you’re shopping for gerbils in pet stores, healthy gerbils are neither too fat nor too skinny with bright, wide eyes. They should appear alert and curious about you, not lethargic or lazy. Healthy gerbils also have soft, shiny fur without signs of bullying from others that could appear as wounds around the mouth or the tail. Moreover, if you’re planning to get two gerbils, it’s best to get those already well associated with each, those already best of friends in the same pet store tank.
Housing a Pet Gerbil
Part of the fun of having a pet gerbil is watching it explore up and down, in and out its house. That’s why you need gerbil tank supplies to design your pet’s abode: anything from décor, substrate, tank, water dispenser, toys, etc. To give you room for interior design, a 10 gallon tank is advised for a pair of gerbils. However, gerbils like to do their own house designing, too. In the wild, gerbils like to dig complex burrow to house a whole community; so put at least 30 cm deep aspen shavings as tank bedding to make your gerbil happy.
The rest of the tank décor is up to you, but be sure to put in something for climbing and chewing, which all gerbils love to do. Wood or clay play houses, stable tree trunk, rock, or toilet paper tubes are a good design materials for this purpose.
Food for Gerbils
Gerbils are omnivorous tiny mammals, thus, they can eat both greens and meat. In the wild, a gerbil will nibble on anything edible like grass, berries, succulent leaves, insects, spiders, earthworms, etc. But in your house, a gerbil is happy to eat anything edible that you could give it – it’s even happy to eat leftovers, although this is not advised.
For a quick, nutritious diet, there are gerbil pellets you can buy from your local pet shop. A fully grown adult gerbil can eat a full tablespoonful of these pellets a day – anything more is gluttony. For variety, you could give your gerbil fresh vegetables, bird feed, herbs, berries, cereals, insects, or nuts. Gerbils are very appreciative pets so that they’ll wink at you if they like their food – try to observe this from your gerbil some time.
If there are uneaten foods in your gerbil’s bowl, either remove it or wait for your gerbil to finish it before giving another ration. The water dispenser, one with plastic container and metal spout, should always have clean water available all the time.
Expected Pet Gerbil Behavior
Although a pet gerbil can get so used to its humans, it can’t totally eliminate its wild ways. So get ready to be shocked when your gerbil decides to practice its wild ways like eating its own feces, hoarding foods in a burrow, licking its tank, and marking its abode by rubbing its scent gland located in the belly.
These are the things to expect from your gerbil, and as you can see, there’s no reason you can’t get one or two for your children.