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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Gerbil Nutrition and Maintenance

Gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus)

Experience Level: Beginner

Nutrition and Maintenance

Nutrition and Maintenance
    •    Gerbils are herbivores and the largest portion of the diet should be rodent block or pellets.

    •    Seeds should only be an additive or treat, not their primary food.

    •    Food should always be placed in a bowl and not directly on the bedding to avoid accidental ingestion of the bedding.

    •    Fresh fruits and vegetables should be removed after four hours to prevent spoilage.

    •    Mineral wheels should be provided in the habitat.

    •    Water must be available in the cage at all times.

    •     Food and water bowls/bottles should be cleaned once daily.



Dietary Options
  Examples Feeding Frequency
Prepared Diets* Pelleted diets Refresh food daily, keeping the bowl approximately ¾ full.
Vegetables Dark, leafy greens (kale, collard,
mustard, dandelion, escarole) and
vegetables (zucchini, broccoli, squash,shredded carrots)
Every other day; should constitute 20% of diet. Offer only enough to be consumed in four hours.
Fruits Papaya, banana, melon Once weekly; should only
constitute 5% of diet. Offer only enough to be consumed in four hours.
*Pelleted diets are fortified with optimal levels of vitamins
and minerals like calcium and vitamin D3 for the health of
your pet. Pelleted diets may also have additives to support
digestive health.


Safety and Cleanliness
Use caution when handling pets and remember that all pets may bite or scratch especially when stressed. Handle your Gerbil gently; scoop your pet up in both hands and hold with cupped hands. Remember to never lift or grip by the tail. Take care to not hold your Gerbil too tightly. Supervise children around pets. Pets may transmit disease to humans; be sure to wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning their home.