Gerbils are small rodents that live for approximately two to three years on average, but there have been cases where these animals lived to be as old as 8.
An important note that must be made in the case of gerbils is that they are nocturnal. That is why, upon getting one or a pair, you might notice that they sleep during the day and are particularly curious and active at night. They are social, so they enjoy the company of their peers. Keeping a same-sex pair is a good idea if you do not want to have to care for gerbil offspring, or ask your friends whether they might want to adopt one or not.
Unlike rats, which might be dangerous for kids especially, particularly if they are untamed, gerbils are gentle and tame. They have an agreeable temperament, and they are rarely inclined to bite. Of course, if they ever feel threatened, they might resort to such behaviors.
These small rodents should be considered as pets. They are far easier to care for and consume little to nothing in the way of food. On top of that, you do not have to take them outside at 5 in the morning so that they tend to their business. They don’t shed like cats and some types of dog breeds, so you will be able to keep your home environment clean.
They are rather frail, and their petite bodies can be hurt rather easily. Under some circumstances, they might not make the best pets. Toddlers are known to be clumsy, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, dropping a gerbil on the floor or squeezing the animal roughly can damage his or her body to such an extent that it might cause its demise.
Caring for a gerbil can be done conveniently and efficiently. In fact, this type of rodent consumes less water compared to guinea pigs and hamsters, which is why they do not make the same amount of mess.
To ensure that the pet (or pair) remains comfortable all throughout his or her existence, it would be a good idea to get a cage of at least 12 by 24 by 12 inches. Wire and glass cages make good choices, but regardless of the type of cage you prefer, you need to make sure that it is ventilated adequately. There are a variety of models you could consider, so we recommend reading a quick review before deciding on a particular one.
When it comes to the bedding you will need for your pet gerbil, some specialists advise against using pine and cedar shavings. Many owners prefer to use paper bedding as it is safe and it creates less dust. Let’s not forget that the breathing and eyesight of the rodent can be affected by shavings dust.
Furthermore, many commercial beddings are far too thick and coarse for the tiny feet of a gerbil. The last thing you might want to deal with is a nasty case of tangled feet.