Are Blueberries Safe For Gerbils [Can They Eat It?]

Can gerbils eat blueberries?

Yes, gerbils can eat blueberries in small quantities. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and dietary fiber, especially vitamins A and C. Moreover, the antioxidant of blueberry is remarkable.

Despite these, blueberries are high in water and sugar content which is not suitable for gerbils and can lead to several health issues.

Can gerbils eat blueberries

However, a bite or two occasionally won’t likely harm your gerbils. So, feel free to toss a few pieces of blueberries to your pet.

Read to know more.

Can Gerbils Eat Blueberries?

Gerbils can eat a blueberry that’s, too, with pleasure. In fact, gerbil loves the sweet taste of blueberries.

The only thing you need to be concerned about is the quantity. Gerbils love fruits and can eat a large a amount of fruits when they get the opportunity to.

Blueberries aren’t toxic for gerbils, but the nutrients aren’t that useful for them as well. They contain a high amount of water which is not suitable for gerbils and can cause digestive problems like diarrhea.

Moreover, the sugar content of blueberries can be another culprit. Gerbils do not need high sugar in their diet. Eating it so can lead to obesity and other health problems.

So, blueberries can be given to gerbils in small quantities.

Do Gerbils Like Blueberries?

Gerbil loves sweet treats like cakes, sweets, and definitely blueberries. But it shouldn’t be on their plate on a regular basis for obvious reasons. 

High-sugary fruits like bananas, grapes, and cherries can really upset their stomach, including blueberries.

Besides, these can create significant problems for their dental health as well. But this doesn’t mean your gerbils can’t have blueberries. They can but in limited quantities, like 1-2 pieces once a while.

So, next time you see your gerbils nibbling on blueberry, it’s because of the sweet pleasure and not anything else.

Health Benefits of Blueberries

Blueberries have no particular health benefits for gerbils except for some vitamins. Blueberries provide a range of nutrients like Vitamin A, C, and fiber, which is helpful for healthy heart function.

Besides, blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants that can help eliminate harmful toxins from the body.

Nutritional value – 100g (source)

  • Calories: 57
  • Protein: 0.74 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.49 g
  • Sugar: 9.96 g
  • Dietary fiber:  2.4 g
  • Fat: 0.33 g

So, feel free to offer some blueberries to your gerbils. Just be careful not to overdo it as it can upset their stomach due to its high fiber content. And ensure the freshness of blueberries; they tend to spoil very quickly, avoid that.

Why Gerbils Should Eat Blueberries (Reasons)

Why Gerbils Should Eat Blueberries

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t feed blueberries to gerbils. Blueberries aren’t toxic but can harm your pets. This is because gerbils are plant-based food eaters and don’t usually eat a lot of fruits like other animals; however, they can have a bite or two of fruits, but more than that cause serious health problems.

Here are some reasons:

The Sugar:

The sugar content of blueberries is comparatively high, with lower nutritional value than any other fruits, which is not suitable for gerbils. The reason is simple; gerbils eat a plant-based diet, primarily grass, seeds, and pellets.

They do not get much sugar naturally; thus, their digestive system cannot handle too much sugar, which can cause several health problems like diarrhea, weight gain, or diabetes.

Thus, you can offer your pet blueberries in limited quantities a few times a week.

Also, consider offering other fresh fruits and vegetables with crunch; it will help your pet with gnawing teeth.

Causes Diarrhea:

Blueberry is a water-dense fruit that can be problematic for your pet. Gerbils do not require a lot of water in their diet, so consuming something with high water content can lead to digestive issues like diarrhea.

It’s not lethal; it can be a painful experience for your gerbils. Moreover, it can be infectious for you as well.

If you notice your pet gets diarrhea after eating blueberries, you should immediately stop giving them.

Diarrhea usually goes away itself; however, if it doesn’t, you should consult with your vet. Also, avoid giving too much fruits to your pet. It can happen with any fruit if they overeat.

Highly Acidic:

Another reason is the acidic level of blueberries. The average pH level of blueberry is 3.6, which is way too high for pets, especially gerbils. They cannot handle this much acid. The hydrochloric acid found in the stomach is also less, 1.3 to 3.5, to be exact.

This means highly acidic food such as blueberries can cause digestive discomfort. However, a bite or two won’t likely harm your gerbils.

Besides, highly acidic foods can cause a burning sensation in the lining of your pet’s mouth, esophagus, and other internal organs, causing painful experiences.

Lastly, highly acidic fruits can also lead to stomach ulcers, a painful condition that needs medical attention. So, if you decide to feed blueberries or other acidic fruit, do it occasionally, like 2-3 times a month or less.

How Many Blueberries Can Gerbils Eat?

Gerbils can have about 10%-15% of their diet as a treat. They can have small bites of fresh fruits, including blueberries.

Roughly 3-5 pieces of blueberries, to be exact.

Blueberry doesn’t offer any nutritional benefits for gerbils, so there is no point in feeding it on a daily basis. In fact, blueberries can be harmful to your gerbils if they have too much of it. 

Gerbils are small rodents that need a mixed diet of seeds, nuts, and dried vegetables. They can also have eggs, boiled or scrambled, mealworms, lean meat, lentils, and chickpeas as an occasional treat.

Can Gerbils Eat Blueberries every day?

Technically, yes!

Gerbils can eat blueberries every day, but it’s not recommended. The reason is simple; blueberry isn’t something your gerbils should eat on a daily basis.

Blueberries are water-dense fruit that is not suitable for gerbils in large quantity. It can easily lead to digestive problems such as diarrhea. Gerbils do eat fruits and vegetables, but it should be limited. They can easily overeat sweet treats like blueberries.

So, you can feed blueberries to your gerbils 2-3 times a week in small quantities, not more than that, as it can lead to several health problems.

How To Properly Serve Blueberries to Gerbils

Preparing fruits for gerbils is not complicated; however, a few things should be kept in mind while feeding blueberries.

Gerbils are omnivores, and most of their diet should consist of high-quality grass and seed mixture or pellets. This should be a staple part of their diet, and fruits or vegetables should only offer as a treat occasionally.

For example, a teaspoon of blueberries 1-2 times a week should be fine.

Also, if you notice any adverse reaction after feeding blueberries, like diarrhea, immediately stop giving it and consult your vet. 

Tips to prepare:

  1. Always opt for fresh blueberries; they are the best for your pet. Also, avoid stored or dried ones.
  2. It shouldn’t be too soft, mushy, or stern.
  3. Cut them into the bite-able size and check for any black spots or worms. If there are any, it could be a sign of spoiled fruit which should be discarded immediately.
  4. The size shouldn’t be too small; keep it medium so your gerbil can chew them. It also prevents the chance of choking.
  5. Once they have finished eating berries, remove the leftover from their cage before it starts stinking.

Before feeding any fruits to gerbils, ensure their nutritional requirements are met. Blueberries are delicious but not nutritious enough to fulfill their needs. So, it’s essential to keep their health a primary priority.

Other Healthy Fruits for Your Gerbils

Ok, so by far you, we’ve established that gerbils can eat blueberries in small quantities, but what other fruits can they have?

Blueberries are good for occasional treats but are not the only option available. There are many more fruits that can be fed to gerbils.

However, not all fruits are safe for gerbils, so it’s important to know what is safe for your gerbils and what is not.

These are safe for gerbils:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Strawberries
  • Pears
  • Melons

Although these fruits are safe, they should be given only as a treat once a week. It’s important to keep their diet nutritious and balanced.

Fruits like blueberries are mostly water, so they should not be fed in large quantities. Instead, opt for vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, or celery. They are more nutritious, crunchy and help grind gerbil’s teeth as well.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, gerbils can eat blueberries in small quantities, but I don’t recommend it. The reason is simple; blueberries aren’t something gerbils usually eat. They do not offer any vital nutrients for your gerbils, and the risk of diarrhea and ulcer cannot be ignored.

However, if your gerbil had a bite or two, it won’t likely make them sick but feeding it purposely is not a good idea. Instead, you should opt for other healthy and delicious treat options such as hay, seeds, nuts, and dry fruits.

Thus, keep blueberries for yourself and feed your little bud something they enjoy and have no risk associated with it.

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