Can You Give Gerbils Milk? (Is It Safe or Toxic for Them?)

Can You Give Gerbils Milk

Milk and gerbils?

Wait, what?

Your gut may be feeling a little queasy right now, concerned for the well-being of those adorable little creatures scurrying around in their cages.

You might be picturing a horror movie scenario, with lactose-intolerant gerbils suffering the consequences.

But fear not, dear reader!

Let's dive into this milky mystery together and separate fact from fiction.

So, are you ready to uncover the truth about giving gerbils milk?

Let's begin.

Can Gerbils Drink Milk?

Gerbils can't break down lactose in milk, which causes digestive issues like diarrhea and dehydration.

So, it's best to avoid giving gerbils milk or any dairy products.

Even though some dairy products have low lactose, they are high in fat and not suitable for gerbils' diet.

Keep in mind that gerbils have specific nutritional needs and get all their nutrients from solid food.

Milk is unnecessary and messes up their digestion.

Can Gerbils Drink Milk?
Gerbils can't handle lactose, so skip the milks and go for water. But hey, if your gerbil happens to slurp some milk by accident, no biggie. Just keep the H2O flowing.

But don't worry about their hydration.

Water is enough for gerbils to stay hydrated.

Always provide clean, fresh water.

Gerbils don't need anything besides water.

If you have any doubts about feeding or nutrition for gerbils, consult a local veterinary practice or a team of experts who specialize in gerbil care. They will give you the most accurate and up-to-date information for your gerbil.

Each gerbil is unique, so tailor their diet and care specifically to them.

By providing the right diet and avoiding unnecessary liquids like milk, you'll ensure your gerbil stays healthy and happy.

Main points I'll expand upon further down this article:

  1. Gerbils have a unique digestive system that prevents vomiting.
  2. Gerbil milk is heat-treated or pasteurized for safety.
  3. Rennet is used to coagulate gerbil milk and form curds.
  4. Softer cheeses result from cooking large curds at lower temperatures.
  5. Pressing cheese helps complete curd formation and determines its shape.
  6. Gerbils should never be fed citrus fruits, rhubarb, or grapes due to toxicity.
  7. Baby gerbils require milk as a main part of their diet.
  8. Adult gerbils should be fed gerbil nuggets, along with small amounts of low-lactose dairy and safe fruits and vegetables as treats.

But what about other types of food?

Can gerbils handle certain fruits and dairy products in their diet?

Let's find out more about what should be avoided, starting with citrus fruits...

What Should Be Avoided in Gerbil's Diet?

Certain foods should be avoided while feeding gerbils.

Here's a rundown of what not to include in their diet:

  1. Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits have a lot of citric acid that can upset your gerbils' sensitive tummies.
  2. Rhubarb: This plant has oxalates that can be harmful if eaten by gerbils.
  3. Grapes: While we find them sweet and delicious, grapes can actually be toxic to gerbils, so it's best to avoid them.
  4. Chocolate: Just like with dogs, gerbils should never get their paws on chocolate because it contains theobromine, which is poisonous for them.
  5. Onions and garlic: These veggies can give gerbils tummy troubles and even cause anemia.

Always make sure that you provide your gerbils with a balanced and suitable diet.

What Should Be Avoided in Gerbil's Diet?
When you give your gerbils grub, ensure to steer clear of foods that can mess with their insides. Don't go near citrus fruits, rhubarb, grapes, chocolate, onions, or garlic. These things could give your pint-sized pals belly aches, poison 'em, or even make 'em anemic. Just play it safe and stick to a wholesome diet for 'em.

By avoiding these foods, you'll ensure their health and well-being.

Now, you might be wondering what exactly should be included in an adult gerbil's diet to ensure their optimal health and well-being.

Well, buckle up because I'm about to reveal the secret formula for a balanced and nutritious gerbil menu that will keep them thriving...

What Should Gerbils Eat?

Gerbils need nuggets for a balanced diet.

Just like any animals, gerbils have dietary needs based on their age.

Milk is what baby gerbils mainly eat.

But adult gerbils need gerbil nuggets for protein, fiber, and essential nutrients.

And get this!

You can give them small amounts of low-lactose dairy products and safe fruits and veggies as treats.

Pretty cool, huh?

To keep their teeth healthy, scatter food and provide chewable items to encourage their natural foraging behavior.

In the wild, gerbils munch on dry pellets, seeds, nuts, grass seeds, leaves, herbs, and insects in moderation.

As pets, you can give them specially formulated gerbil food for a balanced diet and avoid human foods (except for safe fresh options).

Now, let's talk about gerbil cheese.

To make it, you add starter cultures to milk, cut curds, separate whey, cook curds at different temperatures, drain whey, press curds, and age or cure for flavor and texture.

But don't worry, this process is separate from their regular diet. So no need to stress. 😄

Psst! If you're curious about whether gerbils can safely consume eggs, I invite you to check out my article on Can Gerbils Eat Eggs. Find out more and gather information from various sources to satisfy your inquisitive mind.

Water Bottles for Gerbils

Regularly clean and refill the water bottle with a valveless sipper tube to prevent bacteria or algae growth.

Water Bottles for Gerbils
For your gerbil's health, choose a valveless sipper tube. It stops bacteria and keeps their water fresh. Keep it clean and filled to keep them healthy.

This ensures the water stays fresh and safe for consumption, vital for your gerbils' well-being.

By providing fresh drinking water in the bottle with a valveless sipper tube, you actively maintain your gerbil's health.

And that's all for today, folks!

If you wanna read more of my useful articles, I recommend you check out some of these: Gerbils' Ability to Consume Tomatoes, Can Gerbils Eat Raisins, Gerbils' Broccoli Consumption, Can Gerbils Eat Apples, and Gerbils' Consumption of Berries

Until next time,

-Alex Amber

Alex Amber

Hi there! I'm Alex, and this is my blog, Gerbil 101. As you've probably guessed by now, this is the go-to blog for all things gerbil, covering topics from gerbil care to food, drink, health, behavior, and so much more. I truly hope you find my care guides useful, as I put a lot of time into writing them!