This page covers the basics of buying a gerbil from a pet store. For more details, check out the Should I Get Gerbils section of this Guide.
Buying a healthy gerbil is easy – as long as you know what to look out for and what to avoid.
What’s in store? Healthy gerbils, hopefully!
Check the Gender of your Gerbils
Before you bring your gerbils home, you need to be sure of their gender. If you accidentally bring home one that is the wrong gender then before you know it you will be the not-so-proud owner of a litter of gerbil babies – a litter that is usually in double figures!
Check the Quality of the Enclosure
Are the pet store gerbils being kept in good conditions? Do they have a private place to sleep and to run to if they get scared? Do they have access to food and water? Are there too many of them in the enclosure?
If the gerbils aren’t being kept properly, then the seller isn’t an ethical one, and any pets you purchase may be stressed or more likely than usual to carry diseases.
You should check that the gerbils, and their cage companions, are well. For example, do they have nice, thick, clean fur? Are they walking well? Do they have healthy, bright eyes free of crust and discharge? Are they active and inquisitive?
Avoid buying online
If you’re thinking of buying online, we highly recommend seeing the pets before you buy them (and NEVER allow them to be shipped to you). Online shops can sometimes mislead customers, and may actually be unethical gerbil farms.
If you can’t see the condition of the gerbils’ mother, and you can’t see how the babies have been kept, then you could be giving money to an unethical breeder.