Gerbils are omnivores. This means they eat both plants and meat. Their natural diet includes a whole range of foods such as seeds, plants and insects. The best diet for your gerbils will be one that’s as close as possible to this natural diet.
Your gerbils’ diet should include:
- Commercial gerbil food. Pellet type food is best. Avoid muesli-style mixes as gerbils will leave the bits packed with fibre and will only eat the sugary parts. This means they won’t get a properly balanced diet. You can buy suitable gerbil food at pet shops or on our online pet store.
- Small amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables. You can read more about the safe kinds of fruits and veg to feed your gerbil here.
- Healthy treats like boiled or scrambled egg, mealworms, lean meat, lentils, beans, peas or chickpeas.
Top tip: it’s fine to give your gerbils treats every so often but you don’t want them to put on too much weight as its bad for their health. Stick to healthy, natural treats – you can buy these from pet shops. Treats like sunflower seeds, nuts and ‘honey sticks’ are all really high in fat so should only be given rarely as an extra special treat!
How can I make feeding time fun for my gerbils?
In the wild, gerbils would spend hours each day searching for food. Your pet gerbils will enjoy being challenged to sniff out their dinner and it’s a great way of keeping them active.
Try scattering their daily portion of pellets around their cage and exercise area. They’ll have great fun foraging for them. This is also a really good idea if you have one gerbil who is really protective of the food bowl and won’t let your other gerbils get their fair share of the food.
Things to gnaw and chew
Gerbils love to chew things. It helps them naturally wear down their teeth so they don’t get overgrown and need vet treatment. Gnawing, chewing and shredding different things also gives your gerbils something to stop and helps stop boredom.
Gerbils love to shred things like:
- Banana Leaves
- Cardboard (packaging from food products)
- Coconut Shells
- Hay Cubes
- Mineral Lava
- Unbleached loofah
- Pumice stone
They can gnaw on untreated softwood. Before you give them any softwood branches to chew, bake them on a low heat for an hour and give them a good wash to make sure they’re safe for your Gerbil. Good woods to use are:
- Elm & Red Elm
- Grape & Grapevine
- Willow (goat, weeping, or pussy willow)