Have you recently decided on gerbils as pets? Gerbils are very popular pocket pets, and are a great first pet for children. These little cuties tend to be very tame, and rarely bite. They also have the additional benefit of being very clean. In order to be happy and healthy, gerbils need a proper habitat. Read on as your veterinarian Poughkeepsie goes over some of the basics on setting up a gerbil cage.
Gerbils are never alone in the wild, and therefore don’t do well as single pets. One gerbil may get depressed without any buddies, while several gerbils provide even more cuteness. A minimum cage size of 12 x 24 is required for two gerbils, but your pets will appreciate having some extra room, so a larger cage is recommended. Glass or plastic aquariums are great choices. Avoid using wire cages, as the substrate will spill out, and because gerbils can get caught in the wires.
Gerbils are burrowers by nature, so they’ll need their substrate to be deep enough for them to tunnel into. Aspen shavings or paper products are great choices. Avoid pine or cedar shavings, as these can be very toxic to small animals. You can keep a layer of hay on top of the bedding. Remove soiled hay daily, because wet hay can quickly grow mold or fungus that will be harmful to your little pet. You can also add shredded paper, paper towels, or tissue paper for nesting materials.
There are all sorts of cute things you can use as hiding holes for your gerbils. Ceramic pots, glass jars, and cardboard boxes are a few options. Plastic houses will probably get chewed up in fairly short order, so we recommend using wood, ceramic, or glass. Make sure to thoroughly clean any jars, pots, or other items before placing them into the cage.
Like any other pet, gerbils need stimulation to be truly happy. Toys will help keep your pet from getting bored. You can use store-bought toys, or create your own from items you have around your house, like paper towel rolls. Gerbils can use toys from the bird and reptile section as well as the pocket pet section. These little furballs also enjoy exercise wheels. Just make sure not to get one that is made of wire, as wire wheels can really hurt your pets’ feet.
Do you have any questions about caring for pocket pets? As your vet clinic Poughkeepsie, we are here to help. Please contact us at any time.