Gerbils are small rodents that are commonly chosen to be a first pet for a young child. But, with pet ownership comes responsibility. Being responsible for a gerbil means knowing and understanding what plants are safe for the gerbil to eat, as well as what plants can be potentially hazardous to a gerbil’s health. Fortunately, this guide will help you determine what plants are and are not safe for your pet gerbil to nibble on.
What Plants are Poisonous to Pet Gerbils?
There are dozens upon dozens of house plants and edible plants that are kept in homes that also have pet gerbils. When allowing the gerbil out-of-cage time, be sure to move any and all of these plants out of the way, so that the gerbil will not be tempted to nibble on any of these plants.
House plants or plants that may be found outside and around the home that are not safe for gerbils include daffodils, oleander, buttercups, hydrangeas, poinsettia, ivy, nightshade, rhododendron, hemlock and yew.
Of course, there are also several different fruits and vegetables that are not safe for gerbils to consume either. This includes plants such as rhubarb, rhubarb leaves, tomato leave,s potatoes, kidney beans and onions.
So, What Plants are Safe for Pet Gerbils to Eat?
While there are plenty of poisonous plants, there are also several plants that are safe for gerbils to eat.
Plants that are safe for gerbil consumption include cauliflower, lettuce, carrots, broccoli and cucumber. Keep in mind that prior to feeding your gerbil any of these gerbil-safe plants, that it is important to thoroughly wash off any dirt, debris or potential herbicides, pesticides and so forth. Also, remove any leftovers that the gerbil does not eat, as these leftovers can rot and become moldy, which can post a health risk for the pet gerbil.
Lastly, gerbils do not need to be limited to just fruits and vegetables. In fact, some gerbils will also eat dandelion, chickweed and clover; all of which are safe for gerbil consumption.
Though these safe fruits, vegetables and other plants can be fed to a gerbil, it is important to feed your gerbil a well balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables and other plants should be used as once or twice a week treats, rather than as the staple foods of a gerbil’s diet. Also, be sure to change your pet gerbil’s water on a daily basis to ensure that he or she has plenty of fresh, clean water.
Pet Web Site: Gerbils
Pet Education: Poisonous Plants for Small Pets