One of the most critical things when creating a home for your gerbil is the bedding. Some of the new gerbil owners do not realize the necessity of having a good gerbil that is not even toxic to the animal. However, you do not need to worry because we have got you covered. This article provides you with the best information on how to choose the best bedding for gerbil. The information is provided by expert veterinarians, rescue groups, breeders and gerbil expert owners.
How to Create a Gerbil Bed
One characteristic of a gerbil that you will realize even the first minute when you acquire one is that they are consummate diggers. Their love to dig is inexorable which means that you have to get bedding that can withstand such a character. The gerbil kept in today’s homes are descendants of the wild gerbil from Mongolia. The wild ones dig up to 8 meters into the ground providing a home for breeding, hibernating, resting, nesting and living for the rest of the family. Whether in the captivity or in the wild, digging and tunnelling is one of gerbil’s activity. The bedding that you choose has a high impact on the lifestyle and health of your gerbil. The quality and quantity of the bedding determine if your gerbil will feel enriched, nurtured, secure and safe.
Choosing the right type of bedding matters a lot to ensure that the tunnel created by the gerbil does not collapse. Moreover, a 2 to 3 inches layer of bedding is considered to be okay for a gerbil. However, it is also okay if you are able to provide thicker bedding that can get up to a third of the cage.
Gerbil Bedding Options
Providing your gerbil with multiple options for resting and hiding is recommended. At least three options are good, to begin with. What you need is comestible gerbil-safe hay in plenty a hide box, and a thick layer of beddings. For those who are new to the rearing of gerbils, they always find the hide box having been chewed. Hence, it is very necessary to research on the best material of a hide box that you provide to your gerbil. When it comes to edible hides, you should be very careful because most of them are made from pine which is very toxic.
Aspen Wood Beddings
This is one of the best gerbil bedding options. However, you should make sure that the aspen wood has not been treated with chemicals that may be toxic and dangerous to your gerbil’s health. Some of the farmers report that their gerbils become allergic to aspen wood. When this happens, you are required to switch to a different form of bedding. However, creating a tunnel through aspen shavings is not easy. Therefore, makes sure that you create readymade tunnels for your pet using a paper. You can either go for Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding, Kaytee Aspen Bedding or Living World Aspen Shavings
The most famous commercial gerbil bedding is Carefresh. It is highly recommended by many expert gerbil owners, breeders and rescue organizations. It is easy for the gerbil to make tunnels in it because it holds its shape very well. It also absorbs odour and moisture easily. However, it is more expensive but you can make it last longer by acquiring more economical bedding and mixing them together.
Corn Cob Gerbil Bedding
This is very absorbent bedding that easily absorbs odour and wastes. However, this form of bedding is prone to mildewing or mould which means that it needs frequent changing. Moreover, it does not keep its shape very well hence making it hard for gerbils to make tunnels. However, you can create more quality bedding by mixing the corn cob bedding with other beddings like shredded tissue papers or other types of papers.
Sand Gerbil Bedding
Can make good bedding but it should not be the sole bedding provided. However, it is a good option for bathing since it helps keep the gerbil’s fur clean and shiny by removing excess debris and oil. However, it should not be left for too long because your gerbil may start using it as a toilet.
Gerbils are very entertaining but aggressive pets. Having them around requires you to have quality bedding. Since they love digging and tunnelling, you should go for bedding that retains its shape hence allowing them to create tunnels. You can choose to use corn cob bedding commercial gerbil bedding or aspen wood shavings. Moreover, you can choose to use sand gerbil bedding for gerbil bathing.