Gerbils are also very social animals. It is better to have two to four gerbils. Both females and males get along with each other. Though a female and male together will be very prolific and it is best to keep the genders separated. Having more than one female together or more than one male requires that they are from the same litter or they will kill each other. Pick out a healthy gerbil from a reputable pet store or breeder. Females tend to be more social than the males.
Make sure the pet store has clean surroundings. Look to see that the gerbil is healthy that the coat is soft and not greasy or oily. Ask to hold the gerbil. He should not be lethargic and should be bright and curious acting.
Learn as much as you can about the pet gerbil before bringing one home.
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Gerbils: The Complete Guide to Gerbil Care (Complete Care Made Easy)
Housing and accessories
You will need an escape proof, tight secure screened lid. Do make sure the lid is well ventilated. A welded wire cage works great for a gerbil. Welded wire is good because it has plenty of ventilation.
This is an overall safe cage. I like this cage for any rodent. This cage will work for mice. 12.8 x 24.6 x 24.9 inches Super Pet My First Home for Critters, Teal
Supply bedding material. Aspen wood shavings work the best. Pine or cedar can cause respiratory problems. Kaytee aspen bedding litter 4 Cu' Kaytee Aspen Bedding Litter, 4 Cu'
Supply a water bottle preferably one of those rodent bottles that can't be chewed up. Though gerbils don't require a lot of water it is important to always provide fresh, clean water. Using water bottles with rodents they must be chew proof. Super Pet Small Animal Chew-Proof Water Bottle
A heavy food dish is important because gerbils are very active and dig a lot and food dishes get tipped over easily. They are very active animals and love to play. Provide lots of toys. Safe toxic free sticks and twigs are great to chew on, as are rodent chew sticks. Vo-Toys Hamster / Bird Chew Sticks 144 count Jar
Hardwood parrot toys make exceptionally good toys for gerbils. They like toilet paper rolls or even tissue boxes. Gerbils like exercise wheels but make sure it isn’t an old-fashion metal wheel. Since gerbils love to dig it's best to hang the wheel from the cage top otherwise it will become quickly buried in bedding material. Do make sure the water bottle isn't dripping in the cage. This makes the cage smelly and is not healthy for the gerbil. You will find chew sticks for the gerbil under the Rodent Pet Shop.
Super Pet Small Animal Nut Knot Nibbler Chew Toy
Keep the cage very clean. Clean it out a once a week and disinfect every couple of weeks. Rinse and dry the cage completely. Do use pine cleaners. Clorox can be used but air the cage out before returning the gerbil to the cage. Chlorhexidine is by far the best disinfectant for cages, food dishes, and your own household; very safe and very effective. Chlorhexidine can be bought very inexpensively, and by the gallon!
Stores sell gerbil pellets or mixes of pellets and seeds. Supplement the diet with fresh fruits or vegetables given in small amounts at about once a week. The gerbil is a desert creature and too much of the fruits and vegetables can give him diarrhea. The gerbil can have a few sunflower seeds but only as a treat. Sunflower seeds are very fattening to a gerbil. They will try to beg a potato chip or other junk it's not good for them. Always remove any uneaten food that evening. Kaytee Fiesta Gourmet Hamster & Gerbil Food
Bonding and training
After placing your new gerbil in his new cage allow him to be alone. You may want to talk with him softly so that he can get to know your voice. The next day when you feed him would be a good time to begin getting acquainted. Place the food in your hand and place your hand in the cage. He will smell the food and scratch at your hand. This will get him use to your hand and the smell of your hand beginning the bonding process. If he nibbles on your hand don't pull back and frighten him he will most likely only nibble. See if he will step unto your hand. Gently pick up the gerbil but never by the tail because the tail can break off easily. He will enjoy climbing up your arm. Over time he will learn to trust and love you as you he. They can become very charming and friendly pets. As with any pet and he is a social animal spend a lot of time with your pet every day.
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