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Gerbil Care

By: April Metroulas

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Gerbils are herbivores. In the wild, they live on a diet of seeds, fruits, and vegetables. They should be fed a diet that is between 16 percent and 22 percent protein. Pellets should be the main staple of your gerbils' diet. Gerbil pellets, hamster pellets, or any pellet diet for rodents will be suitable. These are available in most pet stores.

Your gerbils' diet can be supplemented with dry oatmeal, raisins, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and fresh vegetables. Sunflower seeds are very high in fat and should be limited. The pellets should be fed in a chew-proof food bowl.

Young gerbils begin to eat at around 15 days of age. They should be offered the same diet as adults, except softened with water. It's a good idea to feed your gerbils several meals, as opposed to a lot of food at once. Gerbils have a tendency to overeat and can bloat. Bloat is life threatening, but can easily be avoided.

Always have fresh water available and adding a commercial vitamin will keep your pet healthy. Gerbils consume about 1 teaspoon of water per day, but may drink less if supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables. Sipper bottles are a great way to supply plenty of water and are available at most pet stores. Just make sure that the water supply is accessible. Water supply should be changed daily, and the bottle should be cleaned.

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