Housing your Gerbil

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Housing your Gerbil

Your gerbilarium How many gerbils? Cosy and comfortable Playtime Cleaning Gerbils are very active little creatures and like lots of space to exercise in – so the bigger their home is, the better!   Gerbils are vulnerable to extremes of temperature and should be housed indoors.  In the wild if the temperature suddenly drops below 10°C and the food supply is scarce some gerbils will hibernate to try to survive. The ideal temperature for Gerbils to live happily in is between 20 – 25°C. Place your gerbilarium (gerbil cage) home away from direct sunlight as gerbils can’t sweat like humans and succumb to heat stroke very quickly. BackTo Top Your gerbilarium Gerbils love to dig and in the wild they live in complex systems of burrows and tunnels so they need a special cage called a gerbilarium.  A gerbilarium is a two tiered home with a wire cage on top of a plastic tank filled with a deep layer of 6 inches (15 cm) of substrate (flooring material).  The two levels are connected by ladders which the gerbils enjoy climbing.  The cage can be unclipped from the base so it is easy to get your gerbils out for playtime and to clean the cage. Some gerbilariums are modular units which can be extended into extra compartments and tunnels. Petstop has a wide variety of gerbilariums available that will house up to 4 gerbils. View our Gerbil Products section for a selection of gerbilariums and  gerbil housing and accessories BackTo Top How many gerbils? It depends on the type of gerbil that you have as a pet as to whether you keep them in a group or singly.  If you are not sure how many gerbils you can house together please ask our trained staff who will be happy to give you all the advice you need. Mongolian Gerbils are the gerbil that is most often kept as a pet.  They live in colonies in their underground tunnels and should not be kept singly.  Its best to keep a small group of similarly aged gerbils that are raised together from a young age. If you keep a pair of Mongolian Gerbils and one dies it can be very difficult to introduce a new gerbil, especially if the gerbil is mature (older than 8 - 10 weeks of age).  They are extremely territorial and would fight an intruder to the death. Pallid Gerbils are best kept in small same-sex groups or pairs. Fat-Tailed Gerbils should be housed separately as they will fight of kept in pairs or groups. The Shaws Jird is from the same family as gerbils but the females are very territorial and must be housed by themselves. In the wild they would only ever meet with another jird to mate or defend their territory.  Male jirds enjoy company and are best kept in pairs or small groups that have been raised together from a young age. View our Gerbils As Pets Advice to learn more about different types of gerbils BackTo Top Cosy and Comfortable The gerbilarium should contain a nesting house large enough to fit your gerbil and large enough to accommodate more than one gerbil if you have a group – gerbils like to sleep cuddled up together in a heap!  Soft, safe and cosy nesting material and bedding are available for your gerbil to curl up in.  Gerbils particularly like to shred their nesting material and any house needs to be strong and durable as gerbils enjoy gnawing and chewing too!   Never use wool or any other type of fabric for nesting material as the fibres can be ingested and become lodged in the gerbils gut. Wood shavings, wood-based litter or fine peat can be used as substrate (floor material) and this should be 6 inches (15 cm) deep so that your gerbils can burrow.  You can also insert plastic tunnels into the substrate to make ready-made burrows for your gerbils. Visit our  Gerbil Products section for a wide range of nest houses, bedding and substrates BackTo Top Playtime Tubes and tunnels are great for encouraging your gerbils natural burrowing behaviour and they happily play hide and seek or chase games in them. Gerbils also enjoy running in exercise wheels and wheels have been specially designed for gerbils that are solid with no gaps between the spokes so that they dont trap their tails. You can add ladders, ramps and climbing frames for your gerbil to play on and there are also sea-saws and mazes to keep your gerbil amused and happy. Chewing is a gerbils favourite pastime so provide lots of wooden toys, blocks and puzzle toys for your gerbil to gnaw on.  Gnawing will also help to keep your gerbils teeth trim. Visit our Gerbil Products section for a wide range of gerbil exercise wheels, boredom breakers and toys BackTo Top Cleaning Your gerbilarium should be cleaned with a pet-safe disinfectant and the substrate changed every two weeks.  Gerbils are very clean animals and tend to use one specific area of their home for their toilet which will need to be cleaned more frequently.  As gerbils come from arid desert areas, water is scarce and gerbils use as much water as their bodies can. This means that the amount that they excrete is comparatively less than many other similar sized animals. There are gerbil litter trays available which take advantage of your gerbil’s natural instinct to go to the toilet in one area. View our Gerbil Products section for a range of gerbil hygiene and cleaning products BackTo Top