We’ve looked after lots of lovely Gerbils over the years. Here’s a few of our top tips for looking after them.

Gerbils live for around 2 to 4 years and make great family pets. They are a very clean and active animal that, in the wild, are naturally at home in desert conditions.

It’s recommended that gerbils are kept in pairs, preferably in same sex pairs or groups. Try wherever possible to buy all the gerbils at the same time to ensure that any fighting is kept to a minimum.

Gerbils can live in hamster cages, but it is probably better to invest in a dedicated “gerbilarium” which can be filled with fine peat or soil which allows your gerbil to burrow as it would in the wild. If you do buy a gerbilarium don’t forget to sprinkle water on the soil every now and again and add a few stones which they can use to create tunnels.

Whatever type of cage you provide it’s important that it has some tunnels and holes that recreate a gerbils natural habitat to keep it happy and healthy. Toys, tubes and gerbil proof wheels are also essential to keep your gerbil happily occupied and stimulated. Gerbils teeth are always growing so it’s essential to provide them with wooden toys or mineral stones to gnaw on to keep their teeth in check.

Gerbils are generally given a dedicated gerbil muesli mix, but very small amounts of fruit and vegetable can also be given such as carrots and apples. If you wish to change their food this should be done slowly over a period of around 10 days to allow their stomachs to get used to the new food. If you fancy giving them a treat Pumpkin seeds are a big favourite (in moderation).

All new gerbils should be given a few days to get used to their new surroundings and it’s a good idea to speak to them gently to get used to your voice. After a few days you should be able to tempt them onto your hand with a treat, but do this gently. Regular handling is important to encourage bonding with the whole family. Children should be supervised at all times when handling them.

Gerbils are very clean animals and regularly groom themselves. To help them groom properly it’s recommended to provide them with a small amount of chinchilla sand in a small dish.

Cages should be cleaned with a pet friendly cleaner at least once a week and gerbilariums every couple of weeks along with replacing the soil or peat. Always remember to clean your hands after cleaning cages and handling your gerbils.

Gerbils make adorable pets. If you have any questions about keeping Gerbils, please give me a call on (0131) 333 0640 or send me an email.