Gerbils are easy to look after, gentle, hardy and seldom bite, unless handled roughly. They make a great pet for older children who have mastered proper handling techniques. Never hold a gerbil by its tail, as it may break off.
Gerbils are very sociable animals and may get lonely and unhappy if they are kept on their own. Since it can be dangerous to spay or neuter them because of their small size, select same sex gerbils and purchase them at the same time – introducing a new gerbil to one who has already become accustomed to their home will create problems. Females tend to be less aggressive than males.
Gerbils like lots of room to run around and play. A large, well-ventilated aquarium with a wire mesh cover that seals is better than a habitat with bars as their feet can get caught. They thrive at room temperature.
Use plenty of soft carefresh natural paper bedding for them to burrow and hide in. Get creative with cardboard tubes or other small hideouts. Completely clean their home once a week and replace with fresh paper bedding.
A good diet consists of commercially available pellet-based food (not just nuts and seeds) specifically formulated for gerbils along with daily fresh water.
Supplement with fresh vegetables such as leafy greens, spinach, lettuce or carrots (avoid high sugar fruit).