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How to Care for a Gerbil

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How to Care for a Gerbil

Gerbils are adorable little creatures that are fascinating and entertaining. Like hamsters they usually only survive up to 3-4 years. If you are looking for a short term animal, a gerbil is a great option. Here are a few ways on how to care for gerbils.

Vet Clinic

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Before you buy your gerbil, make sure you have a doctor where you live that knows how to care for these exotic pets. This is required because if your gerbil ever gets sick, you can take him there for check-ups and medicine.

More Than One

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It is recommended to get more than one gerbil because they like to hang out in groups. But make sure that there are no more than 2-4 gerbils per cage as this might cause a fight to break out. If you have a Fat-Tailed gerbil, you don't have to get another one as they can survive on their own.

House

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Try to find a big tank or an aquarium for your gerbils. They need to have screen tops so they can't escape and nothing else can get in. Get information about cage dimensions from the pet shop owner or breeder that you bought the gerbil from. If you want to be certain, you can do some more intensive research on it.

Bedding

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If you are looking for bedding options, you can try aspen shaving. Do NOT use cedar shavings as you might cause an allergic reaction. If you don't want to spend as much money, try recycled newspaper shreds.

Food

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Gerbils like to take their food and hide it in their bedding, so if you don't want to buy a bowl, you don't have to. You can just put it on their bedding and they will take care of the rest. You can buy bags of dried food made for gerbils at your local pet store. There are a lot of options of fruits and veggies that they can eat, and you can ask your vet or search online and make a list.

Water

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Like other rodents, the easiest way to give them water is through a water bottle. Make sure that you buy one that's not chewable - this way, your gerbil can't ingest the material and get sick. Always make sure there's water inside.

Play Time

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Before handling your pet, make sure that you wash your hands as your germs could be transferred to your gerbil. Curve your hands and place them in the aquarium, and let your gerbil come to walk in your palms by himself. Don't force the process since your gerbil needs time to trust you.

Exercise

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Like mice and hamsters, gerbils are very active animals, so make sure to add an exercise wheel in their cage. Try to pick one that's well made, and doesn't squeak. It might keep you up at night if he runs on it all the time.

Gerbils are exotic pets, so make sure that you can own one where you live and that there's a vet that can care for him. They are small and delicate creatures, so when you manage them, made sure you use a gentle hand.

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