Gerbils They are not a pet as popular as dogs or cats, but it is true that more and more people are aiming to have one of these animals at home. Like any pet, they require special attention, so before getting one, you should know everything about gerbil care. You are ready?
Care of the pet gerbil
Within the most basic gerbil care at home Two things stand out: their diet and the preparation and maintenance of their cage. But first, what equipment should you get to have a gerbil? This is what you need:
- Quality food for gerbils
- A bottle of water for rodents
- A large aquarium
- Poplar scales to create the bed of your bed
- Straw, tissues or cardboard to create your nest
- A block of untreated wood to nibble
- Accessories or toys
Without a good diet, your gerbil cannot enjoy good health. For a gerbil's diet to be balanced, it must be made up of vegetables, protein, vitamins and fats.
The best thing to make sure you give him everything he needs is to use a I think special for gerbils, complementing it with fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apple, pear, pumpkin, cucumber, melon, carrot ... You can also give hay.
Gerbils do not need bowls for food. The ideal with food is to spread it through the bottom of your cage, since this is how your tracking instinct is enhanced. To drink, the best is a rodent bottle, which you can hang in the cage. You will have to clean the nozzle and change the water every day.
The cage of your gerbil
Keeping the cage in good condition is another one of Gerbil care you can't forget. Keep hygiene in mind, you should clean and disinfect it at least once a week.
If your meal is not finished in a day, you will have to throw it away and put new, because if not You could eat bacteria or even your stool.
You can make your bed with a wooden box, whose bottom is fine Fill with strips of toilet paper or tissues. Simply clean it once a week.
How to give your gerbil a good life
Taking into account your nutritional care and hygiene is very important, but There are other gerbil cares that you should keep in mind to make you happy.
It is important that you encourage play and exercise, that you remain active so as not to develop overweight. To be able to do it, you will need space and also material to dig in your bed. You can also buy chewable toys, a ball or a solid wheel to run.
You can also use cardboard! They love to play to bite it and it's very cheap.
The socialization with the gerbil
When the gerbil comes home, you must be careful not to overwhelm him. Trusting you will take a while, so take it easy.
Do not try to catch it during the first few days, but you can start making contact by giving it some seeds in your hand, little by little it will take confidence and will get closer. When it is already manipulated, do it carefully and try to convey security, that you do not fall. Never take the gerbil by the tail!
Be responsible: if you are going to have several gerbils, don't give them a chance to reproduce, These animals can have about 100 offspring in a year! Surely you will not know what to do with babies later, so it is better to avoid it.
If you think one of your gerbils is sick, do not delay: seek medical attention immediately. Common signs that something is wrong with your pet include sneezing, shortness of breath, diarrhea and lethargy. Gerbils are also susceptible to external parasites, such as fleas and lice. If you think your pet is infested, you should treat both the animal, the home and the environment.
This small animal has a short neck, small oval ears, and large rounded eyes. Its hind legs are longer than the front ones, as these facilitate the jump. Is very similar to hamster and usually weighs between 50 to 110g and measure approximately 12cm including the tail that is full of hair and at the end of it has a lock, whose shape is similar to that of a brush.
The gerbil eyes They are usually ruby red or jet black, and the color of their fur can vary, because at present and, due to specialized breeding, they can be found in shades of orange, brown, black, lilac, beige, gold, albino, etc. .
They usually live between 3 to 5 years and do not bite, unless they feel really threatened. On the other hand, they urinate little and their faeces being hard and dry can be removed without any complications. The food remains must be removed daily and the container must be cleaned at least once a month.
The gerbil doesn't care about space and can live in a small cage, although the bigger the better to provide games and fun. His vision and hearing ability are excellent, and his habits, rather nocturnal. On the other hand, it is important to emphasize that it is not an animal that is caressed too much, since it is very restless and moving. It is also common to see it standing on its hind legs to browse what is around it.
Gerbils are a gregarious species, so they love to live in a group. In addition, keeping a single copy can lead to behavioral problems and, therefore, the ideal is to acquire a pair of gerbils from an early age to avoid this problem.
After a gestation of 24 days, between 4 and 5 baby gerbils are born blind and hairless, but their development is quite fast. It is advised that they live with their parents in the same cage, since they play a very important role in raising their children.
On the other hand, it is recommended do not take any gerbil away (unless there are problems), since they are identified by the smell, and if one is removed and subsequently introduced into the cage, they can end up fighting seriously and even this could end with the death of any of them.
How to choose the house of the gerbil?
A terrarium, cage, aquarium fish tank of 38-50 liters could be the perfect house with two gerbils, although it is important that you have a secure and ventilated lid so that they do not escape and are protected from other animals. Three gerbils can live in a space of 60 liters, 4 in 75 liters and 5 to 6 in 115 liters.
Provide them with a good container of sand in the cage and add hay and wood shavings, as they love to dig and wash. You also have to provide a pot upside down to rest, decorative elements such as large stones, fruit branches and pieces of roots, climbers for activity and a bottle of water.
What do gerbils eat?
Gerbils can feed on special mixed feed for gerbil, mealworms, boiled egg, apple, carrot, dog biscuits, seeds, roots, flowers, leaves, insects.
To avoid problems, the ideal is to follow a low-protein diet and provide them with dry food every day at the same time and fruits and vegetables three times a week.
If after reading the gerbil characteristics and care You want to have one or several, go to the pet store and remember to buy everything you need to live in optimal conditions.
Tip 1: The more, the better.
You will never see a gerbil live alone, they don't even settle for sharing their nest with just one partner. These little rodents usually live in communities calls clans And so, in company, as they are genuinely happy. The ideal thing for this pet is that it coexists with another 8 or 9 copies of its same family and age, but if you do not have room, time to take care of them or enough encouragement, you can adopt the typical couple which leads us to the advice number 2: beware territoriality
Tip 2: watch out for territoriality
Do not be fooled by its size or its appearance Teddy: the gerbil is an extremely rodent jealous of their possessions and their living space. If you adopt two copies, try to be two males of the same age. It is not advisable to introduce several male and female specimens of different ages into the same space. Gerbils are very familiar and if they are known as adults they can arise rivalries and fights you won't like to contemplate.
A fairly practical solution if you want to add new members to your gerbil clan is to acquire a divided fishbowl or divide the space yourself with a sheet of transparent plexiglass with small openings that allow the animals to sniff and touch but not invade one space or another. It's simple: divide the space, place the dividing sheet and introduce the new family member into only one of the two divisions. Little by little, at their own pace, the little animals will begin to sniff each other, flush ... when you see that there are no signs of aggressiveness and that the old family fully accepts the newcomer, you can remove the barrier and let them create the new rules of coexistence.
Tip 3: dig, the passion of your gerbil.
An important peculiarity that you should know about your pet rodent is that it has an unstoppable momentum of scratch The floor of your home. Logically if you put the gerbil in a cage of bars with sand in the background, you will spend all day collecting land since the rodent's strong legs will expel it outside. In specialized stores you will find beautiful cages or transparent fish tanks that, in addition to being more comfortable to clean, will prevent you from finding yourself gerbil sand even in the soup.
Tip 4: attention to your menu.
As the encyclopedias of biology, the gerbil is an animal that feeds primarily on grain. The seeds should be your main daily caloric intake although you can bring some fun to the menu by adding small pieces of fresh vegetables or an insect if you dare to capture it.
About the drink, the only thing your gerbil should take is fresh water renewed daily. It is preferable that the drinking fountain you have is crystalunbreakable or of a highly resistant material. Gerbils have a terrible mania to nibble on everything they find in their natural habitat so that a simple plastic feeder or trough will not last even two days.
Tip 5: always playing.
Unlike other petss, gerbils do not usually sleep through the entire night and not even several hours in a row. A gerbil is active practically 24 hours a day since a simple nap from time to time serves you perfectly to be healthy and happy. What can you do to channel all the Energy of your little friend? Provide toys new (bought or made by yourself), change them, leave them with food to gnaw, etc.
And with all these tips ... Do you dare to adopt a gerbil?