What to give your Gerbil for it's Birthday
Most owners of gerbils already know what toy their gerbil
likes best, and it is almost surely the same toy that each
of them loves most. But if you are new to gerbils, you might
be surprised. A gerbil's favorite thing will cost you
nothing to buy, will provide hours and days of enjoyment to
your gerbils, and you will want to make sure that you have a
replacement on hand when the first one is gnawed or
otherwise damaged. You will have no problem finding a
suitable gerbil gift for a birthday or other holiday if you
take our advice about this...
What is this amazing thing?
A cardboard tube from the center of a roll of toilet paper!
When you drop the first toilet paper tube into your gerbil's
cage, it will probably sniff it a few times, and then run
madly back and forth through the tube. "Wow! Amazing! - An
instant tunnel!" is what your gerbil is saying to itself.
Next, it will take a little nibble, and say, "Oh, what
excellent bedding material! Shall I run through the tunnel
for a bit, or gnaw it right away?"
Gnawing will win. Gerbils can't resist gnawing soft
materials like cardboard. No, they don't eat cardboard, but
they have a strong instinct to gnaw plant materials to make
their nests. Gerbils come from deserts or desert-like
habitats, where the days are hot and the nights are cold, so
well-insulated tunnel is the key to gerbil comfort and they
spend much of their time in housework.
Besides providing enjoyment and exercise for your gerbils,
paper tubes will help you in several ways as well. When you
open the cage to clean it, a few new tubes will help keep
the gerbils occupied and less likely to attempt an escape.
New tubes are also in order when a trip to the veterinarian
or vacation or home moving travel is required.
If you have a few gerbils, you should probably ask all your
family and friends to save their tubes for you as you
probably won't be able to keep up the supply alone. You can
also use other tubes, such as small sections of old file
folders or other thin cardboard, rolled into tubes.
Inspired by the fun your gerbils have with their new gifts?
You can build them more toys yourself, from hiding boxes to
climbing ladders to tunnel systems. Just be sure to use only
UNTREATED hardwood or pine (no cedar or other evergreens!)
or cardboard, no plastic of any kind, and non-toxic glues
such as Elmer's Non-Toxic for assembly. Also, if you glue
anything make sure it is completely dry before giving it to
your pets, wet glue is not only messy but can be toxic.
And bear in mind, no matter what toys you give to your
gerbils, gnawing is their favorite pastime so the new toy
won't last forever. Just enjoy making new toys for your pets
every few weeks.