Are you thinking you'd like to adopt a gerbil? To help you with learning more about these gorgeous, little animals, we here at Yummypets have a few insights to help you along...
So you'd like to adopt a gerbil? They're cute, tiny, and let's face it, cheaper than a dog. But do you know some key facts about their personality and the kind of pet they make? Let's take a look...
Are you ready to adopt a gerbil?
Gerbils are small mammals belonging to the family of sand rats. They are social animals and typically live in big family groups groups in the wild. In this way, gerbils enjoy a playmate and do best living with other gerbils.
However, if getting two (or more) gerbils, we recommend getting them at the same time and ideally from the same family to avoid territorial troubles. It's also advisable to get two of the same sex, otherwise in the long run, you may end up with inbred babies with many of the problems this can entail.
If your gerbils are well tamed, they can adapt to your lifestyle better than some other rodent breeds.
The Mongolian gerbil is the most common breed of pet gerbil and, like humans, is diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night. However, in general, gerbils have a fixed cycle: they play for four hours, then sleep for five hours. In this way, it is possible they will adapt to your sleeping and playtime movements with a regular routine. Although be aware that you may be woken during the night if your gerbil sleeps in the same room as you.
What many people don't realise is that Gerbils don't like to be handled too much. While they will learn to accept your presence and may well run around on you, they don't like to be held nor have their movement contained. In other words, they are not particularly cuddly, unlike rats for example.
As a result, gerbil adoption is not always encouraged for families with children. However, if you really want to make gerbils a part of your family and your children's lives, you can teach your children to observe and take care of them without stressing them.
Despite the above, gerbils will still need your attention, patience, and gentleness. It's important to interact with them daily, removing them from the cage to have a play with you. The earlier this begins at the time of adoption, the more adjusted and tame your gerbil will be towards you.
Finally, gerbils live an average of three years (maximum five). As with any pet, veterinary or health care may be required from time to time. This is important not to overlook and will contribute to the overall cost of being a gerbil parent.
Are you looking to adopt a gerbil?