Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon? [Risks/Benefits]

There is no harm in feeding a few pieces of watermelon to your gerbils. However, it’s not good for them due to its high water and sugar content. Overeating sugar can harm gerbils and cause digestive issues such as gas, diarrhea, and loose stool.

Also, sugar can lead to severe health problems like diabetes or obesity.

Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon

Despite this, watermelon has some exceptional health benefits as well. So, it’s ok to offer a small bite of this sweet fruit to your gerbils as an occasional treat but not more.

Read to know more.

What Do Gerbils Typically Eat?

  • High-quality gerbil mixseeds, and pellets should be a staple part of their diet.
  • Gerbils can have 10% of their total diet as fruits or vegetables; they have a high nutritional value which helps them balance their diet.
  • While gerbils do not drink a high amount of water, they should have access to fresh water 24/7 in their cage, preferably by a pet bottle.
  • You can also sparingly give mealworms, crickets, and other insects a few times a week. They are a good source of protein.

Keep in mind that gerbils live in deserted areas and eat what is available around them. Usually, it’s a low-water-based food; they might have never seen a watermelon in their entire life. 

Are Gerbils Allowed Watermelon?

Yes, gerbils can eat watermelon in moderation.

Watermelon contains a high water level which is not suitable for gerbils; however, feeding a small amount of watermelon is fine.

In the wild, gerbils eat various fruits or vegetables, but most are low in the water due to their dry environments. Because of this, their body has adapted to live on a low-water diet. Too much water and quickly mess up with diet leading to diarrhea and loose stool. Frequent diarrhea will lead to dangerous dehydration.

A healthy gerbil diet should consist of a high-quality gerbil mix and pellets, and only a tiny portion should go to fruits or vegetables. It’s good to include some fruits or vegetables in their diet, but they should only be given occasionally.

Therefore, you can feed watermelon to your gerbils in moderation. However, be aware of the food habit of your gerbils. Try to avoid feeding things that don’t align with their natural diet.

Do Gerbils Like Watermelon?

It depends!

Usually, they enjoy having a sweet treat. And watermelon is famous for its incredibly sweet and delicious taste, which is why gerbils love them. However, not all gerbils are the same; while some enjoy the sweet flavor of watermelon, others might dislike it. So, it depends on individual preferences.

Too much sugar is not safe for gerbils; it can lead to severe health problems like obesity or diabetes and heart issues. The most common side effect of watermelon would be diarrhea, as they are high on the waterside.

Therefore, avoiding watermelon is best, and opt for other healthy and safe choices like pears, apples, and bananas. Remember that fruits or vegetables should only be fed partially to avoid health complications.

Is Watermelon Healthy For Gerbils?

Just like any fruit, watermelon has several health benefits. This excellent fruit is sweet and loaded with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, fiber, potassium, and carbohydrates.

The best thing is that watermelon is about 92% water, which helps keep your pet hydrated in the summer; however, too much water is not good for gerbils.

Remember, any sudden change in a gerbil’s diet can cause digestive issues, so I highly recommend you consult your vet.

According to USDA, 100g watermelon provides:

  • Calories: 30
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Carbs: 7.6 grams
  • Sugar: 6.2 grams
  • Fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Potassium: 112 mg
  • Vitamin C: 13%

Other potential health benefit includes:

Though gerbils can make their own vitamin C, some addition is not bad either. It can assist with their digestive problems and promotes healthy skin. Also, the antioxidant is effective in boosting the immunity of gerbils.

The fiber content in watermelon is decent, but it helps in various digestive functions such as constipation, aids in gut motility, bowel movement, and so on. 

Potassium is beneficial for maintaining the healthy blood pressure of your gerbils. 

Besides, watermelon contains a lot more vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, etc. These are essential for healthy gerbils.

Is Watermelon Bad For Gerbils?

Yes, it can be.

Watermelon is high in water content which is not suitable for gerbils. It can cause digestive issues like gastric, diarrhea, or loose stool if they eat overeats.

If this happens frequently, it can lead to dehydration which is dangerous for small pets and may require medical assistance.

Moreover, watermelon’s sugar content is much higher, which is not good for gerbils. Sugar can lead to severe health conditions like diabetes or obesity.

Is Watermelon Bad For Gerbils

It will affect their mobility and eventually reduces their lifespan.

Moreover, watermelon rinds and seeds are a potential choking hazard for small pets. If you do not pay attention while feeding them to your gerbils, it can easily cause life-threatening conditions.

Thus, it’s important to keep these harmful consequences in your mind before you feed watermelon to your gerbils.

How Much Watermelon Can Gerbils Eat Daily?

Since watermelon is high in water, you should only offer it to your gerbils in small servings, like 1-2 small pieces. Too much watermelon can cause health problems. You should only give a few pieces or (5-8g) at once.

Also, be aware that gerbils have a sensitive digestive system. Having anything more than recommended can lead to health problems.

If your gerbils experience digestive issues like diarrhea or loose stool, immediately stop giving it and consult a vet.

Feeding fruits to your gerbils should be to fill out the missing nutrients in their diet and provide a balanced diet. Therefore, if you are feeding watermelon or any other fruit, remember that it’s a treat and not a staple diet item, and you’ll be fine.

How Often Should Gerbils Eat Watermelon?

Watermelon has high water content, so it’s fine to give them approximately 1-2 times a week; more than that can harm your gerbils.

Remember, gerbils are originally from where they hardly get high water-dense fruits or vegetables, so they cannot digest too much water leading to digestive problems like diarrhea, gas, or loose stool. 

Besides, watermelon contains a lot of sugar, which is harmful to your gerbils. Overeating watermelon can lead to obesity and diabetes.

Therefore, you can offer watermelon to your gerbils in moderation, like once or twice a day. Gerbil mix or pellets should be a staple part of their diet. Fruit, vegetable, or seeds should only be given sparingly.

Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon Rinds?

Would you eat the rinds? No right?

Likewise, gerbils shouldn’t eat watermelon rinds as well. The rind or outer layer of watermelon is too hard to chew down. Even if you cut it into small sizes, it poses the risk of choking.

Also, watermelon rinds contain few nutrients, so you don’t need to experiment with your pet.

However, if your gerbil finds a watermelon rind in the dustbin and tries to eat it, you should be careful of the fact that it can choke them.

Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon Seeds?

Similar to rinds, seeds shouldn’t be given to gerbils. While seeds aren’t toxic, they are not safe either. It has a hard texture which can be a choking hazard if your gerbil tries to swallow it. If they bite it, it has a nasty taste, so they’ll likely leave it and won’t probably try again.

So, never feed or throw watermelon seeds if your gerbils are near; it can be lethal if it gets sucked into their esophagus and may require medical attention.

Healthy Alternative To Watermelon For Gerbils

In the wild, they eat almost everything they get. However, domesticated gerbils are a bit different, so it’s your responsibility to make healthy choices for your gerbils.

Gerbils are omnivores meaning they can have both plant and meat; however, primarily, gerbils eat a plant-based diet, including plants, seeds, nuts, and insects from time to time.

Note- avoid making significant dietary changes at once as it can upset their stomach, making them sick.

Some healthy alternative includes:

  • Fruits – a small number of fruits such as bananas and apples are good for gerbils.
  • Vegetables – like carrots, are a great addition too.
  • Seeds – sunflower seeds and nuts can also be good once a week since they are high in fat.
  • Other treat includes boiled or scrambled egg, mealworms, crickets, lentils, beans, peas, or chickpeas.

Even if these treats are safe, you shouldn’t give them too often as they can harm your gerbils. Stick with their natural diet to keep your pet safe and healthy.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, gerbils can have watermelon in small quantities. The reason is simple; watermelon contains a high water content that is unsuitable for gerbils. Since they are initially deserted animals, they do not need high water in their diet. Excess water can mess up their digestive system, leading to diarrhea and loose stool, eventually leading to dehydration.

Therefore, a small bite of watermelon is fine but avoid them in large quantities. It’s better to substitute them with other healthy fruit or vegetable like carrots, broccoli or 

You can always consult your vet if you are still unsure which fruits or vegetables to feed your gerbils.

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