Can Gerbils Eat Bread? [Risks/Benefits]

Can Gerbils Eat Bread

Gerbil can eat bread in moderation, but it’s not recommended. The reason is simple; bread is made for humans and not for pets.

Bread is made with flour, so it’s a rich source of carbohydrates.

What’s more…?

They contain a ton of sugar and salt which is not good for gerbils.

However, not all breads are equal.

For example, whole grain bread or granary bread is comparatively less harmful than other bread and provides several health benefits as well.

Read to know more.

Can Gerbils Eat Bread?

Gerbils can eat bread, but it’s not recommended

The reason is simple; bread is human food and not for gerbils.

Bread contains refined wheat, oil, sugar and salt; all of these are not suitable for your gerbils.

Bread is a rich carbohydrate source that is entirely opposite to what your gerbil needs.

Plus, it doesn’t provide any nutritional benefit to your gerbils.

They need low-carb and fiber-rich food such as grass, seeds and veggies.

Bread isn’t toxic but can harm your gerbil if they overeat. For example, excess feeding on bread can lead to upset stomach, obesity and diabetes.

However, not all bread is the same; some bread, like brown bread or granary, is less harmful than white bread.

Thus, you can feed bread to your gerbils in moderation.

What Should Gerbils Eat?

Gerbils are herbivores rodents. 

They can eat a plant and meat-based diet. However, primarily, they eat a mixture of grasses, seeds, bulbs, nuts, vegetables and fruits in small quantities.

According to RSPCA, gerbils should eat a mixture of grasses, seeds, fruits and vegetables in small quantities.

Gerbil needs a high-quality, balanced diet that contains all nutrients that a gerbil needs.

What Should Gerbils Eat

On top of that, domesticated gerbils should be fed gerbil mix or pellets.

Also, fresh water should always be available in their cage.

Bread is human food, not a regular part of your gerbil’s diet. It doesn’t provide any essential nutrients to your gerbils, so it doesn’t matter if they eat it or not.

However, a bite of bread won’t likely make your gerbil sick; continuously feeding it can lead to dangerous consequences.

Considerable Risk of Feeding Bread

Gerbils can eat bread in moderation, but it’s not completely safe. 

Bread is made with flour, water and fermented with yeast. They are high in carbs and don’t contain any valuable nutrients for your gerbils.

Firstly, bread is not something a gerbil should eat; however, if they eat some of it, they will be fine, but more than that can cause serious digestive problems.

While bread, especially, is just empty calories, feeding it will not provide any health benefit; instead, it can lead to obesity.

Also, sometimes bread contains gluten, and there are chances that your gerbil may be allergic to it.

Moreover, not all breads are the same.

Some of them, like onion, and garlic, are more dangerous

They are poisonous and should never be allowed to your gerbils. It can seriously harm your pet and can put them in life-threatening conditions.

So, if you want to feed bread to your gerbils, opt for whole wheat or brown bread; they are comparatively less harmful than others.

Not All Breads Are Equal!

Gerbils can have bread, but not all are the same. For example, flavored bread like onion bread, garlic bread and tomato bread is delicious for us but not safe for pets.

As you know, garlic and onion are the two veggies your gerbil should never eat. The reason is simple; they contain a substance that is toxic to them.

These ingredients can be poisonous even in small quantities.

So, you should never allow your gerbils to have any of these ingredients.

However, not all breads are equal.

Some breads are comparatively less harmful. Plain white bread, whole wheat bread, and granary are the ones you can serve to your gerbils.

Keep in mind; do not add spreading, sauces or toppings if you prepare bread for your gerbils, not even butter.

You should strictly avoid these breads to keep your gerbils safe and avoid unnecessary headaches.

Can Baby Gerbils Eat Bread?

No, baby gerbils should never eat bread.

Baby gerbils are relatively more sensitive than adult ones, so the side effect of bread would be drastic for them.

Feeding bread to your baby gerbil can cause several digestive issues, such as throwing and diarrhea.

Also, it can leave them malnourished as bread does not provide sufficient nutrients for gerbils.

Newborn gerbils, till the age of 6 weeks, should only consume their mother’s milk; however, if their mother is unable to nourish them for some reason, you can opt for specially formed baby gerbil milk with the advice of your vet.

After 6-8 weeks, their mother will stop nourishing them with the milk, and they will be ready to gnaw on solid food.

You can start feeding solid food such as gerbil mix, seeds, vegetables and fruits in small quantities during this time.

How Much Bread Can Gerbils Eat?

Well, it depends!

The amount of bread your gerbil can eat depends on various factors. For example, your gerbil’s age, size and gender.

However, a thump rule is a gerbil shouldn’t eat treats more than 10%-15% of their total diet.

So, it’s roughly half piece of bread!

Bread doesn’t provide any essential nutrients except carbohydrates.

Gerbils cannot live off of this diet. They need a high-quality, balanced diet that includes grasses, seeds, vegetables and fruits in small quantities.

You should never feed your gerbil more than a half cup of bread; that’s too occasionally. Make sure you do not overdo anything else it will harm your pet.

How Often Can Gerbils Eat Broccoli?

1-2 times a week shouldn’t cause any issues.

Gerbil usually eats a mixed diet of grasses, seeds, nuts and commercial pellets or gerbil mix on a daily basis, along with fruits and vegetables as an occasional treat.

But bread is made for humans, and it’s not suitable for gerbils.

It doesn’t provide any nutritional benefit for your pet.

However, a bite or two won’t probably harm your gerbil but not more than that.

Keep the portion small and limit it to once a week.

Also, be aware of moldy dry breads; they can be dangerous for your gerbil. Avoid feeding old or any bread that has been bought for more than 24 hours.

What Human Food Can Gerbils Not Eat?

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:

  • Crisps 
  • Cakes 
  • Biscuits 
  • Grapes
  • Rhubarb
  • Chocolate
  • Sweets 
  • Meat (chicken, turkey, beef etc.)

So, these are the human foods that you need to stay away from.

You might think gerbils are omnivores, so why is meat not allowed? This is because the meats we eat are different from what gerbils eat; they can have insects like mealworms but chicken or any other fatty meat.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, gerbils can eat bread, but it’s probably not the best choice for them. The reason is simple; bread is made for humans and not for pets.

However, a bite or two occasionally won’t probably hurt your gerbil.

But they do not offer any significant health benefits.

Bread is a rich source of carbohydrates which is not suitable for gerbils. In fact, eating it can lead to several health problems like diarrhea and obesity.

Plus, bread can quickly fill up their stomach, and your pet may miss out on essential nutrients they need for a healthy life, leaving them malnourished.

This can affect their overall health and even can shorten their lifespan.

It’s better to feed them something nutritious like gerbil mix, pellets or fruits and vegetables rather than bread.

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