Looking after your Gerbil


Gerbils can be kept in a suitable size wire cage with a solid plastic base but they like to dig so a ‘gerbilarium’ (a well ventilated aquarium) is ideal. Never use a wooden hutch as they can gnaw their way out. Keep indoors away from draughts, direct sunlight and other pets.

Gerbils are social animals and should not be kept on their own. Choose a pair or group that have already become friends.


Choose a suitable gerbil feed and check the recommended daily allowance on the pack. Feed your gerbil in the morning and evening when it is most active making sure the first feed has been finished before topping it up. Always provide plenty of clean, fresh water.


Make sure your pet is awake and approach slowly from the front. If your gerbil is confident it may climb on to an open palm, if not gently scoop it into your hand. Never pick it up by the end of its tail. Gerbils are very active and will wriggle so be careful. Handle daily.

Toys & treats

Gerbils love exploring their surrounding so placing objects like tubes and boxes in their cage will keep them active and hiding suitable treats will encourage them to forage. Gerbil’s teeth grow constantly so make sure they have plenty to gnaw on. They also love dust baths so a box or bowl of Chinchilla sand is ideal.


Gerbils are susceptible to colds, diarrhoea and Tyzzer’s disease. If your gerbil looks tired and weak or loses its appetite seek advice from your vet.

If you have any cause for concern for the health of your pet, seek veterinary advice.

You will need…

  • Suitable housing/cage
  • Soft bedding for small animals
  • Dust free wood shavings
  • Water bottle and bottle brush
  • Metal or ceramic food bowl
  • Suitable pet food
  • Gnaw block
  • Toys and treats
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Pet safe disinfectant
  • Pet care book


Owning and caring for a pet is a very rewarding experience. Your pet will offer you friendship, interest and enjoyment, but keeping pets brings with it responsibilities. These responsibilities differ from one species to the next. Please ask a member of the pet department for help in choosing the right pet for you.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the contents of this web page are correct, Squire’s cannot be held responsible for results of action taken without the advice of a professional veterinarian.