How to Take Care of a Gerbil You Just Rescued


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It is brilliant news that you have rescued a gerbil. Every household loves to have one as its pet. Small, they make a great pet for children. The children get endless hours of total fun and entertainment. On account of this, the gerbil you have just rescued can be your child’s wonderful friend in a quick time.

Nevertheless, this is subject to the condition you provide appropriate care to the gerbil. Well, you have to keep a few aspects in mind in this regard

Allow your new companion some time to settle in

Gerbils of the age of 6-7 weeks take around 2 weeks for rightful taming. Acclimatize it to the new surroundings. In case the gerbil in question is a little older, it will take almost 2 months or more to tame them.

The first step towards how to take care of a gerbil is to make attempts to talk to them. Do so in a very quiet manner so that they find it easier to acquaint themselves with your voice. Give it a healthy treat and slowly take your hand inside their gerbilarium. At times, they might just climb to your hand presuming you to be a threat. Practice this for a few days, and they get used to your body scent. Once this happens, they will readily allow you to pick them up

Interact regularly to gain their confidence and trust

Interact with the gerbil regularly. It goes a long way in gaining their confidence and trust. When you wish to handle your gerbil, opt for a spot close to the floor or over a table. This will be helpful in case it wriggles out or falls out of your hand. If the gerbil is being handled by young children, close supervision is recommended.

Take care of them with rightful steps

It is a wonderful thing to see the presence of a new member in your home. Coming to the manner you ought to ensure proper care, take all rightful steps like:

  • Choose an appropriate housing option for its comfortable stay.
  • Maintain correct cleanliness by cleaning them regularly. They are one of the best-known clean creatures. Offer them a clean ambiance by cleaning their enclosures or cages on a regular basis.
  • Have the provision for toys in its habitat. This way it will remain busy and not feel lonely.
  • Make a schedule to take them out so that they can have regular exercise.
  • Keep it away from ailments and sickness with routine health checkups.

Let it practice the normal behavior

You want your gerbil to have a comfortable stay at your home. This is possible only when you allow them to practice normal behavior like:

  • Gerbils are social animals. They love to mingle and play around with their owners. Allow them to enjoy the company of the children at your home.
  • They are full of energy. Burning out this energy is very crucial for them. On account of this, when they socialize with their owners and other members, it becomes a lot easier for them to burn this energy.

Make sure their habitat contains all necessary items

  • Give them sufficient items to chew. It will help them to maintain their incisor teeth adequately. You can easily choose to chew items like mineral chews or chew sticks.
  • Avoid keeping them in plastic cages. There is a reason behind this. They are famous as voracious chewers. Plastic material is very easy to chew. Glass enclosures are the best for them.
  • Exercise due diligence and care while selecting their habit furniture. Opt for ceramic or wood furniture. They will fail to chew such material.
Gerbil, Rodent

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Habitat maintenance deserves a special mention

  • Ensure appropriate habitat maintenance is in place. Ideally, you ought to clean and disinfect their habitat and relevant contents as well. Choose a 3% bleach solution for this purpose. Rinse in the right amount and allow some time to dry it completely. Once dry, you can place your gerbil back in the cage or enclosure.
  • · Make a habit to remove all wet spots on a daily basis.
  • · Change the bedding once a week.

Adhere to good grooming and hygiene norms

  • If you are thinking you will have to spend a great deal of time giving them regular baths, there is some great news for you! Fortunately, gerbils hardly require regular baths. All they expect is the clean surroundings of their habitat.
  • In case you wish to clean your gerbil, you can resort to spot cleaning. Take unscented baby wipes or a damp washcloth to clean them.
  • If time is a constraint for you, give it a weekly dust bath. They enjoy it very much. You can brush away the fur with a soft-backed brush.
  • Whenever you see yellow teeth in your gerbil, you do not have to clean them since it is very normal for them.
  • Get in touch with your veterinarian in case you find the teeth to be too long.

Save your favorite gerbil from boredom by providing it with sufficient toys

Sitting the entire day inside the cage or enclosure, your gerbil will get bored. You can save it from this torturous ordeal by providing sufficient toys. Give them fun toys to keep them entertained and happy for how to take care of a gerbil.

Make sure their habitat has a provision for an exercise wheel. Avoid opting for wire wheels since it can give rise to adverse health consequences. For instance, the wires present might get broken and will hurt the gerbil.

Giving numerous chewable playthings is a wise move. You can go for items like wood, cardboard, or any item made from normal paper.

Keep it tame and friendly with correct handling

You might feel a need to handle your gerbil frequently. Ensure you do so very gently or else they might get very sacred. Avoid scooping them up from behind or when they are sleeping. Never pick it up by its tails. It can cause serious injury to your furry pal!

Give it an environment that is conducive to stimulating its natural behavior

Well, make efforts in your quest for how to take care of a gerbil to give them a natural living environment. For instance, you can hide their food. It keeps them thrilled and amused. They love to imitate natural feeding. Make sure to have hideaway holes such as tubes and houses. This will give them an opportunity to hide the said food exactly the manner they might do in the wild. Gnawing is an essential daily routine for a gerbil. Keep items like wooden blocks in their habitat. They will use these to ensure their teeth are in the right condition.

Choose the habitat wisely to find acceptance from your gerbil

You can offer any kind of habitat that is suitable for a gerbil. Nevertheless, if you want it to relish its stay in the habitat, choose wisely. For instance, go for a habitat that has measurements of 12 inches deep,12 inches tall, and 12 inches wide. In case you wish to go for an aquarium tank, ensure two things. First, it ought to have a capacity of at least 10 gallons. Second, there is a wire mesh at the top securing it correctly. Make arrangements for its bedding at the bottom of 1–2 inches. Avoid using cedar or pine shavings since they are off-gas materials. They produce harmful toxins which can be detrimental to the gerbil.

Set up the habitat in the correct manner

Gerbils are very social and gentle by nature. You can house them in same-sex pairs. Make sure the habitat has multiple levels since it likes to roam around its habitat. While placing the habit for how to take care of a gerbil, you ought to consider a few things:

  • Make sure the habitat does not witness direct sunlight. Give preference to a low-humidity area having temperatures ranging between 18 and 24 Celsius.
  • All hide-houses present in the habitat needs to be cleaned regularly.·

Give them foods they love

You want your rescued gerbil to live longer. Give them foods they love so that it remains fit and fine. Opt for food items like:

  • Pelleted food – It is the gerbil’s favorite food item. Keep its food dish almost three-quarters full. Refresh pellets on a daily basis.

A commercial pellet-seed mix with a protein content of around 12 percent and a fat content of around 6-8 percent is the best choice.

Gerbils love sunflower seeds. In case the mix you offer contains such seeds, your gerbil might start picking these seeds and leave all other ingredients. As these seeds are very tasty they love to eat them. Avoid adding more food until it has finished all remaining ingredients.

  • Make arrangements for dark leafy greens and give it every other day. You can give them fruits like melon, apple or banana.
  • Have rightful access to fresh and clean water.

Give it a tiny bite-size amount of all fresh vegetables like:

  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • leaf lettuces
  • Carrots

Avoid giving it food items like:

  • Junk food
  • Chocolate
  • Candy
  • Onions
  • Uncooked beans
  • Cabbage·

Look for symptoms when you ought to contact a veterinarian

Even if the gerbil has settled down superbly to its new accommodation and surroundings it can still get sick anytime. Keep an eye on symptoms that need the immediate attention of a veterinarian for best how to take care of a gerbil. These will include things like:

  • Overgrown front teeth
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Not drinking or eating normally
  • Discolored droppings
  • Diarrhea
  • Swollen, sunken or cloudy eyes
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