How to Get Your Parents to Allow You to Have a Pet Gerbil

Updated on July 5, 2015
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Dreamhowl has worked in pet retail for over ten years. She has owned fancy rats, and has experience with small pets, fish, and dogs.

Are you interested in owning a pet gerbil? Small pets can be fun and easy to care for, and many types of small pets can be very affectionate. However, not all parents are enthusiastic about letting their children have small pets - especially rodents. There is a common misconception that rodents are dirty animals, as well as unsociable and mean. With some research and responsibility, you can better convince your parents to allow you to have a pet gerbil.

Pet gerbils are adorable as well as gentle and clean!
Pet gerbils are adorable as well as gentle and clean! | Source

Research Information About Pet Gerbils

Doing research about pet gerbils will show your parents how much you want to own one, as well as your willingness to care for it yourself. Owning a pet gerbil requires knowledge about the proper food and toys to give your furry friend, as well as other accessories. While a pet gerbil is much easier to care for than a dog or a cat, it still requires constant care. When it comes to feeding a pet gerbil, you’ll need:

  • high-quality, healthy gerbil food
  • small amounts of fruit or vegetables
  • fresh water changed daily
  • very small amount of treats

Fresh food and water should be available at all times throughout the day. If you do decide to feed your gerbil fruit or vegetables, don’t overdo it; too much of either can cause diarrhea and illness. Other small animal treats should make up no more than 10% of your gerbil’s daily diet. If your parents do let you get your own pet gerbil, you’ll want them to see how well you are taking care of it, as well as how healthy it is!

Gerbils generally live off of a seed-based diet, with occasional treats.
Gerbils generally live off of a seed-based diet, with occasional treats. | Source

Pet gerbils need a home that is roomy and secure, along with plenty of chew toys and other accessories to keep them occupied. This is especially true for single gerbils, who do not have a same-sex litter companion to play and snuggle with when you aren’t around. When you are doing your research about owning a pet gerbil, keep in mind that these animals need:

  • glass, plastic or metal cages
  • food bowl(s) and water bottle(s)
  • a plastic or wooden hideaway
  • chew sticks and exercise toys
  • aspen or paper bedding

A food bowl, water bottle, chew sticks and treats are a few things you will need.
A food bowl, water bottle, chew sticks and treats are a few things you will need. | Source

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Glass or plastic aquariums are suggested to house pet gerbils because they love to dig, and tend to spill bedding out of open cages - just be sure to have an escape-proof aquarium top! Aquariums are less ventilated than a plastic or wire cage, but gerbils urinate far less than other small animals, and their urine has a much milder smell. To keep your gerbil comfortable, you’ll need someplace they can hide inside their cage - anything from a box to a purchased hideaway will do. And don’t forget lots of chew toys; a rodent’s teeth never stop growing, so they always need something to chew.

As an added bonus, try looking up how much all of this will cost; part of the reason your parents might hesitate to get a pet gerbil is the overall price. Luckily, gerbils are a fairly cheap pet to have: their food lasts a while, bedding isn’t overly expensive and they aren’t picky about their chew toys. Make a list of the general prices of a cage, bag of food, bedding, chew toys and other accessories to show your parents, and look up the stores nearby that sell pet gerbils!

Be a More Responsible Person

Showing that you’re responsible and mature will help convince your parents that you are ready to own a pet. Having a pet of any type is a responsibility; many parents say “no” to their kids concerning pets because they don’t feel they are responsible enough, or “ready”. If your parents think the same about you, chances are they won’t agree to you having a pet gerbil. Some ways to accept more responsibility include:

  • doing your chores on time
  • helping around the house
  • finishing your homework
  • saving up your money

If you don’t do your chores on a regular basis, your parents won’t see you as being responsible. If your job is to vacuum the floors, do the dishes after dinner or dust around the house, get them done when expected (if not earlier). If you've done all of your chores and your parents need help with dinner, offer to help out. And don’t forget to finish your homework on time, or before it’s due. Your parents will notice your good behavior, and this may influence their decision.

If you have a job or an allowance, start saving up money toward getting your pet gerbil (even if your parents haven’t agreed yet). If you show that you are willing to help pay for your furry friend, your parents will be more inclined to let you have one. If you don’t have any money of your own, save up the next time a birthday or holiday comes around, and tell your parents that you’d like to spend your money on a new pet gerbil.

Pet Gerbil Food and Accessories

Talk to Your Parents About Pet Gerbils

Remember all that research you did about gerbils? It’s time to tell your parents all about it! Many parents don’t know a lot about small animals, especially rodents. Your mother might think that gerbils are “gross” because they have tails, or simply because they are rodents. Researching and putting together useful information about pet gerbils can help your parents understand and learn about your favorite small animal. When talking to your parents, try:

  • presenting your research about gerbils
  • turning your research into a paper
  • promising to take care of it yourself
  • being honest, mature and patient

Organizing your gerbil research into a paper or powerpoint presentation will show your parents how much you care and make it easier for them to understand. Additionally, writing a paper about gerbil care will show your parents the effort you put into learning about pet gerbils. It will be obvious that you know how to care for a pet gerbil, as opposed to a kid who wants a gerbil but knows nothing about it.

To encourage your parents to consider your request, say that you will take care of the gerbil yourself. Even if you cannot afford to buy the food and bedding each month, explain that you plan on replacing the food and water daily, and cleaning the cage weekly. This way, the gerbil will be constantly cared for and the cage will not be messy or smelly; a popular argument among parents is that small animals smell too much to keep as pets.

Pet gerbils need a hideaway where they can feel safe and comfortable.
Pet gerbils need a hideaway where they can feel safe and comfortable. | Source
Facts About Pet Gerbils
Gerbils are smart and easy to tame when handled often
Gerbils are happiest when kept in same-sex pairs
Gerbils "thump" their legs on the ground when excited or stressed
Gerbils live two to three years on average

When talking to your parents about getting a pet gerbil, remember to be honest, mature and patient with them. Parents appreciate honesty, so don’t promise to take care of the animal if you don’t plan on it after the first few weeks. Explain why you want to get a gerbil - it might be because you have no pets of your own and have always wanted one, or played with your friend’s gerbil and realized how much you’d like to own one, too. If you whine or complain to your parents about their side of the discussion, don’t expect a pet gerbil anytime soon; having a sense of maturity will show your parents that you are serious.

If after all of your research and explanation your parents still say no, don’t give up. If you truly want to get a pet gerbil, continue to be responsible, mature and respectful. Your parents might not feel you are ready to own a pet yet, but remaining mature could help convince them further down the road. You might need more time to show your parents that you are a responsible and mature person. With any luck, you’ll soon have a little pet gerbil of your own!

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Sydney 7 months ago

        No matter what I do my mom just says no when I say gerdil or bunny. I am trying to make a deal with her should I do it and if so what should the deal be I'm up to any deal

      • profile image

        lazyslug xx 10 months ago

        thx great help mum said maybe!!!!!

      • Dreamhowl profile image

        Jessica Marello 14 months ago from United States

        @Marilyn You're welcome! Gerbils are great pets.

      • profile image

        Marilyn age.9 14 months ago

        This is very helpful I might get a gerbil in now time at all thanks a lot

      • Dreamhowl profile image

        Jessica Marello 3 years ago from United States

        My room is impossible to rat proof so we never let the girls on the floor without the two of us watching them. At least she was a smart girl and didn't choose the wires that were plugged in!

      • Phillip Grobler profile image

        Phillip Grobler 3 years ago from Polokwane

        This was fun to read a really good Hub, i remember my pet rat when i was 11..... chewed all the unplugged cables in my room except for those that were plugged in smart little girl... But now that i am older i am more into exotic pets . Spiders, snakes, monkeys, parrots etc

      • Dreamhowl profile image

        Jessica Marello 5 years ago from United States

        Thanks for the feedback! I have rats and originally my boyfriend wasn't enthusiastic. But I promised I'd take care of them myself, 100%. Now he loves rats too. :)

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        great hub with wonderful tips on psycho the parents. My hubby totally says "No" to pets. We had our cat because my mother-in-law wanted it. Voted useful