Gerbils are among the cutest little creatures that can be kept as pets. Your kids will surely love to take care of one of these small rodents. This article will give you some interesting details about gerbils, including their health.
A pet can be a nice addition to your life, bringing a lot of love and happiness. There are some pets, like cats or dogs, that make so awesome companions that they are seen as members of the family. Some pets are also great playmates for kids. Most people would like to have a larger pet around the house but, this isn’t something many people are ready to deal with. A big pet will also come with big responsibilities. And even if someone is ready to attend to a bigger pet’s needs, it doesn’t mean that they would have the necessary space for one.
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This is why, as a compromise, people will often go for a smaller creature that is a lot easier to keep as a pet. There are a few small rodents like hamsters, gerbils, or mice, that can be kept as pets inside your house, to avoid most of the obstacles you’d have to overcome when keeping a larger animal. What makes gerbils the best pets out of all these small creatures is their fun, loving, and gentle nature. So let’s go over a gerbil’s lifespan and some other interesting facts about the creature.
Gerbils have a pretty small life expectancy, a common trait of most rodents. They will usually live anywhere between 2 and 5 years. There are some cases in which gerbils are known to live past the age of 8 years, but these are very rare. They have a gestation period that will be around 24 days. By the age of 2 weeks or so, they can be weaned successfully. Their reproduction maturity will be obtained around the age of five weeks. A gerbil will get to the end of its life cycle around the age of 2 to 3 years. The habitat they are forced to live in along with the overall care they will get from their owners will have the biggest impact on their life span.
When gerbils are kept in groups, they tend to live considerably longer. A gerbil kept alone in a cage will not only live a shorter life but will also have a reclusive life. What’s weird about them, compared to other creatures, is the fact that they will have a happier life when they are placed in a cage with a same-gender mate. The life of a gerbil can be negatively impacted by some diseases like Tyzzer’s disease. You will usually notice when your gerbil isn’t feeling great, due to the fact that it will become inactive and show some signs of lackluster behavior. This should be enough of a reason to take it to a vet that specializes in small pets.
Gerbils are small creatures covered in fur, with a long tail that will usually have a tuft of hairs at its end. They have a size of around 4 inches and a tail of almost the same length. They can be found in a multitude of colors, but the most popular ones are gray, brown, and yellow. You can have specimens of all kinds of colors through selective breeding. They have agreeable personalities and are most of the time very social. It will be considerably easier to tame a pair of gerbils of the same gender instead of taming just one. You will also notice that gerbils that come from the same litters and are kept together will be very bonded. Once they reach adulthood, they will become very territorial, which means that you will have way better-behaved pets if you tame them from a younger age. You can create a nice habitat for your gerbils in either an aquarium or a cage specially designed for rodents.
They will like to explore their surroundings and are known to be more active during the day. They like to have humans around and be handled by their owners and will usually act really funny and make everyone laugh. You will only have to place food in their cage every 2 to 3 days and this will mostly be made of grains and seeds. They are also very low-maintenance, not making a lot of mess in their cage. They are usually pretty healthy creatures so you won’t have to prepare for huge vet expenses. They are either fun or mind their own business and will rarely become aggressive, usually out of fear.
Gerbils are amazing pets to keep and although their life span isn’t at all impressive, they make up for this with their funny behavior and loving nature. This is why you should consider a gerbil a great pet for your children.