3 Common Ways to Wear Down Gerbil Teeth and Claws

Updated on March 19, 2018
Our Gerbil's Honey and Midnight, Honey is shy but she's a sweetheart. Midnight is feisty but loving.
Our Gerbil's Honey and Midnight, Honey is shy but she's a sweetheart. Midnight is feisty but loving.

The 3 Most Common Ways To Wear Down A Gerbil's Teeth & Claws

Gerbil's teeth and claws are always growing and getting longer, a lot of people will just let them and will venver stop and think how this is affecting their pet, or the relationship they have with their gerbil.

While longs claws and sharp teeth can be painful to the handler of the gerbil that's not what is wrong with letting your gerbil's claws and teeth get that long. Gerbils can get sick, and even injure themselves if they have overgrown claws and or teeth, this is dangerous... this means that you NEED to keep a gerbil's teeth and claws from growing to long.

Why You Should Look Into Wearing Down Gerbil's Claws And Teeth

We all know that cutting a gerbil's claws is time consuming, can be painful to both the gerbil and the tender. Because of this we avoid this activity at all costs... on the other hand, handling gerbils becomes harder when their claws and teeth are like this, leading to improper care.

What a lot of people don't know is that there is easier ways to clip a gerbil's claws and wear down their teeth. The answer to this is almost so simple that I've seen many people do the "duh" reaction once they found out. :)

1. Nail Clippers For Gerbils

1. Nail Clippers for small animals:

While these are probably the most difficult option for clipping a gerbil's claws most people choose them. There are different kinds of nail clippers, the ones made for cats and small dogs will not work for your gerbils, another thing people try to do is use human nail clippers, which also is not a good idea. The nail clippers you want are the ones that are labeled as Nail Clippers For Small Animals or For Rodents.

There are also some brands that clip like normal clippers or there are better brands that actually wear down the nails instead of clipping them and causing damage or pain to the gerbil/animal. If you are going to use nail clippers I suggest using the ones that wear away the gerbil's claws instead of clipping them.

This is Midnight, out gerbil... she  has a feisty spirit and is very fun!
This is Midnight, out gerbil... she has a feisty spirit and is very fun!

2. Sandpaper Floors

2. Putting Down Sand Paper and or other substances that wear away things on the shelves and bottom of the gerbil's cage. Doing this will force the gerbils to walk across it, resulting in the gerbil's claws wearing down. While this is a wonderful way to keep the gerbil's claws shorter, it has some draw backs such as: The sand paper would need to be changed once a week along with the rest of the cage. That in it's self can get expensive quickly and also difficult.

Another thing is that a lot of gerbils will go under the sandpaper if it's not weighted down in some way. Also it get uncomfortable to walk on ALL the time, how would you like that? This is why the entire cage should not be filled with sand paper like I have seen so many times before.

3. Wood Blocks

3. One of the next things people do, is to put in a brick or wood block the gerbil's can climb over and gnaw on, this way the block of wood or brick will wear down both claws and teeth. This is an ok way of helping to wear down the claws and teeth but one of the draw backs is that some gerbils will avoid these blacks and chew toys... actually will never touching them.

Our Gerbil Honey, she's shy but sweet!
Our Gerbil Honey, she's shy but sweet!

What I Recommend

Here's what I recommend, it has worked best for me to have a little bit of sand paper on part of the cage, and then putting in chew toys, and blocks of wood, and or a brick... also personally my gerbils like to chew on sticks from outside.

As long as you make sure that you avoid apple branches and pine branches and that the branches you bring in for the gerbils have been washed with clean water, dried and frozen in the freezer overnight to kill any bugs or bug eggs that may be in or on the branch... you're all good!


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    • profile image

      Emma 18 months ago

      I couldnt help but notice the wire floor on the second story thing. Wire flooring could cause bumblefoot, wich is very painful to ittle gerbies. Just i heads up on that

    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 8 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      Army Infantry Mom, sorry for my late response!

      That is difficult, a lot of people don't take as good care of their pets as the should because they think the stores are just trying to make a bigger sale, however a lot of people also have so much stuff it gets overwhelming because the store is trying to make a bigger sale... I've seen quite a few experiences here both have happened! Hopefully people who are wanting new pets can look into the great web and find what they really do need to care for the pet.. instead of slacking or over buying.

      -Thanks for you comment.

    • Army Infantry Mom profile image

      Army Infantry Mom 8 years ago

      Great hub,..I worked in a pet store and when someone came into the store and bought a gerbil or hamster we would recommend the items you spoke of, however people seemed as if we were just trying to make a bigger sale, hopefully people who thought that might be reading this and now know we were just concerned for the pets well being.

    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 8 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      Herald Daily, Thank you so much!

      k@ri, thank you... they are aren't they?

      RedElf, thanks... :)


    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      Congratulations on your nomination - well done...and way to go with the challenge!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Your gerbils are very cute! I had gerbils as a kid, but none since. Congratulations on being chosen for HubNuggets!

    • Herald Daily profile image

      Herald Daily 8 years ago from A Beach Online

      I've never had a gerbil but found this interesting reading, none the less. Congratulations on being chosen as a Wannbe and good luck in the HubNugget contest!

    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 8 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      Ripplemaker, thanks for letting me know! That's awesome! :)

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      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      This is an official announcement from the Hubnuggets Team: Your hub has been chosen to be one of the 15 Hubnugget Wannabes for this week! Yay…congratulations!!!

      This link https://hubpages.com/community/hubnuggets-your-vot... will take you to the hub where you can see all the juicy details about Hubnuggets, the other nominees and of course, where you can vote!!! The top 5 hubs with the most votes will get the chance to be part of the Hubpages newsletter. So click the link now and join the Hubnugget fun!