If you’ve recently brought a gerbil into your home, you’ll have to be careful with what you feed them since they aren’t one of those animals who can eat and digest everything. Gerbils are pretty sensitive when it comes to digesting food, which is why you should know not every food is for them.
Your gerbil requires constant care and attention, especially regarding their diet. As a gerbil parent, you’ll have to monitor their portions because they can’t digest too much easily. If you end up feeding them a lot, they’ll probably get their tummies upset.
Speaking of different foods begs the question, can a gerbil eat hamster treats? Let’s jump right into it.
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Can Your Gerbil Eat Hamster Treats?
Yes, your gerbil can certainly eat hamster treats. Hamsters belong to the rodent family, and so do gerbils. They might have different characteristics, but they have the same digestive system. Gerbils and hamsters have the same diet as they can only digest particular foods.
The main difference between a hamster and a gerbil is that the former is a little bigger than the latter. A hamster is fluffier than a gerbil as it’s about two inches bigger than a gerbil. Gerbils are four inches in size, while hamsters are six inches. So, the only distinguishing trait between them is their size.
However, both gerbils and hamsters are the same regarding food and nutrition. If you have a hamster and a gerbil, you can feed them pretty much the same foods – fresh fruits and vegetables, organic wheat treats, and even a little bit of chicken.
As long as you feed them in small portions, both of your rodents will be fine. But you certainly do not have to worry about feeding your gerbil hamster treats.
Recommended: Can Gerbils and Hamsters Have Babies?
Is gerbil and hamster food the same?
The quick answer is “no” and the long answer? Well, it starts to get complicated. Most pet food labels list basic ingredients such as cornmeal and ground whole wheat flour, but then go on to list multiple types of protein and fat supplements. These include things like: meat and bone meal, poultry by-product meal, animal digest, fishmeal, and soybean meal.
For both hamsters and gerbils, the protein levels should be around 14-16% and fat levels about 6-8%. If you can find food with these percentages listed on the back of the bag or package, it will suffice for either type of pet.
This information is normally available on the label of the food package because it is required that percentages be listed for all ingredients. If you do not see them listed together on one label, look for an explanation on the back saying something like “contains 14% protein and 8% fat.”
One thing many people don’t realize about pet foods is that they are often made from the same ingredients. This is why it’s important to read labels when feeding your pets. By following this rule, you can use a food that is labeled for either hamsters or gerbils and not have to worry about mixing foods together for your pet.
What Treats Can You Give Your Gerbil?
Firstly, avoid giving your gerbils too much sugar. Excessive sugar won’t be good for your gerbil’s health as they might become obese if given sugar regularly. Therefore, gerbils shouldn’t be given foods or treat with high sugar content. You can give them something sweet every once in a while, but try not to make it a habit.
If you want to give your gerbil some treats, feed them fruits. Fruits make for the best treats and are also digested easily by gerbils. Yes, fruits contain sugar too, but one, it’s natural sugar, and two, not every fruit is enriched with sugar. If you’re worried about the sugar content, give them fruits without sugar.
Fruits like avocado, watermelons, and strawberries don’t contain as much sugar and will make great gerbils treats as they love eating them. Just make sure you don’t give them too much. We can’t emphasize enough that gerbils have fragile digestive systems, which is why their food portions need to be controlled.
Other treats you can give your gerbil include wheat crackers. They have a moderate amount of wheat present and are highly organic. Foods without preservatives are good for your gerbil’s health.
Hamster treats are a great way to show your gerbil you care, but don’t forget about their diet! Feed them fruits and seeds as well for a balanced diet. Thanks for reading, we hope this gave you some insight into what gerbils like to eat.