ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Basic Care for Gerbils

Updated on June 29, 2017
bbanks27 profile image

Brittany Banks loves animals. She has experience with this type of animal and likes to share how to take care of it.



Gerbils are very fun to have as pets. They are friendly and very social. Most gerbils like to be in pairs, however some of them do not. Try to find a pair that was raised in the same litter, and only keep a pair of the same sex, unless you want to breed. I do not recommending breeding if you have no experience.

Gerbils love to be held and be out of the cage, and they are very energetic. Before you bring your gerbils home, try to have everything you need and be prepared. Never house a gerbil with a different species of animal!


Housing Requirements

Gerbils are very messy rodents, so I suggest getting a tank. Avoid wired cages, because they will easily get their feet caught and injure themselves. Make sure the tank is at least ten to twenty gallons and has a screened lid. Make sure the tank is escape proof. There are metal clamps you can buy to attach the lid to the tank. You can find these at your local Petco.

Gerbils love to dig, so you will need to purchase bedding. Care fresh is great and it also comes in different colors. Never use any type of wood shavings with any rodent, because it will cause them to get respiratory infections. Fill the tank two to four inches of bedding to give them room to dig.

Your gerbils will need a hide out to sleep in. Wooden huts or plastic igloos are great for this. Make sure the hide out is large enough for both of them to sleep in.

Purchase a solid wheel for your gerbils to prevent their feet from getting caught. They will run randomly, but mostly at night.

You will need to find a water bottle and a water bottle holder. It can be tricky to find a way to attach it to a tank. Pet Smart carries these types of holders. Gerbils do not require food dishes, but you can provide one if you choose to do so. If you choose not to, scatter the food all over the tank. This can stimulate eating habits as they do in the wild.

Paper towel or toilet paper tubes are great for your gerbils to play with or chew on. Lava ledges are another safe alternative. Petsmart carries lava ledges. Always provide something for your gerbils to chew on, because their teeth never stop growing.


The majority of people use a commercial pelleted diet to feed their gerbils. Most of these types of diets are not healthy. Oxbow Healthy Essentials Hamster & Gerbil food is one of the only types of healthy pelleted diets on the market. However, some people feed fresh food. Gerbils can have seeds, fruit, or vegetables. Try and not to feed too many sunflower seeds, because they have a lot of fat content. Pumpkin seeds are way healthier. Avoid rhubarb, grapes, onion, leeks, garlic, and any type of junk food.


Handling Your Gerbils

Handle you gerbils often, so they can get used to being held. Always wash your hands before and after. Gently pick up one at a time. Do not force them to do anything or hold them by their tail. This will cause them to bite and become aggressive. Try to cup the gerbil in your hands. They are very quick and will try to run. Be careful and never keep your eye off of them as they can escape.

Cleaning The Tank

Clean the tank daily to remove any old food. The bedding should be replaced once a week. Clean the tank with hot water and white distilled vinegar. The vinegar will kill any bacteria. You can use the bath tub to make this an easier task.

Have You Ever Owned A Gerbil?

See results


Morrow, Janet. "AGS Gerbils Home." AGS Gerbils Home. American Gerbil Society, 2001-2017. Web. 30 June 2017. <>.

"Gerbils." Petgerbilsorg Gerbils Comments., 2017. Web. 30 June 2017. <>.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)