All About Gerbils: Care For Your Gerbil's Diet

Updated on May 20, 2009

Overview: Gerbil Foods

Pet Gerbil's will eat a variaty of different things, but what's healthy and what's not for your pet gerbils is another thing. Gerbils will eat foods like:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

These are all healthy for gerbils. There are some foods for gerbils that are not healthy and should be avoided at all costs, some foods within the foods listed above are bad for your pet gerbils as well, so for the health and well being of your pet gerbil read on... The bad foods will be listed below and so will the perfered and most comon food choices for your pet gerbils.

Seeds Gerbils Can Eat

Seeds are another food that gerbils love, Seeds like:

  • Sunflower
  • Pumpkin
  • Sesame
  • And Other Seeds

Are all a great choice for a healthy gerbil's diet, Alothough the same thing as listed with the nuts for gerbils applies here,

  • Salted
  • Flavored
  • Cooked

Seeds are not the best choice and can be toxic to gerbils.

Another note is that seeds like sun flower seeds with such a soft shell can be left in the shell as gerbil's will chew right through them also wearing down their teeth at the same time as it would in their natural environment.

When feeding your gerbils seeds or nuts from the store it's always a good idea to read the packaging and ingredient list to make sure that flavoring is not part of them.

Nuts That Gerbils Can Eat:

Nuts are yummy to gerbils, but when giving your gerbils nuts be careful of what kinds you give then... while nuts are an overall safe food nuts that humans can eat and nut that gerbils can eat are different.

Gerbils love:

  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
  • Macadamia
  • Brazil

Nuts as much as the next person, these are all very healthy for gerbils too! What you need to watch out for is the fact that most nuts found in the regular foood department in stores are:

  • Salted
  • Cooked
  • Flavored

and all of those things are not good for gerbils, in fact those thing can often be toxic and sometimes deadly to gerbils. Cooked nuts are the least affending of the above they are still unhealthy for pet gerbils, salted is the next worst in the list, while flavored nuts takes the lead as the WORST nut to give to a gerbil.

A Note About Apples:

While Apples are an awesome treat for pet gerbils, Apples seeds on the other hand are actually poisonous to gerbils. Feel free to give pet gerbils a couple chucks of the juicy part of the apple do not give them the core, the seeds are poisonous.

Fruits Gerbils Can Eat

Fresh fruits like:

  • Apple
  • Bananna
  • Cherry
  • Kiwi
  • Avacodo
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Plums

Are all a treat for gerbils! They love them, are healthy for them and keep their fur coat clean, and shiny. It also keeps their minds active which keeps them active and ultimately healthy.

Vegetables Gerbils Can Eat

Veegetables like:

  • Cabbage
  • Lettuces
  • Cucumber
  • Zucini
  • Bell Pepper
  • Green Bean
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Corn

Are all very healthy for gerbils, eating vegetables like the above keep gerbil's teeth clean and from unhealthy diseases and rotting away.

Store Bought Gerbil Food

Store bought mixes are fantastic foods for gerbils, in fact they should be fed to gerbils.

Food Mixes that say they are made for gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs are all good food mixes for gerbils to eat. Looking for gerbil foods that contain a large amounts of different nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

Food Preperation:

Fruits and vegetables need to be washed, to remove any harmful substances from their surface, or pesticides from the surface of the produce. Wash produce in warm, clean water, scrub to remove any dirt.

Note: Remove any left over fresh food after 2-4 hours of putting it in the cage to prevent your gerbils eating rotten produce.

Nuts, seeds, and store bought food mixtures need to be put in the freezer BEFORE they are fed to your gerbil, for at least 5 hours, overnight would be best. This is because (store bought brands especially) can sometimes have little bugs in the mixture, or eggs, putting the food in the freezer kill the bugs or eggs that may or may not be there. If you gerbils get these bugs they can lead to discomfort, disease and in extreme cases even death, so please be cautious and freeze your food.

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


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    • profile image


      9 months ago

      Its really helpful and easy set out. One question... Why do the food makers let bugs come into there produce?

      Thanks so much


    • Rena900 profile image


      2 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I began feeding my gerbil some pumpkin seeds. They were roasted but not salted. My gerbil was normally friendly and I was able to hold her every day and pet her. Now, IF I can catch her, she is terrified, fights like a banshee to get away and this includes biting me. I can no longer hold her at all. It doesn't seem logical that this behavior is related to the diet, but the two happened near the same time. Does anyone know why my gerbil went psycho on me?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you so much for this information! having Gerbils when I was twelve and having them now in my 50's is a challenge. However I am enjoying it, a gift for my nephews we started with 2 males 2 females and the a total of 15! The boy's lost interest so uncle has the last four!

      Again I will refer to this site in the future!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      my 9 yr old, micah, just got 2 gerbils today from the neighbor and it was very nice 2 be able 2 come on this website and find out what it eats until we can get to a pet store. thank you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am so excited to get a gerbil and this web site really helped me prepare! TTTHHHAAANNNKKK YYYOOOUUU SSSSOOOOO MMMUUUUUCCCCHHHHHHH!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you so much! I just got a new black gerbil and I wanted to give him a variety of things. Thank you so much for your hard work on putting up this website. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i have 2 very VERY VVVEEEEAAAARRRRYYYY FAT gerbils and there like my baby boys even though im just 9 but now they are looking in shape but i also heard that you shouldn't put just sunflower seeds for your gerbils but thanks so much!!!!!Thanks HubPages!!!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow thanks I going to use a lot of this info

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thank you so much!! I needed to find this because I am getting two new gerbils and I need to be prepared! Thanks HubPages!!


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