Many American homes choose a gerbil as the first child’s pet. Parents consider them the ideal pet to learn more if their children like pets and whether they can handle and take good care of them. Many responsibilities come with owning a pet. Because gerbils are small and have fewer demands, they make a perfect option for children. This pet gives your kids endless hours of fun entertainment. They are easy to take care of; hence, most parents prefer these friendly rodents as the best pet to bring home to their children.
Gerbils have a super friendly demeanor. They’re pretty curious and intelligent. It’s fun to watch, then play and cruise inside the cage. There are also different species of gerbils. Read below the exciting facts about this animal. They include:
- They’re more than 100 gerbil species. Some, like Turkmenistan, can grow up to 16 inches long. The Mongolian species is the most common and preferred as a pet. This type has a fascinating, cute look. Gerbils are social. Hence can live in a family setup.
- However, suppose you bring them home and have other domestic animals. It is advisable to buy many together to avoid them being aggressive toward each other, especially when exposed to heavily contrasting animal scents.
- They are playful rodents. Gerbils like to wrestle with each other. When young, playing is helpful to these rodents as they learn to defend themselves. Play also helps them to create and maintain a social bonds among themselves.
- These rodents originated from the desert. Hence, they aren’t keen on being wet. They take dust or sand baths, enabling them to loosen the debris on their fur. This also helps to absorb excess oil on their skin.
- Unlike other nocturnal rodents, gerbil are metaturnal. Therefore, they’re active at night and in the daytime. These pet rodents can sleep for an average of 12 hours, although not continuous. It’s a culmination of the short one-hour intervals of rest. This way, you get to monitor their activities during the day.
How do you handle your gerbil?
This is a fragile animal. Therefore, if you’re purchasing one for your child, ensure you’re monitoring and supervising how this pet is being handled. If you own cats and dogs, these predators can target gerbils. Therefore, ensure a safe environment. Never grab or hold this pet by the tail. This can cause serious injuries.
You have to provide proper housing for your gerbil. This is a type of rodent that likes to chew. Therefore, putting it in a cage made of wood is a bad idea. Chances are, they will chew and dig.
On the other hand, metal cages can cause your gerbil serious injuries. Instead, consider using a fish tank, preferably a 20-gallon size. This option makes excellent housing for this rodent. You can also use the plastic gerbil home. Visit your local pet store for more options.
In addition, ensure you feed this pet the proper meals. Again, visit your local pet store. The right expert can advise you on the best nutrients to feed your gerbil. Alternatively, you can prepare homemade food.