Basic Gerbil Care

Are you considering getting a gerbil? These tiny furballs are curious and friendly, easy to care for, and super cute to watch! In this article, your Cedar Park veterinarian goes over basic gerbil care.


Gerbils are very sociable little guys, and a single gerbil will get sad and lonely without any buddies, so we recommend getting at least two. You should always keep gerbils in same sex pairs. If your gerbils have never met before, you’ll need to introduce them slowly so they don’t fight.


You will need at least three square feet of space for one gerbil. If you have more than one, they will need more room. You’ll need to add plenty of substrate, as these cute little furballs love to dig and burrow. Shredded newspapers, paper products, and aspen shavings are all good options for substrate Stay away from pine and cedar substrates, because they are dangerous for little animals. You’ll also need to add a nesting material. Tissue paper is a great choice for this. Your tiny pet will also need at least one hidey-hole.


Gerbils should have a rodent pellet as their basic menu. You may see seed mixes that are marketed for gerbils, but these aren’t necessarily all that great. That’s because mixes allow your pet to pick out the choicest morsels, and leave the rest. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Seed mixes can also contribute to obesity in gerbils. In addition to his basic food, you can give your gerbil small bits of fruits and veggies. When it’s time for a treat, your tiny furball can enjoy seeds, cereal, bread, pasta, and even a bit of cheese every now and then.


Like any pocket pets, gerbils will get bored just sitting around in a cage. To keep your cute little furball happy and healthy, you’ll need to provide plenty of toys for stimulation. Tunnels and mazes are always a big hit with pocket pets!

Basic Care

One of the main things to know about gerbils is that you should never, ever, pick a gerbil up by its tail. This can cause your gerbil’s tail to detach. While your little one doesn’t have to have any vaccinations, you should bring him to the vet at least once a year for checkups.

Please contact us, your local Cedar Park vet, with any questions about caring for gerbils.

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