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If you have a gerbil as your pet, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is safe, gets regular check-ups and proper training. Along with giving the pet regular exercise, you should also ensure that it is getting a proper diet and always has access to fresh, clean water to drink.
Your cute little pet will love a pet water bottle as the gerbil feeder and a bowl for its feed. The idea behind this is to make sure that your gerbils are fed properly and always remain hydrated. Although there are plenty of automatic feeders available in the market, you need to ensure that it is perfect for your pet as a pet owner.
Many pet owners prefer to make a feeder on their own. If you are thinking on those lines, you must first know why you should do so and what aspects to keep in mind.
Why make a feeder for your pet
While there is no doubt that feeders available in the market make life a lot easier and give you peace of mind, those dispensers are no alternative for human interaction. Certified pet behaviorists and trainers suggest making a gerbil feeder instead of relying on the advertised products. A feeder should not be used to make your life easier, but the prime aim should be how to make the feeding experiences more valuable and interactive for the pet.
Before you go ahead and start making a feeder for your gerbil, understand his personality. Know its likes, and dislikes, and what he prefers to eat. Study the different feeders & bowls in the market, their pros, and cons. Gather all the information you can regarding popular materials and designs used for feeders and make an analysis before designing one for your pet. The focus should always be your pet’s eating and drinking habits.
Gerbil feeding guide
- Gerbils will need good quality fresh food to stay healthy and happy.
- Look for foods with the right nutrients and essential vitamins. Avoid giving them sugary foods and stick to healthier alternatives such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cucumbers.
- As Gerbils love to gnaw, use ceramic bowls and feeders as they are gnaw-proof.
- You can buy dry food pellets that are made from ground seeds and grass and vitamin fortified.
- Gerbils are omnivores; thus, you can feed him both vegetarian and occasionally some animal protein every once in a while.
- Scatter the feeding around in their cage or foraging as they carry natural foraging behaviors. That will keep your gerbils engaged and busy.
- Make sure that gerbils have a fresh daily supply of clean water. The spout of the water feeder should be at the right height for your gerbils.
- Based on the number of pets, you may even want one or more gerbil bowls and separate ones for feed pellets and fresh veggies.
As a rule of thumb, maintain a well-balanced diet to increase the chances of your gerbil leading a long and healthy life. The diet should be primarily grains, carbohydrates, and freshwater should always be available.
The main purpose of feeders is to provide a fresh supply of water to the pet
Why do gerbils need plenty of water?
Gerbils are desert animals, and when they are in the wild or natural habitat, they rely on fluids in the plants. They will never drink any standing water. As they have very efficient kidneys, it is essential to see that the feeder always has plenty of fresh water available.
A sipper bottle is considered the best way to provide a steady supply of freshwater to your gerbil. There is almost no risk of the water bottle getting contaminated with food and feces. So, the feeder needs to be emptied and refilled with fresh water every day and run through the dishwasher every week.
Before you design and make a feeder, make sure you know what kind of features it should carry.
Essential features of the gerbil feeder
- The feeder should be large enough for the pet and compatible with most wire cage types.
- It should be simple in designing, easy to use, clean, and maintain.
- The feeder should be easy to install and attach to the gerbil cage for convenient filling and emptying.
- Employ gravity design that allows easy dispensing of food and water and allows proper daily portions.
- The gerbil feeder should be made with the animal’s safety in mind and should keep the pet safe while feeding.
- The feeders and food bowls should create a minimal mess and allow you to keep track of how much your gerbils are eating.
When you start looking at different styles and designs for the feeder, you will come across a great variety and options. One can go for cage-mounted designs, gravity-fed feeders, or tip-resistant styles. The aim should be to keep your pet adequately fed, healthy and ensure that he has easy access to fresh food and water.
While it is not very essential to have food bowls, as gerbils would prefer to forage for their food, it is a must to have a good quality feeder. Having said that, using bowls and feeders does keep the cage tidier, and one can monitor the food intake better.
Steps to make a gerbil feeder
A gerbil can drink water from a dish, but the water bottle makes a better choice. This because the dish can topple over, or the water can get dirty and contaminated. A properly designed feeder dispenses the water as and when needed by the pet.
Watering bottle assembly includes a hollow cylindrical tube made of transparent plastic material. It is fixed at one end in the stopper of a water bottle while the free end of the tube is frictionally mounted. An aperture at the free tip projects from the plastic tube as a semi-spherical head as a water outlet.
Water bottles or feeders are readily available at the pet store, or you can make your own.
Take a clean, dry jar or bottle made of plastic or glass. It should easily hold 8 ounces or more and carry a secure metal lid for best results.
Look at different spouts available in the market and focus on the quality. It is essential to get the rift size, and typically, it’s best to go for the smallest size that will work as per the size of the hole. One can look for spouts made of soft rubber so that they will not hurt the teeth of the animal when sipping.
Drill through the lid to make a hole that is the same size as the spout, and you may have to enlarge the size of the hole to fit in the spout precisely. Smoothen any sharp edges around the hole and remove any sharp edges. Clean the hole and the area around with a soft cloth or damp paper.
Dry the lid carefully before fitting it into the bottle. Remove the drinking spout from a rubber stopper and seal the bottom side of the stopper. Clean and cover the entire area properly to remove any filings or residues of the metal lid.
Take the caulked side of the rubber stopper, place it inside the lid, and use silicon to line up the holes on the two parts. Allow the silicone and the setting to cure for about two days.
Now that the bottle assembly is fixed, take the rubber stopper’s caulked side and push the spout up into the rubber stopper. Start from the outside and pass it through the lid first.
Now fill the bottle with water and screw the lid on. The spout will stick out from the lid while the stopper will be on the inside.
Use wire loops to fix the water bottle and hang it securely within the gerbil’s cage. Make sure that there are rough ends of the water hanging around the feeder. Cut off any excess wires for the safety of the animal.
Essential features to integrate into the gerbil feeder
- User friendly and be very easy to install and move.
- Intuitively designed to prevent any spills, leaks, and drips.
- The spout should be sanitarily covered to stay protected from germs
- The drinking mechanism should always allow easy access to clean water.
- Use materials that are dishwater safe for easy cleaning.
With time and experimentation, you will gradually learn as to what kind of gerbil feeders work best for your pet. Try to follow his feeding and drinking habits and the dietary requirements. That will help you to determine his diet and the kind of feeder that will work best in his case.
The water feeder bottle should be simple, easy to use, and clean once a week. Even the most sensitive of pets should be able to use the feeder without getting wet or injured. Follow this guide to make that perfect feeder for your gerbil .