A lot of people decide to opt for a gerbil for their first pet. It is not hard to see why this would be the case. They are small and they are not as demanding as dogs. However, they still need to be cared for in the correct manner. You still need to make sure that your gerbil has a comfortable place to live and that you thoroughly understand the pet’s needs. With that being said, read on to discover some useful tips that will assist you when it comes to looking after your new gerbil.
What should you consider when purchasing a gerbil cage?
The first thing that you are going to need to do is buy a cage for your gerbil. There are so many different types of cages out there today, which can make it difficult to narrow down your search. You may be wondering whether you can buy a hamster cage. After all, you will have probably noticed that hamster and gerbil cages are grouped together. You can most definitely use a hamster cage. In fact, if you are not having any luck finding the right cage for your gerbil, changing your search to the best cage for hamsters may even yield better results. Some cages may also have suitable for rats and mice on them as well.
So, what should you actually be looking for when it comes to buying a cage for your gerbil? Well, the first thing you are going to need to consider is the type of cage you are going to buy. There are many different types of cages, ranging from toppers that attach to tanks to standalone cages. Another option is to choose a modular cage. A modular cage is designed to add to other cages. This is beneficial if you are planning on adding to your gerbil family in the future.
In addition to deciding what style of cage you are going to go for when shopping for your new pet, there are other considerations that will dictate your choice. For example, the space that you have available to you in your home is going to play a big role too. You also need to think about the space your gerbil is going to benefit from itself. Is there plenty of space for your gerbil to move around and exercise? After all, you would not like to live in a property that didn’t even have enough space for you to move, would you?
Other qualities that need to be considered include the practicality, safety, and the construction of the gerbil cage as well. Practicality is a big concern. After all, you do not want to have a mammoth task on your hands every time you need to clean the gerbil cage. You want to make sure that you can get in and out of the cage with ease.
Holding your gerbil properly
You also need to know how to hold your gerbil in a safe manner. To do this, you should use your hands to form a cup on either side of the gerbil and then pick it up this way. Simply scoop your pet up into the palm of your hand. However, do be careful to make sure that the gerbil does not jump out of your hands. This is why it is advisable to hold your gerbil low over a flat surface, as this will ensure that they will not fall far or injure themselves if they do, indeed, jump.
You are also going to need to purchase the right bedding for your gerbil’s cage. There are a number of different options to choose from. Generally, you should go for hay, cardboard shavings, or shredded paper. Some bedding options that you need to avoid at all costs include pine and cedar bedding, as well as newspaper and fluffy bedding. These sorts of bedding can cause a health risk to your gerbil.
Gerbil cage maintenance
Last but not least, not only do you need to make sure you choose the best cage for your gerbil but you need to make sure you maintain it properly. This involves doing a number of different tasks, some on a daily basis and some every few weeks. With regards to the latter, this includes tossing all soiled bedding, as well as washing the walls and all accessories. You should also dry the accessories and the cage with a cloth, as well as refilling the cage with fresh bedding.
As mentioned, there are also a number of different tasks that you are going to need to complete on a daily basis too. This includes moving all toys and accessories around the nest, as well as checking for potential hazards, stabilizing accessories and platforms and closing off any potential escape routes. You should also remove any bedding that is soiled and replace the sand in the sand bath.
To conclude, although gerbils are not demanding pets, there is still a lot that needs to be considered if you are looking after a gerbil for the first time. We hope that you have found this information helpful. If you have any queries about looking after your gerbil, make sure you turn to pet forums and websites that are reputable. The last thing you want to do is take the wrong advice when it comes to caring for a pet.