Gerbils

gerbils

Have you ever seen gerbils at play? If you have observed these creatures for some time, you will surely want to take gerbils as pets for yourself. Gerbils are funny, friendly and extremely inquisitive creatures! They get along very well with children as one can observe them for hours while they are displaying their silly antics, without getting bored. Caring for gerbils is not a hassle as they are fond of grooming themselves, and they shall provide you with unlimited entertainment. Gerbils can be traced back to the rodent family and are scattered all over the world. The most popular species is the Mongolian Gerbil and they live underground. If you desire to adopt these gerbils as pets, you will realize that they are available in a variety of colors such as dove, white, all-black and golden. Its length varies between six and twelve inches including its long tail. At 2 ½ ounces it weighs perhaps a little more than an adult hamster. Their lifespan ranges between two to four years, though some live for almost six years. Most of the time, gerbils are sociable creatures. They love company and prefer to stay in groups. You should try to get in two gerbils that know each other and have already lived together. That will be of great help to both the gerbils.  They enjoy familiar company—but if you put two gerbils who do not know each other there can be certain problems. The gerbils may fight and that may lead to fatal injury or death of the gerbil. But…have you ever seen a gerbil in an excited state? It will start jumping up and down on all its four feet. Sometimes they playfully imitate boxing movements with their front paws. However, it can also lead to a fight. Gerbils start boxing with each other by hitting on the head and then they start wrestling seriously. They also love to explore new places- and any new sound or smell attracts them. They will start sniffing around the moment they experience a new sensation, instead of cowering in their hiding places. You could also install a little exercise wheel in their cages, so that they can play to their hearts’ content! Unlike most pets, you do not have to devote extensive amounts of time and energy to gerbils. These creatures keep themselves occupied without any help. If you brought home a pair of gerbils as pets for kids, make sure an adult supervises their handling. They are small and curious animals. The gerbil’s tail is very fragile and you shouldn’t pull it or hold it. Other animals like dogs and cats shouldn’t be allowed to get in touch with the gerbil. When it comes to food, gerbils are not at all fussy. They are happy when provided with a simple mix of grains and seeds. You can feed these gerbils- nuts, lettuce, bananas, apples, spinach, carrots or even, broccoli! Thus, most of its food will surely come from your own dinner table, but these foods should be given to the gerbils occasionally. As for a place to stay, provide your gerbil with a container that allows enough light and air. There must be an attached water-bottle, a drinking tube and a good amount of bedding to keep your gerbil happy. You could use an old aquarium for this purpose by covering it with a wire cage. These aquariums are easy to clean and have a solid floor. Plus the bedding remains inside the cage which keeps your apartment clean. Cover the floor of the aquarium with paper and sawdust. Strew around a few cardboard pieces which will eventually be shredded by the gerbil to make comfortable bedding for itself! Cedar or pine are a strict no-no for making the bed because these can create liver problems, respiratory problems and other health complexities. Using straw for bedding purpose is also not recommended as the edges may create problems for the animals—it may feel uncomfortable. For nesting material we should use plain, unscented cloth, toilet paper etc. Clean the cage once a week with the help of warm water and a safe liquid soap. Gerbils want to keep their teeth short and sharp- and this is done by chewing on a piece of untreated wood. Provide them with such a block in their cage. Lastly, take care of your pet without disturbing it unnecessarily. Avoid pulling its tail as due to a natural defense mechanism, its tail might come off. Gerbils as pets have become extremely popular among animal lovers, and many have chosen them to be their household pets. They are curious creatures, and are attracted to new smells and sounds. With their funny tricks on display, you could easily spend hours watching them without realizing it!