How to Choose a Pet Gerbil (Look Out for THESE Signs!)

How to Choose a Gerbil

Can we just get one thing out of the way?

Choosing a gerbil that's just right is like finding a needle in a haystack. 🐹

And you know that picking the wrong one means dealing with a living nightmare.

The kind that keeps you up at night, tossing and turning with regret.

But don't worry, because today's guide will put an end to all your gerbil-induced anxiety.

Let's get started!

How to Choose a Healthy Gerbil

When picking a healthy gerbil, there are ten things you gotta PLEASE keep in mind:

  1. Look for bright eyes and clean ears.
  2. Pay attention to their behavior and physical signs.
  3. Healthy gerbils are lively, curious, and busy.
  4. Their coat should be shiny and their eyes should be clear.
  5. Be on the lookout for any signs of trauma or hair loss.
  6. Give them a balanced diet to keep them healthy.
  7. Keep their living space clean to avoid diarrhea.
  8. Stay away from gerbils that seem still, all hunched up, or with tangled fur.
  9. Go for active gerbils who explore their surroundings.
  10. Say no to gerbils who make clicking or squeaking noises while they breathe.

It's super important to consider the health of gerbils when adopting one from a pet store.

This way, you can prevent any diseases from affecting your new furry buddy.

How to Choose a Healthy Gerbil
If you want a healthy gerbil, look for bright eyes, clean ears, and a shiny coat. Observe their curious behavior while avoiding any signs of trauma or hair loss. Keep their space tidy and give them good food. Don't go for the still, hunched up ones or those who make clicking noises when they breathe.

Choose wisely and enjoy the company of a happy and healthy gerbil! 😊

And now that we've covered how to choose a healthy gerbil, you may be wondering...

What's the best way to ensure your new furry friend has companionship and social interaction?

Well, I have some exciting insights for you!

Did you know that adopting gerbils from the same family or litter could make all the difference in building a strong bond between them?

Let me share with you the secrets of creating a harmonious gerbil family...

Gerbils Are Social Animals

To keep gerbils happy, you must have them in pairs or small groups.

How do you choose ones that will get along?

Here's how you can introduce them and ensure they bond successfully:

  1. It's best to adopt gerbils from the same family or litter because they already have a bond and are more likely to get along.
  2. If you need to introduce adult gerbils, it might be more challenging, but don't fret! Use the split cage method. This means gradually introducing them without direct contact. They'll get used to each other's presence before interacting.
  3. Patience is key! Bonding gerbils takes time and cannot be rushed. Increase their interaction time slowly and watch their behavior to ensure they're adjusting positively.
  4. If your gerbils just aren't getting along, returning them may be an option. Sometimes personalities clash and there's nothing you can do about it.

Providing a supportive and stimulating environment is crucial for your gerbils' in essence health.

Gerbils Are Social Animals
Gerbils, you see, are social. So for a happy community, you gotta keep them in pairs or small groups. Look for ones that get along well, preferably from the same family or litter. To introduce adult gerbils, try the split cage method. Let them adapt at their own pace, because bonding takes time and patience. Keep an eye out for signs of stress and don't hesitate to return any animals that just don't gel together.

Socialization matters, so always keep an eye out for signs of stress or anxiety.

By following these tips, you'll create a happy gerbil community and give them the companionship they crave.

And now that we've covered the importance of socializing gerbils, let's move on to some practical tips to ensure their physical and emotional well-being.

Handling gerbils properly and providing a suitable environment are essential aspects of caring for these small furry creatures!

Proper Handling Techniques for Your Gerbil

Gentle and cautious actions are crucial when it comes to handling gerbils.

You don't want to scare your gerbil by moving suddenly or making loud noises because that could lead to injuries or bites.

To meet their natural tunneling behaviors, ensure there is at least 6 inches of substrate in their habitat so they can dig and explore as they please.

Proper Handling Techniques for Your Gerbil
When you handle your gerbil, go slow and gentle so it doesn't get startled. You know, gerbils really enjoy burrowing, so ensure they have enough substrate, at least 6 inches, to tunnel in.

But what if your gerbil escapes?

You must have a well-thought-out plan.

Act quickly and carefully to find and secure your pet since gerbils are small and can fit into tight spaces.

Here are some more tips for handling gerbils:

  • Approach them slowly and calmly to let them get used to your presence.
  • Use both hands to scoop them up gently, supporting their entire body to avoid any harm or discomfort.
  • Be careful not to squeeze or grip too tightly, as gerbils can be delicate creatures.
  • And lest we forget, never drop your gerbil from a height, as it can cause serious injuries.

To guarantee a secure and pleasurable encounter while taking care of your gerbil, make sure to adhere to these instructions.

But how do you choose the right gerbil for your home?

Thankfully, I have some tips that will help you make an informed decision!

So, let's dive into the exciting world of different gerbil breeds and their unique temperaments...

What Type of Gerbil Should I Get?

What Type of Gerbil Should I Get?
Pick a gerbil breed that's right for you. If you're looking for something different, go for a chubby-tailed gerbil that lives longer. Remember, their personality and how well they mesh with you can be influenced by their age and gender.

When you're deciding on which gerbil to get, keep these factors in mind:

  1. Do some research and learn about different gerbil breeds.
  2. Find a gerbil that suits your preferences and lifestyle.
  3. It's best to get same-sex gerbils from the same litter.
  4. Consider going for the most common breed: Mongolian gerbils.
  5. If you want something unique, check out rare breeds like fat-tailed gerbils.
  6. Please keep in mind that age and gender can affect their personality and compatibility.
  7. Remember that Mongolian gerbils are larger than fat-tailed gerbils.
  8. Also, note that both breeds make excellent pets, but fat-tailed gerbils have a longer lifespan.

And hey, if you're curious about rodent pets with the least scent or odor, you might want to check out my article on Least Smelly Rodent Pets.

How Many Gerbils Should I Get?

Start with two gerbils for easier social dynamics

If you're new to owning gerbils, it's best if you begin with a pair of these cute little critters.

This way, you and I can manage their social interactions more easily.

Starting out with just two allows them to bond and become comfortable with each other without overwhelming either one of us.

You'll have an easier time keeping an eye on their interactions and making sure they get along.

Keep gerbils of the same gender to avoid surprises

Now, here's an important tip for you:

Make sure the gerbils you choose to live together are of the same gender.


Well, we definitely don't want any unexpected gerbil babies showing up, do we?

By keeping gerbils of the same sex, you and I can prevent any unwanted pregnancies and maintain a happy living environment within their cage.

Plus, gerbils of the same gender usually develop stronger bonds with each other.

Provide ample space - 10 gallons per gerbil

Gerbils may be small, but they still require their own personal space.

When setting up their home, it's essential for you to provide enough cage space where they can feel comfortable.

As a general rule, aim for approximately 10 gallons of space per gerbil.

By giving them plenty of room to explore, play, and construct tunnels, we contribute to their all in all well-being. It also reduces the likelihood of territorial disputes and ensures a joyful gerbil household for both you and me.

So, starting with two gerbils, choosing gerbils of the same gender, and providing ample space are key factors in creating a positive gerbil experience for both you and your furry friends.

What Colors Do Gerbils Come In?

When choosing a gerbil, bear in mind that these adorable creatures come in different coat colors.

You have the classic agouti, which reflects their wild side, as well as black, white, platinum, grey, and cinnamon options.

However, you should understand that your choice of color won't affect the personality or health of you or your gerbil. Eye color, on the other hand, can impact their vision. So, when selecting your furry friend, take a moment to consider this small yet significant detail. After all, every little aspect contributes to creating a meaningful bond between you and your pet gerbil.

Where Can You Buy Gerbils?

If you want to find gerbils, here are some options for you:

  1. Check out local animal shelters or rescue groups and consider adopting.
  2. Look for gerbil breeders near you.
  3. Browse through classified ads or online marketplaces that have listings for gerbils.
  4. Ask your vet if they know any gerbil breeders or shelters.
  5. Attend pet expos or small animal shows where you might find gerbils for sale.
  6. Reach out to gerbil clubs or enthusiasts who could be selling gerbils.
  7. Visit reputable pet stores that specialize in small animals.
  8. Talk to friends, family, and neighbors who might have gerbils up for sale or adoption.
  9. Search for adoption agencies or organizations that focus on gerbils specifically.
  10. Join online communities or forums dedicated to gerbils, where members often have connections.
  11. Contact local schools or universities with biology departments, as they sometimes breed gerbils for educational purposes.

When buying gerbils, make sure their well-being is a top priority.

Where Can You Buy Gerbils?
Check out universities breeding gerbils for study. Biology departments might have cool gerbil breeds you won't see anywhere else. Just ask nearby schools about getting one.

Always meet them in person before making a decision.

Choosing the Perfect Gerbil: Final Tips

Summary Takeaways:

  1. Choose a healthy gerbil by observing their behavior and physical signs.
  2. Gerbils should be lively, curious, and have a glossy coat.
  3. Avoid gerbils with signs of illness or stress, such as sitting still or matted fur.
  4. Prioritize the health of gerbils to prevent introducing illnesses.
  5. Keep gerbils in pairs or small groups for socialization and well-being.
  6. Introducing adult gerbils can be challenging, but methods like the split cage method can help.
  7. Watch for signs of stress in gerbils to ensure their well-being.
  8. Provide a minimum of 6 inches of substrate for gerbils' natural tunneling behaviors.
  9. Handle gerbils properly to prevent injuries and fear.
  10. Have a plan in case a gerbil escapes to quickly and safely secure them.
  11. Choose same-sex gerbils from the same litter for compatibility.
  12. Consider Mongolian gerbils or fat-tailed gerbils as suitable pet options.
  13. Ensure housing is appropriate with enough cage space for each gerbil.
  14. Coat color does not affect the gerbil's personality or health.
  15. Eye color may impact a gerbil's vision.

And that's all for today, folks!

You reached the end of my blog post, so I wanted to ask you something: Did you enjoy it? I put a ton of effort into writing extensive and helpful blog posts. It does take up a considerable amount of time (but in a good way). Therefore, I'd be extremely grateful if you could click on any of the social sharing icons to share this blog post with others. Thank you very much!

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!