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Housing Your Gerbils

Housing Your Gerbils
In the wild, gerbils live in underground tunnels so at home, they’ll need a house that mimics their natural behaviour.

Housing your gerbils

Gerbils LOVE to dig! Wild gerbils build their own homes by digging 3m long tunnels underground, with lots of entries and chambers. Your pet gerbils’ housing should be at least 80cm wide x 40cm deep x 35cm tall for two gerbils. The best housing is a gerbilarium, a large tank with a secure, wire upper section and lid.

Gerbil HousingTo encourage their natural digging behaviour, give your gerbils lots of bedding, about 20-30cm high, so they can dig and tunnel. This is why wire cages aren’t great – you’d end up with bedding all over your floors! The best natural bedding is organic soil or peat with meadow or Timothy hay. Don’t use soil from your garden, it might contain harmful bacteria or parasites, sawdust, or fleecy-style bedding as this can tangle in their long hind legs.

Help your gerbils keep clean by giving them a dust bath. Chinchilla sand is fine to use for your gerbils, and this helps to keep their coat in a good condition. Supply them with plenty of toys, like carboard tubes or suitable branches that are great for them to chew and climb on.

Gerbils love to dig

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Quick tip

Put a flat rock in your gerbils’ cage. They may want to be nosy and use it as a lookout point!

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Did you know?

Did you know?

Gerbils are originally from desert areas in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. They don’t produce much waste which is good news for owners as they’re easy to keep clean!

Housing checklist

Give your gerbils all the home comforts by keeping them indoors. Keep their gerbilarium somewhere warm, the best temperature is anywhere between 20 – 24 degrees. To keep the temperature stable, avoid placing them near draughts or radiators. Avoid direct sunlight at all costs as gerbils can suffer from heatstroke. Like other small animals, gerbils can find loud noises and vibrations stressful. Make sure they’re away from any loud noises, like TVs, loudspeakers or household appliances.

Gerbils like to nest, so pop a nest box in their housing. Avoid plastic or wooden nest boxes as they’ll probably gnaw straight through these. Instead, a clay flowerpot cut in half is a good option. Along with plenty of bedding for them to burrow right down into, your gerbils will have a great sleep!

The essentials you need to make the perfect set up for your gerbils are:

Lots of bedding Food bowl Excel nuggets Excel hay Water bottle Toys Cardboard tubes Platforms Fruit tree branches (non-sprayed) Dust bath Gerbil-safe cleaning products

Cleaning gerbils' housing

You should give your gerbils housing a quick spot clean daily, removing any wet/dirty bedding, uneaten food as well as cleaning and refilling food and drink containers.

Gerbils are really clean animals, so only need cleaning once a week. Remove and replace any soiled bedding, leaving a little bit of unsoiled bedding with a familiar smell.

Give your gerbils’ housing a deep clean once every couple of months, about four times a year. Take everything out and clean the gerbilarium with a gerbil-safe cleaner. Replace all their bedding materials to give them a fresh home!

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If you should have any concerns about the health of your pet, always consult a vet.