Can gerbils eat apples?
Yes, gerbils can eat apples in moderation. They are a rich source of fiber, vitamin A and potassium, which can be highly beneficial for your pet.
Gerbils are omnivores and need a balanced diet of grass, grains and pellets; however, they do eat a wide range of fruits, but it shouldn’t be too often.
Apples are high in sugar and water, and gerbils can process sugar, but in small quantities, excessive sugar can lead to several health issues (will discuss further).
However, be careful with the seeds; they contain amygdalin which is toxic for pets.
Read to know more.
Do Gerbils Like Apples?
Gerbils usually eat a mixed diet consisting of grasses, seeds and commercial pellets. They do enjoy fruits as an occasional treat, including apples.
Apple has a sweet taste, and gerbil loves sweet treats.
Though not all gerbils are equal, they can have different preferences depending on their region. Some may like the taste, while a few might reject it.
But most of them would appreciate it.
So, it’s excellent if your gerbil enjoys having a bite or two. Apples can be a great occasional treat option for your pets.
However, be cautious with the seeds; they can be dangerous for your gerbils.
What Do Gerbils Eat?
Originally, gerbils are from East Asia; however, they can be found in the Middle East, Asia and China.
Gerbils are omnivore rodents!
This means gerbils can eat both plant and meat-based diets, including a variety of grasses, grains, seeds, insects, fruits and vegetables in small quantities.
However, they primarily eat a plant-based diet to lead a healthy life.
So, parents must mimic their pet’s wild habits by offering them food they eat in the wild.
According to RSPCA, domesticated gerbils should feed a balanced diet that includes a variety of grasses, gerbil mix and pellets.
They can also have fruits and vegetables as an occasional treat.
Also, fresh water should always be available in their cage.
Are Apples Good For Gerbils?
Yes, apples are highly nutritious, especially in vitamin A and fiber. These two are a must to have in your gerbil’s diet.
Gerbils should eat a balanced diet containing a blend of high-quality grasses, grains, seeds and commercial pellets. They’ll provide all the essential nutrients for a healthy and happy life.
However, it’s also important to include some fruits and vegetables in their diet, like apples; it has several benefits.
For example, an occasional treat of apples can provide a variety in their food. Also, chewing raw fruits or vegetables can be highly beneficial for their teeth.
A small apple contains: [Source USDA]
- Calories: 52
- Water: 86%
- Protein: 0.3 grams
- Carbs: 13.8 grams
- Sugar: 10.4 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
Thus, apples are beneficial as long they are offered in moderation. Keep in mind anything exceeding their limit can be harmful to your pet.
How Much Apple Can Gerbils Eat?
Gerbils can have 10%-15% of their total food intake as a treat which is equal to a teaspoon of apple per serving.
Undoubtedly, apples offer significant health benefits, but limiting the serving is important. Ideally, a small bite-size piece 2-3 times a week shouldn’t cause any problems.
Gerbils can have both fresh and dried apples, but fresh is preferable as they contain low sugar compared to dried or canned ones.
Also, as I mentioned several times, remove the seeds before serving them to your pet; the seeds contain amygdalin which turns into cyanide once metabolized.
Keeping everything in mind, feel free to offer a few pieces of apples to your gerbils. They will appreciate the treat and thank you with a wink if you are lucky enough.
How Often Can Gerbils Have Apples?
1-2 times a week should be fine.
Gerbils need a balanced diet that can deliver their nutritional need for a healthy life. However, they usually get most of it from their regular food.
They eat fruits and vegetables, but they should be limited to a few times a week because of their high sugar content. If you want to feed it daily, just reduce the serving size.
Apples contain a lot of sugar which can harm your gerbils if they eat enough of it, so be wise and alternative their treats.
Lastly, before you opt for treats like apples, ensure their nutritional requirement is fulfilled with their regular diet; otherwise, apple will fill their stomach, and their daily dietary requirement will be compromised.
How to Prepare Apple For Your Gerbils?
Preparing fruits for your gerbil is not rocket science; however, a few things should be kept in mind.
Before we start:
Apples are safe but avoid feeding them every day. They contain a high amount of sugar which can be harmful if they overeat. Thus, apples should be limited to around two to three times a week.
Tips to prepare apples:
- Start with choosing the right apple; it should be fresh, and ensure there is no black spot on the apple as it might be spoiled from the inside.
- Peel off the apple skin and cut it into two and check if the apple is fresh. Make sure there is no insect, bad smell or black spot.
- Slice the apple into bite-able size for your gerbils. Make sure you remove the seeds as they contain amygdalin which is toxic for pets.
- Serve them a few slices of banana, and once they eat it, you can offer about two slices more but don’t overdo it as it can easily fill up their stomach.
- Lastly, remove leftover apples from their cage if they have any before it spoils and starts smelling in their living environment.
Can Gerbils Eat Apple Juice?
You should never offer packaged apple juice to your gerbils. Your pet may go crazy to have them, but it’s no less than poison for your pets.
They are loaded with refined sugar, artificial flavorings, colors and preservatives that are highly dangerous for pets. However, if the juice is homemade without added sugar, your gerbils can have it like 1-2 teaspoons or so.
Can Gerbils Eat Dried Apples?
Gerbils can have dried apples in moderation.
Dried apples are another form of apple that is very popular for their unique taste and texture. It’s similar to dry fruit but not precisely a dry fruit.
They are less watery as most removed water is removed, but they are highly nutritious. The only downside is that it’s way more sugary than fresh apples, so if your gerbils enjoy having them, keep them as an occasional snack.
And if you are purchasing it from the store, check the backside label for the ingredients list and if any harmful ingredients or additives are found, immediately drop the idea of feeding it to your little pet.
What Human Foods Should Gerbils Avoid?
Certain human foods aren’t suitable for gerbils. Some of them can make your gerbil sick, but a few can also be fatal.
Gerbils have susceptible digestive systems in the first place.
So, when you’re offering them human foods, it has to be done in small quantities and from time to time as treats rather than incorporated into their everyday diet.
Foods, in particular, are toxic to gerbils and should be kept out of the way, so they have no access to them.
Here are some of the foods to avoid:
- Meat (chicken, turkey, beef etc.)
So, these are the human foods you need to avoid.
You might think gerbils are omnivores, so why is meat not allowed? This is because the meats we eat differ from what gerbils eat; they can have insects like mealworms but chicken or other fatty meat.
To sum up, the answer is yes; gerbils can eat apples in limited quantities. Gerbils are small omnivore rodents that usually eat a high-fiber diet for healthy digestive functionality.
Apples are highly nutritious, especially fiber, making them a perfect snack option for your gerbils.
The only thing you need to be careful with is toxic seeds, which can make your gerbil sick and even lead to life-threatening conditions.
Also, apples shouldn’t be a substitute for your gerbil’s diet.
They still need their high-fibrous grass, gerbil mix or pellets to fulfil their daily nutritional requirements.
Thus, you can feed apples to your gerbil occasionally, do not overdo it; otherwise, it can disturb their digestive system.
Have you ever fed apples to your gerbils? If yes, how was their reaction?
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