Diet & Nutrition

A gerbils diet consist mainly of Oats, Seeds, Nuts as well as Fruits and Vegetables.  They will also eat insects such as meal worms and crickets.  You will find several mixes in pet stores and online or you can make your own. One adult gerbil should eat one tablespoon per day.


Gerbils need a balance mix of proteins, fat and fiber.

For Non-Breeding Adults:
Protein: 12-14%
Fat: 6-8%
For Breeding Adults:
Protein: 15-18%
Fat: 7-9%

When selecting a commercial brand don’t just rely on the front label claiming this or that.  You really need to read the labels and ingredients to make sure that the mix doesn’t contain anything that can harm your gerbil.  (see safe foods lists)

Ingredients are listed as Highest to Lowest amounts in the mix.  The first five ingredients make up the most of the food for any pet food.  For gerbils this should be ingredients such as Oats, Seeds, Nuts, Vegetables, Fruits and Rodent Pellets.   Sunflower seeds are a gerbils favorite food, however being a large part of the diet is not ideal for them as they are known as fatty foods.  Make sure the mix you choose isn’t filled with sunflower seeds.  I like to pull the sunflower seeds out and give them as treats throughout the day so they still receive the balance diet.  This also makes it easier to tame and handle them.

With all food, stay away from foods that use Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) as a preservative, this is known to cause cancer.  Avoid any food that is high in salt or sugar (or any sugar product, including molasses or corn syrup).