It might sound unbelievable, but gerbils make extraordinary pets. These tiny creatures are affectionate, highly social, and quite intelligent. So, it is common to find pet parents fawning and fretting over their pet gerbils much the same way other animal owners do over their kittens and puppies.
Most gerbil owners offer their pets commercial gerbil pellet mixes that contain all of the nutrients essential for their pet’s well-being. These commercial pellet mixes are formulated to ensure that your gerbil gets their fill of daily nutrients.
However, many pet parents of gerbils argue that this isn’t enough variety and would rather feed their pets something fresh and flavorful. Homemade salads are the best way to feed your gerbils and ensure they have a long and happy life.
So, can gerbils eat strawberries? Gerbils can most certainly eat strawberries. Not only are they non-toxic and tasty for your pet, but they also offer a whole host of nutritional benefits. However, strawberries should only be served to your gerbil as an occasional snack.
Stick with us as we discuss the safest way to feed strawberries to your gerbil and more.
Can Gerbils Eat Strawberries?
If you take a look at the natural diet of gerbils, you’ll discover that they are omnivores. Gerbils are opportunistic eaters that will eat pretty much anything that they can find.
Mostly, gerbils in the wild eat grass seeds, berries, nuts, and hay such as alfalfa. Occasionally, they may munch on insects to get in some protein. However, in the natural habitat of gerbils, there are seldom strawberries to be found.
Strawberries are mostly made up of water, so these amazing-looking and delicious fruits aren’t toxic for gerbils. But, you must realize that you are dealing with a pint-sized pet that has a delicate stomach. Even a little can mean a lot for your little furball. Your pet can wind up with an upset tummy if fed too many strawberries.
What Are The Benefits For Your Gerbil Eating Strawberries?
Before you read about how much and how often you can feed your gerbil strawberries, let’s take a look at the nutritional value of strawberries.
Nutritional Value Per 100 grams:
- Calories – 33
- Carbohydrates – 7.68 g
- Sugars – 4.89 g
- Dietary Fiber – 2 g
- Fat – 0.3 g
- Protein – 0.67 g
- Thiamine (B1) – 0.024 mg
- Riboflavin (B2) – 0.022 mg
- Niacin (B3) – 0.386 mg
- Pantothenic acid (B5) – 0.125 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.047 mg
- Folate (B9) – 24 µg
- Choline – 5.7 mg
- Vitamin E – 58.8 mg
- Vitamin K – 0.29 mg
- Vitamin C – 2.2 µg
- Calcium – 16 mg
- Iron – 0.41 mg
- Magnesium – 3 mg
- Manganese – 0.386 mg
- Phosphorus – 24 mg
- Potassium – 153 mg
- Sodium – 1 mg
- Zinc – 0. 14 mg
As you can see, strawberries are high in essential vitamins. Strawberries are loaded with calcium, potassium, and other minerals. Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are vital for bone development and health. Other minerals are necessary to keep your gerbil’s brain in proper functioning order, as gerbils can suffer from seizures that can worsen enough to cause death.
Moreover, strawberries are rich in vitamins too. They are full of antioxidants that will go a long way in keeping your pet healthy. Specific vitamins help with your pet’s coat, nails, and teeth growth.
Most small omnivores such as gerbils produce their own vitamin C. However, if your pet has been ill lately, then feeding strawberries will provide your gerbil’s immune system a boost.
Additionally, antioxidants such as flavonoids and thiamine are well-known to fight off terminal diseases such as cancer as well as defend against age-related diseases such as diabetes, blindness, memory loss, and deterioration of the brain cells by oxidative stress.
So, all in all, strawberries won’t just do good for your little furball’s taste buds, but they will also help your pet live a happier and healthier life. With that said, it would be best if you still were careful with how many strawberries you feed your gerbil.
How Many Strawberries Can You Feed Your Gerbil?
Now, you know that gerbils are omnivores. But, it is equally essential for you to know that gerbils come from dry, arid regions. They have evolved over centuries to survive for long periods with little water. Yes, they need a meager amount of water to survive. But, that doesn’t for a moment mean that gerbils can live without water altogether.
But, if you take a good look at a strawberry’s nutritional content, you will find that strawberries consist mainly of water. Now, a tiny bit of strawberry will do good for your small pet. But, give too many strawberries to gerbils, and they end up with all kinds of stomach and gastrointestinal issues.
Your gerbil will practice no restraint and eat a whole bunch of strawberries if that is what you offer to it. This means they will wind up with bloating, gas, indigestion, acidity, and other gastrointestinal problems with the consumption of too many strawberries.
Your pet’s body isn’t made to handle too much of anything, not even water in excess quantities. And strawberries have a pretty high sugar content too. The combination of a high water and sugar content can prove dangerous for your furball if you do not take care to be informed about your pet’s dietary requirements.
So, it falls on you to control your pet’s diet. Ensure that you offer your gerbil strawberries, not as a meal or even part of a daily diet. No, strawberries should be given to gerbils as a weekly treat and in minimal amounts. No more than a quarter of a strawberry more than twice in a week.
How Should You Feed Strawberries To Your Gerbil?
The first thing you must keep in mind when it comes to feeding your pet is that you should consider going for organically-grown strawberries. Most store-bought fruits are GMOs that have traces of chemicals as well as pesticides. But, you need fresh, sweet, and natural strawberries for your pet if you want there to be any health benefits for your little friend.
Also, when you do get strawberries home for feeding your pet, you should rinse the fruit at least 2-3 times. Using cold water to wash the strawberries will help get rid of any grime or filth. You must dice the strawberries into very small pieces so that your pet is saved from any choking hazards.
Can Gerbils Eat Strawberry Leaves, Stems, or Seeds?
Fortunately, no part of the strawberry is toxic for your gerbil. You can present strawberries, leaves, and stems to your pet. But, in most cases, gerbils have been found to have a vicious sweet tooth. So, your adorable rodent is not likely to munch on some bitter green leaves when they have a strawberry to choose instead.
Also, strawberries are covered with tiny seeds that are completely safe and impossible to remove. So, you will find humans and gerbils alike eating strawberries with their seeds.
Can Gerbils Eat Frozen, Preserved, Or Dehydrated Strawberries?
The ideal way to feed strawberries to your pet is to go with fresh strawberries. Frozen strawberries contain more water than fresh strawberries. You already are aware that feeding too many strawberries will give rise to tummy troubles for your tiny pet due to the high water content.
Not to mention, gerbils seem to enjoy the crunch that fresh strawberries offer, which is completely missing in frozen strawberries. You have to thaw or wait for the frozen strawberries to melt before feeding your pet, and by that time, frozen strawberries are swimming in their juice.
When it comes to preserved and dehydrated strawberries, you have to understand that preserved strawberries have preservatives and additives that can be harmful to your pet. And dehydrated strawberries are even higher in sugar content than fresh strawberries.
So, if you have your pet’s well-being and health in mind, then stick to fresh strawberries. But, you must know that frozen or dehydrated strawberries aren’t harmful to your pet if given in very minimal quantities.
Gerbils are adorable pets that will make your life more meaningful. But, you have to understand that your tiny pet needs your attention and love. When it comes to your pet’s diet, you will do them a favor by adding new flavors to their palate.
It may be true that strawberries don’t grow in a gerbil’s natural habitat, but because strawberries aren’t toxic for gerbils and have many health benefits to offer to any animal, you can add this tasty treat to your pet’s meal plan without any fear.
But, it does pay to be a bit cautious about trying new food sources with your pet. So, if you do want to try out strawberries with your gerbil, you can do so without hesitation. But don’t forget to practice control with the amount and frequency of strawberries you provide your gerbil.
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