Ways to Help a Gerbil Live Longer

by on February 4th, 2011
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In the eyes of some, a gerbil is not as cute or as cuddly as a kitten or a puppy. It is a rodent, but it has a personality, and it becomes a beloved member of the family. Unfortunately small animals such as gerbils do not live as long as dogs and cats. They live about three years – if they are healthy from the beginning and properly cared for. Gerbils can live even longer. Read on to find out to how to help a gerbil live a longer, healthier, happier life and enjoy your pet for three or more years instead of just months.

Consider Two Instead of Just One for a Longer Life

Imagine living your entire life alone and never coming in contact with another human being. Life would be lonely and sad. Animals need companionship too. When looking for ways to help a gerbil live longer, consider two instead of just one. Make sure you know how to determine the sex of the gerbil before buying another. Otherwise, you could end up with at least one litter of babies before realizing the problem. Also, make sure the tank is at least twenty gallons to lessen the stress level and minimize fights. Go too large and they will become territorial and very unfriendly. In any case, a fish tank is preferable over a cage, especially since many cages these days are combined with hard plastic and easily fall apart.

Buy Premium Gerbil Food from a Trusted Source

It is important to buy premium gerbil food from a trusted source. Buy food that is not nutritionally balanced or something tainted and the animal will not live longer. It might not last three months let alone six years. Spend a few extra dollars on top-quality blends especially for gerbils. Doing this will help the gerbil live longer by meeting all of its nutritional requirements.

Keep the Gerbil Away from Drafts to Help it Live Longer

Gerbils should be kept out of drafts to avoid respiratory problems and illnesses. As previously mentioned, do not buy or use a wire cage. People buy plastic and wire cages because they are colorful and the tubes look like fun for their pets. They can prove deadly. The article entitled Crittertrail Cages and Accessories details my experience with this particular brand of plastic and wire cage. My hamster died a horrible death because of the poor construction of the cage, and I want to spare others the pain of going through what I did with my pet. Aquariums are cheaper and far safer than plastic and metal.

Keep the Enclosure Clean and Do Not Use Cedar Bedding

When trying to do everything possible to help a gerbil live longer, do not buy cedar bedding. The oils that create the aroma can cause serious and potentially deadly respiratory problems. Buy natural kiln-dried pine shavings. The drying process will get rid of potentially harmful oils that can harm the respiratory system of the gerbil. Buy only the best, and keep the animal’s enclosure, food and water clean and top-notch. The gerbil could live as long as five or six years.

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