What Is The Lifespan Of A Gerbil?


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The miniature nature of gerbils is very tempting to some. As a pet, they do not require you to walk them on a daily basis. Children are fond of them as it provides them tons of entertainment.

Being affectionate pets, gerbils exhibit good traits of reciprocating with greater love. You can show your love towards them simply with a cuddle or a pet, for instance.

As a proud owner of the wonderful creature, you would never like to part with it. Unfortunately, they have a very limited lifespan.

A lot of people delve deeper to dig out further information on what is the lifespan of a gerbil. If you too are one among them, you are very lucky.

For your convenience, we narrate down all relevant information in this regard. The following is a collection of vital details that will benefit you immensely. For instance, you can judge whether to take a gerbil as a pet depending upon its lifespan.

Here, you will find a lot of useful information surrounding them. You can expect to find information like their normal life expectancy, factors that influence this, lifespan in captivity, and more.

What Is Their Normal Life Expectancy?

When it comes to the lifespan of a gerbil, the period is very limited – 2 to 8 years to be precise.

What Are The Factors That Influence Its Life Expectancy?

There are a number of reasons that can influence this life expectancy. The chief among them include aspects like:

  • The species it belongs to.
  • Manner you look after and care for them.
  • Diseases it encounters in everyday life.
  • When in the wild, lack of water or food and predators can also have a bearing on the lifespan.
  • Medical treatment procedure adhered to since it involves intake of a lot of medicines.

Lifespan In Captivity Is Even Shorter

The life gerbils lead in the wild is entirely different from what it does in captivity. They hardly have any restrictions in movements, for example. Similarly, it is they who decide what to eat and what not to eat. The absence of natural settings does have an overall mental and physical growth of it.

Normally, the pet owner stays in a different atmosphere and surroundings. The food intake, for instance, depends invariably on the whims and desire of the owner. This has a bearing on their digestive system as well.

In addition, the diet and care you offer and its genes are often the reasons why they have shorter lifespan in captivity. It can vary from 2 to 5 years.

How To Enhance This Lifespan?

As a pet owner, if the lifespan of a gerbil is bothering you, there is some great news for you. Bring an enhancement in your gerbil’s lifespan by taking appropriate steps. This consists of things like:

  • Practice adequate cleanliness. Attain this objective by simply cleaning their cage or enclosure at regular intervals.
  • It is a wise move to keep the unhealthier gerbils isolated from healthy ones. Once you are dead sure about their satisfactory health status, you can easily shift them back.
  • Make attempts to tame them correctly when they are literally very young. This is the stage when they learn quickly.
  • Always ensure to feed them with rightful food.
  • Procure them from a breeder of high repute.
  • Ensure their growth by keeping them in groups or pairs.
  • Make sure it does have enough scope for social interaction.

Provide A Comfortable Environment And Nutrition For Increase the Longevity

Most gerbils do end up leading a healthy life 2 to 4 years of their lifetime. Even if some health issues do crop up at a later stage, it has to do with the manner they have been housed.

For instance, if you are selecting a plastic variety of gerbil home, avoid opting for a rounded tank. It will prohibit it from doing something which it loves to do – curling up in the corners.

A soothing and comfortable environment is also recommended, saving them from heat stress as well as heat strokes.

Coming to nutrition, make sure to feed them with food especially formulated for them. The food in question is high in nutritional value as it contains kinds of seeds, for instance. You can even go for rodent blocks as they are well known for supporting gerbil longevity.

Make A Provision For A Natural Habitat

Gerbils prefer playing all the time. Their happiness will see no limits if you provide them with a natural habitat. Go for a tank in addition to the cages.

The two most important must-have items for this purpose are:

  • A water bottle: Ensure to keep a secured 4-8 ounce water bottle. Select the side of the cage or tank. This will aid in preventing instances of water draining out. Change this water several times during a week.
  • A nest box: opt for a nest box of wooden material. It will allow the gerbil to hide or sleep according to their wishes.

Discover The Interesting Facts About Wild Mongolian Gerbil

Yes, there are several varieties of gerbils available. Out of all, the Mongolian gerbil is the most common in households. They have their origins in China and Mongolia.

Apart from being kept at homes, these are often spotted in places like:

  • Grasslands.
  • Deserts.
  • Shrublands.
  • Steppes.
  • Clay.
  • Mountain valleys.

When in the wild, they exhibit a lifespan of 2 to 3 years. Of course, due to the regular threat from their predators, they tend to leave for a few months only!

The Level Of Dental Care It Receives Will Matter

Among other body organs of a gerbil, it is the teeth that can decide what is the lifespan of a gerbil.

It is worth noting, unlike many other animals, their teeth never stop growing. As they live in the wild, there is no one to offer them any concrete help to stop the teeth from growing. On account of this, they manage the problem on their own. They do everything necessary to stop the teeth from growing beyond requirement.

For example, they often gnaw by choosing items that are rough in nature. This way, they accomplish the objective of getting their teeth grinned.

However, when compelled to lead a life in captivity, they seldom get an opportunity to carry out this activity.

Of course, as a proud owner, you can always offer it with several chewing toys.

Keep a constant check by monitoring the growth of the teeth.

As they use their teeth for a wide variety of purposes, any problem in the teeth will prevent them from taking their nutritious food. This in turn can result in other kinds of illness and health complications.

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What Are The Signs Of Aging In Gerbils?

Anyone looking for information on what is the lifespan of a gerbil has a query. What are the signs of aging in them?

As soon as they cross the barrier of 2 years and 6 months, they start exhibiting early signs of aging.

Coming to these signs, these are of three types, namely:

  • Lesser energy.
  • Non-activeness.
  • Loss of weight.

Once they have completed 2 years of their age, start keeping a tab on their weight gain or loss. In the former, it is an indication of a tumor. In later, it is an indication the teeth might be in some serious problem.

Fat-Tailed Gerbils Live Longer

When compared with Mongolian gerbils, the fail-tailed gerbils have a far more life expectancy. Even in captivity, they can easily show a lifespan of 5 to 8 years. Though they hardly bite others, these are rare to find as a pet.

Get A Healthy Gerbil To Relish A Longer Lifespan

Getting a healthy gerbil is the sure-shot way to gain true benefits of what is the lifespan of a gerbil. Make sure it belongs to a strong family. After all, genes do play an integral role to offer great health. The gerbils that belong to a healthy family-tree, lead a healthier life and live for long.

You can buy one such gerbil from a reputed breeder. They do maintain systematic and vital records in this regard. For example, they have detailed records of ailments of the gerbil. This way, you can arrive at an informed decision. It also prepares you what to expect from them in the future. Depending upon their medical history, you can keep necessary arrangements in place.

Wrapping Up!

By having a gerbil as your pet, you have made the best decision of your life! This will permit you to enjoy their playfulness, curiosity and inquisitiveness. They are a very active lot and love to run, chew, sniff, climb, dig and more. Have one at your home and you too can enjoy their company. The question of what is the lifespan of a gerbil will never be a major problem as long as you take proper care.

Irrespective of their short lifespan, it is worth the pain you take for caring for them. The satisfaction and happiness you get from their presence at your home is second to none! At the end of the day, their affectionate nature will bring a lot of cheers in your life.

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