How to Feed Gerbils

Two Parts:Choosing Suitable Gerbil FoodFeeding the Gerbils

If you have a new gerbil and you don't know how to feed them or you just want to make sure you're doing the right thing then keep reading.

Part 1
Choosing Suitable Gerbil Food

  1. 1
    Buy the gerbil food. A simple cereal mix is best to begin with but it's a good idea to search for what gerbils can and can't eat so that you know what's best to give them. Once you've been feeding your gerbils for a while and you know what they like and don't like then you can adjust their mix of food.
  2. 2
    Improve the pet store food. To make sure that pet store food is of best value, you ca mix in a lot of different types of foods and supplements. Some examples include:
    • Gerri gerbil tasty mix
    • Pets at home gerbil food
    • Nature's Touch Gerbil Food
    • Burgess gerbil food
    • Dried mealworms
    • Dried pasta.
  3. 3
    Choose treats for the gerbils. Gerbils love treats but they should be given sparingly. Some ideas for treats include:
    • Baby food (free of onion or garlic)
    • Beechnuts (unsalted only, higher fat content)
    • Brazil nuts (unsalted only, higher fat content)
    • Bread (can get stuck in pouches if too soft)
    • Cashew nuts (unsalted only, higher fat content)
    • Cereal (beware of high sugar content)
    • Chicken/turkey (cooked and unseasoned)
    • Cheese (avoid strong cheeses, higher fat content)
    • Crackers (unsalted only)
    • Crickets (dead)
    • Dog biscuits (no charcoal/black ones, no onions or garlic)
    • Egg (scrambled, or boiled, no seasoning)
    • Fish (cooked and unseasoned)
    • Hazelnuts (unsalted only, higher fat content)
    • Mealworms
    • Millet spray
    • Pecans (unsalted only, higher fat content)
    • Peanuts (unsalted only, roasted, never raw, shelled or unshelled, higher fat content)
    • Pine nuts (unsalted, high fat content)
    • Pistachios (unsalted, higher fat content)
    • Pumpkin seeds (unseasoned, higher fat content)
    • Tofu (packaged only, never raw)
    • Walnuts (unsalted, shelled or unshelled, higher fat content)
    • Yogurt drops.
  4. 4
    Provide fresh fruits and vegetables. Freed these once every two weeks.
    • Apples (no seeds, as these contain cyanide, higher sugar content)
    • Apricot (no pit/stone, high sugar content)
    • Banana (may cause constipation, do not feed if the gerbil is having antibiotics, higher sugar content)
    • Broccoli (may cause gas)
    • Cabbage (small amounts, rarely though as too much can cause illness, can cause gas)
    • Carrots (higher sugar content)
    • Cauliflower (can cause gas)
    • Celery (only in very small pieces as the string can cause a choking hazard)
    • Corn (higher sugar content)
    • Cucumber
    • Dates (higher sugar content)
    • Endives
    • Grass (avoid ornamental grass)
    • Green beans
    • Kidney beans (must be cooked only)
    • Kiwifruit (higher sugar content)
    • Lettuce (small amounts, on occasion, may cause liver problems and never use iceberg)
    • Mango (no pit/stone, higher sugar content)
    • Melon (higher sugar content)
    • Mint
    • Papaya
    • Parsley
    • Peach (no pit/stone, higher sugar content)
    • Peas (higher sugar content)
    • Pear (higher sugar content)
    • Plum (no pit/stone, higher sugar content)
    • Potato (cooked only, raw is toxic)
    • Raspberries (the leaves are edible, higher sugar content)
    • Sage
    • Strawberries (higher sugar content).

Part 2
Feeding the Gerbils

  1. 1
    Determine how much to feed the gerbils. Gerbils won't usually eat all their food in one go like cats and dogs do but usually take a few days to eat all their food but remember that every gerbil is different and they will all eat at different speeds. So don't panic if you feel like they're not eating.
    • It's good to give gerbils around 10 to 20g of food. They usually eat 4 to 10g a day. Make sure you adapt these measurements if you have more than one gerbil.
  2. 2
    Use appropriate containers for their food. Use a suitable dish for the gerbils to eat out of. Plastic ones are not good because the gerbils will chew the plastic and cracks in plastic can harbor germs. A tin or ceramic dish is best to give them food in.
  3. 3
    Put their food in their cage or tank. Always make sure if you have given them any fruit or anything like that, that you take it out of their cage after a few hours if they have not eaten it.
  4. 4
    Be careful when giving them some treats. Never give them too many treats. The occasional pumpkin seed, etc. (see above), is always nice for them but not too much. When you give them a treat, especially if you have new gerbils, hold it in your hand and wait for them to take it.
    • They may sniff around your hand to look for anything else.
    • Gerbils don't often bite but if they do don't jerk away suddenly or you'll scare them.


  • Check their teeth regularly to make sure they are chewing things.
  • Make sure they have water to go with their food.
  • Remember you can always adapt your gerbils diet to suit them.


  • Never give gerbils chocolate.
  • Search a list of what they can and can't eat so you know.

Article Info

Categories: New Pets