Are you looking for a small pet that is super cute? A gerbil may just fit the bill! Like other pocket pets, these guys are easy to care for. However, it’s very important that you set their habitat up properly. A Urbana, IL vet offers some information on this below.
Picking The Cage
Gerbils don’t need much room: a 10-gallon cage is the minimum for two tiny furballs. However, if you want more you’ll need a bigger cage. Choose one with a mesh or wire top: this is important for ventilation. If you pick one with wire sides, make sure the bars are spaced so that your pint-sized pal can’t escape.
Your tiny buddy will need a good hidey hole. Cardboard or ceramic ‘houses’ are fine. A wooden nesting box is also a good bet. You’ll also need to add at least one water bottle. Get more than one if you have multiple gerbils. Your cute pet will also enjoy having some tunnels and mazes to explore.
Gerbils love to dig, so you’ll need to add a few inches of bedding. Aspen and paper shavings are good options. Avoid pine or cedar products: the oils they produce actually aren’t safe for gerbils.
Tiny furballs need enrichment, too! Exercise wheels are a good choice. Juse be sure to get one with a solid bottom. Gerbils have open-rooted teeth, so your little furball will need some suitable chew toys. Many cardboard items, such as toilet paper tubes, can also be upcycled into great DIY toys. You can also offer safe woods, such as birch, ash, or bamboo.
Gerbils are naturally quite timid and skittish. Your pet will feel safest in a quiet spot, where they can nap peacefully. Don’t put the cage in direct sunlight, or near busy and/or noisy areas. Garages are also a bad area, as are any spots with a lot of chemicals. Ideally, your gerbil’s home should be off the ground, on a table or sturdy shelf, in a room that stays at a comfortable temperature. Keep in mind that your pet won’t keep the same schedule that you do, and may be up at night. This is definitely something to consider before putting the cage in a child’s room.
Do you have questions or concerns about gerbil care? Contact us, your Urbana, IL animal clinic, today!