What Can Gerbils Eat?

There are so many questions gerbil owners have about gerbil eating. Can gerbils eat strawberries? Can gerbils eat watermelon? Can gerbils eat spinach? Can gerbils eat apples? Can gerbils eat grapes? Can gerbils eat walnuts? Can gerbils eat cheese? Can gerbils eat broccoli? Can gerbils eat blueberries? Can gerbils eat bananas? Can gerbils eat tomatoes? What fruit can gerbils eat? Can gerbils eat carrots? Can gerbils eat celery? Can gerbils eat cucumber? Can gerbils eat lettuce? You will find your answers and more below.

5 Main Constituents of Your Gerbils Food

  • Commercially bought food
  • Homemade food
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Treats
  • Clean Fresh water

Before Diving Into These Categories In Detail It Is Important To Note This:

You can feed your gerbils in three ways:

  • In a food dish/bowl,
  • scattering your gerbils’ food or
  • hide food so that your gerbils forage.

It is recommended to have all these; have a food dish and also scatter and hide gerbil food. Place the food dish/bowl on a platform NOT on the bedding to prevent burying of gerbil food or gerbil pellets.

Gerbils require proteins and fats.
  • Too much protein can be harmful and may lead to skin lesions, kidney stones and liver damage. Low protein can cause slow growth in young gerbils.
  • Too much fat can lead to obesity, stroke, sterility in females and also heart disease.

How Much of Each Is Just Right?
The Best Gerbil Food Contains:

Gerbil Age Fat Protein Fiber
0-6 months (young gerbil) 8-9% 15-18% 10-15%
6-24 months (young adult gerbil) 6-7% 12-15% 8-10%
2-6 years (Adult gerbil) 3-5% 10-12% 8-10%

Let Us Now Look At The Categories:
What Do Gerbils Eat?

1. Commercially Bought Food  | Gerbil Pellets | Gerbil Commercial Food

Based on the requirements mentioned above, you want commercial food that has the following properties:

  • Food that has the required levels of fat and protein
  • A fresh bag that has not been lying on the shelf for long
  • Calcium should be present; if not, give dry dog biscuit
  • Generally, food that is the opposite of the above foods to avoid

Commercial food to avoid

  • Food that has many crackers, biscuits or wafers
  • Gerbil Food that does not contain the required levels of fat and protein
  • Food that has too much millet. Some proportional millet is okay
  • Gerbil Food that has chemical preservatives and dyes (calcium propionate, yellow 5, yellow 6, sulphur dioxide, titanium dioxide, red 40, blue 1 and blue 3)
  • Food that contains too many sunflower seeds or corn
  • Feeding rodent pellets or blocks alone without mixing with any other food may not be that good for your gerbils, they will become skinny.

Based on the above aspects here are Recommended Commercial Foods:

Gerri Gerbil

  • Protein 17.0%
  • Crude fibre 4.0%
  • Fat content 8.0%
Where Do You Get This?

US#1: Supreme Gerri Gerbil Food 850gm

UK#2. Supreme Gerri Gerbil Food 850gm

Oxbow Essentials Healthy Handfuls Hamster & Gerbil Food
Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health Hamster Food

Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health Hamster Food

Kaytee Fiesta Hamster and Gerbil Food

Kaytee Fiesta Hamster and Gerbil Food

National Geographic™ Daily Diet Hamster & Gerbil Food

2. Gerbil Homemade Food

There is usually some concern about most gerbil pellets or commercial gerbil food not meeting the nutritional requirements, hence the reason why some gerbil owners prefer to make their own gerbil food.

Homemade food preparation requires you to be well informed as you will need to make the right proportion calculations.

It requires that you know the right ingredients and where to get each. If you have no clue on this, just go with commercial food or try to understand the calculator below and the video on the right.

Calculator and Instructions
Watch how Fins & Whiskers makes her own gerbil food

homemade gerbil food

3. Fruits and Vegetables

  • Give 1 or 2 times a week.
  • Slice to the size of a single bite.

If your gerbil does not finish the fruits or vegetables maybe in an hour, remove them from the cage to avoid being stale.

What FRUITS are GOOD for your gerbils?

Apples (without seeds), banana, honey dew, peach, watermelon (red part only), strawberry, plum, papaya, blueberry, kiwi, grapes, mango, pear, raspberry and apricot among others.

What FRUITS are BAD for your gerbils?

Grapefruit (this is different from grapes), oranges (they are acidic and can cause diarrhea), watermelon rinds, apple seeds, citrus peels, avocado among others.

What Vegetables are GOOD for your gerbils?

Carrot, green bell pepper, peas, sweet potato, squash, fennel, cooked potato, green beans, corn, cucumber, parsley, sage, red bell pepper among others.

What Vegetables are BAD for your gerbils?

Raw potatoes, iceberg lettuce, tomato leaves, any type of onions, shallots, hemlock, ivy, yew, nightshade, yucca, clematis, poinsettia, oleander, rhubarb, cabbage, laurel, kidney beans, garlic, chives, leeks, dandelion, daffodil, clover, buttercups, hydrangea, laburnum and coltsfoot, soy beans among others.

Do Not also give:

Any dairy products, chocolate, uncooked eggs, uncooked rice and toffee.

4. Gerbil Treats

Examples of gerbil treats you can give include:

  • Sun flower seeds or pumpkin seeds or dog biscuit (dog treats- see recommendations below)
  • Nuts (unroasted or unsalted)-cashews, chestnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, beechnuts, pecans, peanuts, hazel nuts, walnuts, pistachios and acorns among others.
  • Some dried fruits that are not treated with syrup or sugar
  • Mealworms
  • Crickets
Watch the gerbil treats Fins & Whiskers feeds her gerbils

gerbil treats

Recommended examples of dog treats include:

5. Fresh water


Should be available throughout!! In a water bottle. You should make sure the water bottle is not leaking or is not blocked daily. Suitable water bottles recommended by most Gerbil owners, which have the least or no issues at all are:

Living World Eco + Water Bottle
Where Do You Get This?

US #1. Living World Eco + Water Bottle, 6-Ounce

UK: Living World Eco Plus Water Bottle, 177 ml

CANADA Living World Eco Plus Water Bottle, 12-Ounce

There is an important read about pet water bottles here that can be very beneficial, especially if you are encountering some problems.

What Is The Correct Daily Feeding Schedule For Your Gerbil?

There is no correct way to feed your gerbils. You will learn what works for them as you watch them. However, you can start by feeding them once a day, either in the morning or the evening and you can regulate the feeding as you see fit.

1 tablespoon per gerbil in a food bowl. Scatter a pinch of their mix and hide some pellets where you see fit. You can also follow the feeding instructions at the back of your commercial food bag.

Do not refill the food bowl until it is empty as gerbils are picky feeders. They will choose their favorite and leave their least favorite. Also, check the cage well before feeding again for hidden food.

Examples of Good Food Bowls

4. Kaytee Paw-Print PetWare Bowl, Colors Vary

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  1. Gerbil newbie says:

    I’m confused… some say dandelions are ok (even Fins & Whiskers) but say not, some say roses or rose leaves are ok, some say not. How to get accurate info?


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