Caring for your new Gerbil

How to care for your new gerbil!

Caring for your new Gerbil! If you’re thinking about keeping a gerbil, learn as much as you can about how to care for them beforehand. You should take your lifestyle and household into account when deciding whether you can offer them a good home. This guide explains gerbil’s basic needs so you can decide if they’re right for you.

Where to keep your Gerbil?

Gerbilarium - Caring for your new Gerbil

Gerbilarium’s made of glass with secure, wire ventilation areas at the top are ideal. In a 52 x 27 x 44cm gerbilarium (above), with a bedding depth of around 20-35cm can be used – your gerbils will soon create a series of tunnels that you’ll be able to see through the glass. The additional 25cm gives them plenty of space to stand up fully when they emerge above ground! Safe, non-toxic peat which can be mixed with hay are recommended bedding materials.

How to handle us?

Holding a gerbil 300x233 - Caring for your new Gerbil

Your new gerbil is likely to be nervous when you take them home so you shouldn’t handle them straight away. During the first few days, simply talk quietly to them. Encourage them to approach you by offering healthy treats. We find starting with gently stroking them they become more comfortable and confident with this, gradually get them used to being picked up. Using both hands, place one hand under your gerbils’ chest and use your other hand to support his/her back and rear.

Keeping us clean?

Guinea Pig in shelter - Caring for your new Gerbil

Clean out soiled bedding from your gerbils’ cage and replace it with fresh bedding daily. Clean the entire cage thoroughly with an animal-safe disinfectant at least once a week. Cleaning can be stressful for gerbils’ as it removes their own familiar scents. Put back some old but dry bedding to place in their newly cleaned home to ensure some familiar scent remains.

Boredom! What you need to do?

gerbil exercise wheel - Caring for your new Gerbil

You should provide lots of safe and suitable gnawing toys and tubes to encourage your animals to explore and keep them entertained. If you put a wheel in their gerbilarium, make sure it is solid as they can catch their tails and feet in wheels with metal bars.

Caring for your new Gerbil?

Gerbil exercise ball - Caring for your new Gerbil

Whilst caring for your new gerbil, exercise is really important, when using the ball you can let them roll around the floor safely.

Feeding your pet gerbil?

Feeding Guinea Pig - Caring for your new Gerbil


Your animals will need a good quality gerbil mix such as Pet Market small animals gerbil mix.  If you do wish to change your gerbils’ diet, introduce new food slowly over a period of about 10 days, phasing out the old food completely.

You can supplement your gerbil’s diet with very small quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables such as apple, carrot and broccoli.

Don’t feed them too much fresh food as this can lead to digestive upsets. Gerbils’ like to hoard their food so make sure you remove any old food daily.

Gerbils can get digestive upsets and diarrhea if their diet contains too much carbohydrate or fat. Take your gerbils to the vet if their eating and drinking habits change.

Pumpkin seeds make great gerbil treats. Sunflower seeds are tasty too, but they’re very fattening and too many can cause digestive upsets and obesity.

Fresh Water?


Drinking water - Caring for your new Gerbil
Your gerbils should have fresh, clean water daily in a suitable bottle.

Caring for your new gerbil products can be purchased from

Leave a Reply