Gerbil Health

It’s really upsetting if your gerbil gets ill. However, there are lots of things you can do to keep them in good health.

A daily health check

Once you get to know your gerbils, you’ll learn their normal behaviour and will be able to spot if they’re under the weather.

Visit your vet straight away if you see any of these signs:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Big weight loss or weight gain over a short time
  • Not eating
  • Drinking much more or less than normal
  • Lack of energy/sleeping more than usual
  • Unusual swellings or lumps and bumps
  • Skin conditions
  • Limping
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Signs of pain, like not wanting to be touched
  • Runny eyes or nose
  • Overgrown teeth
  • A change in their usual behaviour, as this could be because they’re feeling poorly.


Stopping your gerbil from getting bored

Boredom can cause health problems in small pets. If they don’t have enough to keep them occupied, they can eat too much and put on weight.

Gerbils are busy, active pets. They love exploring their enclosure and you can make this interesting for them by adding toys and other items to their gerbilarium.

  • They love to dig so giving them a suitable gerbilarium to live in is really important.
  • Cardboard tubes and boxes give them things to hide in and chew.
  • You can also give them toys designed for small pets, like ladders, plastic tunnels, seesaws, and untreated tree branches. These are all available from pet shops.
  • Keep some toys stored away and swap them around regularly. This will keep things interesting for your gerbils and will give you a chance to clean their toys properly.
  • Make feeding fun by scattering their food around your gerbilarium and hiding some of it in tubes and tunnels. Watch as they sniff it out!
  • Give then a gnawing block, to help them wear their teeth down naturally.

Your gerbil's diet

Our vets' advice on the ideal diet for your gerbils, including safe fruit and veg to feed them. 

Our advice

The ideal home

Read our vets' advice on setting up the perfect home for your gerbils. 

Read more

PDSA Pet store

Get food, bedding and supplements for your gerbil on our online pet store. 

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