What To Feed Gerbils – Gerbils, those charming and active little rodents, have become popular pets for families and individuals alike due to their delightful personalities and relatively low-maintenance requirements. As responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to understand that providing proper nutrition is paramount to their health and well-being. Gerbils are small creatures with unique dietary needs, and what you feed them plays a significant role in ensuring they lead happy and healthy lives.

Gerbils originate from arid regions in Africa and the Middle East, where their diets mainly consist of seeds, grains, and vegetation. To mimic their natural diet, it’s important to provide them with a balanced and varied diet that reflects these preferences. A well-rounded diet helps prevent nutritional deficiencies and keeps your gerbil active and energetic.

What To Feed Gerbils

What to feed gerbils is essential for their overall health and happiness. By providing a balanced diet that mimics their natural preferences and includes high-quality commercial food mixes, along with the occasional treat, you can ensure your gerbil thrives as a cherished member of your family. In the following sections, we will explore these dietary aspects in greater detail, helping you make informed choices to keep your gerbil content and healthy.

What is the best diet for a gerbil?

Give them plenty of variety – fruit (such as pear, melon, apple, oranges) and vegetables (such as cucumber, carrot, pumpkin and fennel) can be used to supplement your gerbils’ food pellets. Pumpkin seeds are a healthy treat. Gerbils like to sit up and hold pieces of food to gnaw.

The best diet for a gerbil consists of a balanced mix of high-quality commercial gerbil pellets, fresh vegetables, and occasional treats. Commercial gerbil pellets provide essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are crucial for your pet’s overall health. Look for pellets that are specifically formulated for gerbils and avoid those meant for other small animals, as the nutritional requirements can differ.

Fresh vegetables should also be a significant part of your gerbil’s diet. Offer a variety of vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, spinach, and kale. These provide additional vitamins and fiber that can help maintain your gerbil’s digestive health. However, be sure to introduce new vegetables gradually to avoid upsetting their stomachs, and always wash them thoroughly to remove any pesticides or contaminants.

Treats should be given sparingly, as gerbils are prone to obesity. Suitable occasional treats include small amounts of fruits, seeds, and nuts. Remember that treats should make up only a small portion of their diet. Additionally, always ensure access to clean, fresh water, as hydration is crucial for their well-being. Monitoring your gerbil’s diet, providing a balanced mix of food, and offering fresh water will help keep them healthy and happy.

Do gerbils need to eat everyday?

Gerbils need to be fed daily to keep them sustained. You should, however, be wary of feeding them foods with high fat or sugar contents (such as fruit, nuts and seeds) every day, Gerbils can swiftly become obese.

Yes, gerbils should eat every day to maintain their health and well-being. These small rodents have high metabolisms, and their small size means they burn energy quickly. As a result, they require a consistent source of nutrition to support their active lifestyle and various bodily functions. It’s crucial to provide them with a daily supply of fresh food and water to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients to stay healthy.

Gerbils are natural foragers, and they tend to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. Providing them with a steady supply of food mimics their natural eating habits and helps prevent overeating during one sitting. A balanced diet consisting of commercial gerbil pellets, fresh vegetables, and occasional treats should be given daily to ensure they get the essential nutrients they need. This regular feeding schedule not only keeps them nourished but also encourages natural behaviors and helps prevent obesity or other health issues associated with irregular feeding patterns.

Gerbils need to eat every day to meet their nutritional requirements, maintain their energy levels, and support their overall health. Establishing a consistent feeding routine with a well-balanced diet is essential for keeping your gerbil happy and healthy. Additionally, always make sure to provide them with access to clean, fresh water at all times to prevent dehydration.

What do gerbils love the most?

Other nutritious snacks gerbils enjoy include popcorn, unflavored cereal, cheese, chestnuts, insects, nuts, seeds, eggs, hay, and wholemeal bread.

Gerbils are social and active creatures that enjoy a variety of activities and environmental enrichment, but some things they particularly love include companionship, burrowing and digging, and chewing.

First and foremost, gerbils are highly social animals, and they thrive on the company of other gerbils. They are happiest when they live in pairs or small groups, and having a gerbil companion provides them with playtime and grooming opportunities. It’s essential to keep gerbils in same-sex pairs or groups to prevent unwanted breeding.

Gerbils also love to burrow and dig. In the wild, they create complex underground tunnel systems, and this natural behavior remains strong in captivity. Providing them with a deep layer of bedding material, such as aspen shavings or a substrate specifically designed for burrowing, allows them to engage in this instinctual activity. You can also include tunnels and hideaways in their habitat to make their burrowing experiences even more enjoyable.

Gerbils have strong teeth that continuously grow, so they love to chew on objects to keep their teeth in check. Offer safe chew toys and wooden items like untreated branches or blocks for them to gnaw on. This not only satisfies their chewing instincts but also helps prevent dental problems.

Gerbils love the companionship of other gerbils, the opportunity to burrow and dig, and safe objects to chew on. Catering to these natural instincts and providing a stimulating environment will contribute to their happiness and well-being.

What To Feed Gerbils

Do gerbils eat rice?

Gerbils can eat rice safely as it doesn’t contain anything toxic or poisonous to animals. Rice won’t harm your pet unless there’s something added to it, such as salt and oil. Gerbils can eat rice that’s cooked or uncooked, brown or white, puffed rice/rice crispies, and rice cakes.

Yes, gerbils can eat rice in moderation, but it’s not a staple of their diet. Rice can be a safe and occasional treat for gerbils when given in small quantities. Make sure the rice is plain and cooked without any seasonings, additives, or spices. Brown rice is generally considered a slightly healthier option than white rice because it contains more nutrients and fiber, but either type can be given sparingly.

When offering rice to gerbils, it’s important to keep portion sizes very small, as their primary diet should consist of high-quality gerbil pellets and fresh vegetables. Rice should not replace their regular food but can be given as an occasional treat. Overfeeding rice or other grains can lead to weight gain and digestive issues, so moderation is key.

Before introducing any new food to your gerbil’s diet, observe their reaction to it and monitor for any signs of digestive upset. If they tolerate rice well and enjoy it, you can include it as an infrequent addition to their diet, but always prioritize their primary dietary needs for optimal health.

What should be the main components of a gerbil’s diet?

A gerbil’s diet should consist of a well-balanced mix of grains, seeds, vegetables, and occasional protein sources. Here are the main components of a gerbil’s diet:

Grains and Seeds: The foundation of a gerbil’s diet should be high-quality grains and seeds. This includes foods like oats, millet, barley, and sunflower seeds. These provide essential carbohydrates for energy and fiber for digestive health. It’s important to offer a variety of grains and seeds to ensure a balanced diet.

Fresh Vegetables: Gerbils also require fresh vegetables as a source of vitamins and minerals. Offer small portions of vegetables like carrots, broccoli, kale, spinach, and cucumber. Fresh veggies provide vital nutrients that support their overall health, including dental health.

Protein Sources: Although gerbils are primarily herbivores, they can benefit from occasional protein sources like mealworms or crickets. Protein is essential for growth and muscle maintenance. However, these should be given sparingly as treats rather than a primary food source.

Clean Water: Access to clean, fresh water is crucial for gerbils. Provide water in a sipper bottle to prevent spillage and contamination.

Hay: While not a primary food source, some types of hay can be offered to gerbils for added fiber, which aids digestion. Timothy hay is a good choice, but it should be given in moderation.

Avoid Sugary and Processed Foods: It’s important to avoid sugary, salty, and processed foods, as these can lead to obesity and health issues in gerbils. This includes sugary fruits, chocolate, and processed snacks.

Variety and Balance: The key to a healthy gerbil diet is variety and balance. Rotate their food options to ensure they receive a wide range of nutrients. This helps prevent dietary deficiencies and promotes their overall well-being.

Portion control is essential. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and health problems, so monitor your gerbil’s food intake to keep them at a healthy weight. Additionally, always provide fresh food and remove any uneaten portions to maintain cleanliness in their habitat. Consulting with a veterinarian who specializes in exotic pets can also provide specific dietary recommendations based on your gerbil’s individual needs.

Are there specific pellets designed for gerbils, and why are they important?

Yes, there are specific pellets designed for gerbils, and they can play a crucial role in a gerbil’s diet. These pellets are formulated to provide a balanced and nutritionally complete diet for gerbils. Here’s why they are important:

Nutritional Balance: Gerbil pellets are designed to contain a precise blend of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and protein. This ensures that your gerbil gets all the required nutrients in the right proportions, reducing the risk of dietary deficiencies. In the wild, gerbils have access to a variety of foods, but in captivity, it can be challenging to replicate this diversity. Pellets help fill in the nutritional gaps to promote optimal health.

Dental Health: Gerbil pellets are typically hard and crunchy, which is important for their dental health. Gerbils have continuously growing teeth, and chewing on hard pellets helps wear down their teeth naturally. This prevents overgrowth, which can lead to dental problems, including malocclusion, where the teeth don’t align properly.

Convenience and Consistency: Pellets provide a convenient and consistent source of nutrition. They are less prone to spoilage and contamination compared to fresh foods. This consistency can be particularly important for ensuring your gerbil’s health, as sudden changes in diet can upset their digestive system.

It’s important to note that while gerbil pellets are a valuable part of their diet, they should not be the sole source of nutrition. It’s still essential to offer a variety of fresh vegetables, grains, seeds, and occasional protein sources to ensure a well-rounded diet. Pellets should make up a portion of their daily food intake, but not the entirety. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for serving size, and monitor your gerbil’s weight and health to make adjustments as needed.

What To Feed Gerbils

Which vegetables are safe for gerbils, and how should they be introduced?

Several vegetables are safe for gerbils and can be a healthy addition to their diet. Here is a list of some suitable options, along with guidelines on how to introduce them:

Carrots: Carrots are a good source of vitamins and fiber. Offer small, thinly sliced pieces to prevent choking hazards, and ensure they are fresh and clean.

Broccoli: Broccoli provides essential vitamins and minerals. Give your gerbil small florets and remove the stems, as they can be tough to digest.

Spinach: Spinach is rich in nutrients, but it should be offered in moderation due to its high oxalate content, which can interfere with calcium absorption. A small amount of spinach once in a while is fine.

Kale: Kale is another nutritious leafy green, but like spinach, it should be fed sparingly due to its oxalate content. Small amounts occasionally are acceptable.

Cucumber: Cucumber is hydrating and low in calories. Slice it thinly and remove the seeds before offering it to your gerbil.

Bell Peppers: Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and come in various colors. Remove the seeds and offer small pieces.

Zucchini: Zucchini is a mild, low-calorie vegetable that gerbils tend to enjoy. Slice it into thin rounds for easy consumption.

To introduce vegetables to your gerbil’s diet, follow these steps:

Start Slowly: Begin by offering a small piece of one type of vegetable at a time. This allows your gerbil to get used to the new food without overwhelming their digestive system.

Observe Their Response: Watch how your gerbil reacts to the new vegetable. Some gerbils may be hesitant at first, so be patient. If they seem to enjoy it, you can gradually increase the portion size.

Rotate and Diversify: Introduce a variety of vegetables over time to ensure a balanced diet. Rotate the options to provide different nutrients and flavors.

Monitor Digestion: Keep an eye on your gerbil’s digestion when introducing new foods. If you notice any signs of digestive upset, such as diarrhea or bloating, discontinue the new vegetable and consult a veterinarian if needed.

Maintain Freshness: Always provide fresh vegetables, and remove any uneaten portions promptly to maintain cleanliness in their habitat.

Vegetables should be offered in moderation and should not replace the primary components of your gerbil’s diet, such as pellets, grains, and seeds. A balanced diet that includes a variety of foods will help keep your gerbil healthy and happy.

How can treats be given to gerbils without causing issues?

Treats can be a delightful addition to your gerbil’s diet, but they should be given in moderation and with care to avoid causing issues. Here are some guidelines on how to give treats to gerbils without causing problems:

Portion Control: The most important rule when giving treats to gerbils is portion control. Gerbils are small animals, and even a small treat can be a significant part of their daily calorie intake. Limit treats to very small amounts – typically no more than one or two treats per gerbil per day. This helps prevent obesity and other health issues.

Choose Healthy Treats: Opt for healthy and appropriate treats for gerbils. Good choices include small pieces of fresh fruits (e.g., apple slices, berries), vegetables (e.g., a tiny piece of carrot or cucumber), or commercially available gerbil treats. Ensure that treats are free from added sugars, salts, or artificial additives that can be harmful.

Variety: Just like with their regular diet, offer a variety of treats to keep things interesting for your gerbil. This can also provide a broader range of nutrients. Rotate treats to avoid over-reliance on a single type.

Monitor Health: Keep a close eye on your gerbil’s health when introducing new treats. Some individuals may be more sensitive to certain foods than others. If you notice any adverse reactions, such as digestive upset or changes in behavior, discontinue the treat and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

Interaction and Enrichment: Use treats as a means of interaction and enrichment. Hand-feeding treats can help build trust and strengthen the bond between you and your gerbil. You can also hide treats in toys or in their habitat to encourage foraging and mental stimulation.

Avoid Human Foods: Refrain from feeding your gerbil human foods, as many are not suitable for their digestive systems. This includes sugary, salty, or processed snacks. Stick to foods specifically designed for gerbils or fresh, unseasoned fruits and vegetables.

These guidelines, you can offer treats to your gerbil in a way that enhances their diet and overall well-being while minimizing the risk of health issues. Remember that treats should complement their primary diet, which should consist of high-quality pellets, grains, seeds, and fresh vegetables.


In the world of pet care, proper nutrition stands as one of the cornerstones of ensuring the health and longevity of our beloved animal companions. Gerbils, with their inquisitive nature and endearing personalities, are no exception. As we conclude our exploration of what to feed gerbils, it becomes abundantly clear that a well-balanced diet plays a pivotal role in their well-being.

Our journey through the dietary needs of gerbils has highlighted several key factors that every gerbil owner should bear in mind. First and foremost, understanding their natural preferences is crucial. These tiny creatures hail from arid regions, where seeds, grains, and vegetation form the core of their diet. By offering foods that align with their evolutionary inclinations, we can provide them with the foundation for a thriving and active life.

What To Feed Gerbils

Commercial gerbil food mixes have emerged as a convenient and reliable means of meeting these dietary requirements. However, the importance of selecting high-quality options cannot be stressed enough. Opting for reputable brands that prioritize nutrition over fillers and additives is a responsible choice that ensures your gerbil receives the essential nutrients it needs to flourish.

Feeding your gerbil is not merely a task but an act of love and care. Your furry companion relies on you to make the right choices, ensuring its nutrition aligns with its natural preferences and dietary needs. Armed with this knowledge, you can embark on a journey of responsible gerbil ownership, nurturing a bond that will bring joy and fulfillment to both you and your pet for years to come. Remember, a well-fed gerbil is a happy and healthy gerbil, ready to explore, play, and be the delightful member of your family that it was meant to be.