In the wild a gerbil eats anything it can get its paws on. This means grasses and grains, mainly, although they also take a few insects as and when they find them. However, their diets are still very limited, by human standards. They need the right kinds of plants in order to stay healthy, and react badly to processed human foods, especially at the junk food end of the scale.
Before broadening a gerbil's diet beyond their standard dry mix, you need to know what you can and can't feed them.
Gerbils thrive on grains and grasses, with the occasional fresh fruit and veg treat too
Occasional small amounts of fruits and vegetables to supplement the dry mix are good idea. Although gerbils can eat a lot of different seeds and rusks, they have a rather limited palate when it comes to fruit and veg. Be cautious, as the wrong food can cause an upset stomach, or worse.
To help you, we’ve created a handy Gerbil Food List to give you a good idea of the common foods that are safe to feed to gerbils.
While fresh food makes your pets’ lives more interesting, owners should be aware that gerbils are susceptible to upset stomachs. Too much fresh food, even foods of the right type, can give them the runs.