Pets in the Classroom would like to introduce you and your students to the “Gregarious Gerbil.”
Gerbils are adorable small rodents who seldom bite and are active during the day, unlike some other small mammals. Gerbils are energetic, social creatures, and can be kept in pairs. Please be sure that you have two gerbils of the same sex though, so that they do not breed! If gerbils are introduced to each other at a young age (like two littermates of the same sex) they are usually very compatible.
Gerbils can thrive in a 10-gallon aquarium with a secure wire-mesh cover. They require plenty of bedding such as timothy, corncob or aspen. They create fewer odors than some other small mammals, and their cage will need cleaning about once a week. They love to tunnel and dig, which can be fun for students to experience. Check with your pet supply retailer for exercise wheels, toys and bedding recommended for gerbils. Commercial gerbil foods are nutritionally sound diets for gerbils, and can be supplemented with a small amount of fresh vegetables every day. Gerbils need fresh water every day, and their water bottle should be cleaned daily.
Gerbils can be trained with treats, and can enjoy gentle handling and interaction in a secure spot. They are lively and entertaining, and fairly easy to maintain. Gerbils generally live for four to five years.
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