Gerbils can eat many fruits and vegetables. And strawberries are one of them. While the short answer to this question is yes, gerbils can eat strawberries. The long answer is what you should be reading.
There are a few things to keep in mind when thinking of feeding gerbils strawberries. This article answers all your questions regarding this. How often to feed strawberries? Do strawberries have any side-effects? What is the best way to feed strawberries to gerbils?
So here’s everything that you need to know about feeding your pet gerbil this delicious and sweet snack!
Can Gerbils Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are a fruit that is found everywhere. It’s one of the most appetizing fruits out there. You can make smoothies, pancakes, ice creams, yogurt, candies, and jams with strawberries. So finding commercial or freshly-grown strawberries is not a problem.
So getting fresh strawberries home is an easy thing to do.
Next is deciding whether your gerbil can eat strawberries. Yes, they can. But they cannot eat strawberries daily. Since strawberries are high in sugar and acid, they can cause bloating, weight gain, and other stomach problems.
The good thing about strawberries is that they contain tons of vitamins and antioxidants. It’s a heart-healthy, immune-boosting fruit that your gerbils will make the most of. But only when fed in tiny, tiny amounts.
Fresh strawberries are a must if you want to add them to your gerbil’s diet. You cannot feed your gerbil frozen or dried strawberries. Gerbils have sensitive tummies and so that would cause bloating, gas, acidity, and other problems.
Here are the different ways strawberries are available in supermarkets…
#1. Fresh Strawberries
This is the best thing you give to your pet gerbil. Fresh strawberries that you can buy from any store or the farmer’s market. Remove the stalks or slice the white portion off completely that holds the stalk.
Cut the main fleshy part of the strawberry into gerbil bite-sized pieces. You can feed this one-by-one and watch your gerbil chew on this delicious fruit. Or you can add it to your gerbil’s seed mixture to add more flavor.
Some gerbils love chewing down on an entire strawberry. Since they love to chew and munch, you can do this as well.
#2. Dried Strawberries
Dried strawberries that you get in supermarkets often have sugar coating. If you’re absolutely sure that they don’t, you can give one or two pieces as treats once or twice per week.
Having said that, dried strawberries should be a rare one-off treat. Because they are sweetened, they can cause acidity and weight gain in gerbils when fed regularly.
#3. Dehydrated Strawberries
A good alternative to dried strawberries is dehydrated ones. Since strawberries are 60% water, you can shrink the size of a strawberry by dehydrating it. This will increase the portion size and increase the nutritional value of every treat.
A dehydrated strawberry shrinks to more than half the size of a fresh strawberry. This means that a gerbil-sized portion of dehydrated strawberries will pack a more nutritious punch.
#4. Strawberry Jam
You must absolutely stay away from giving gerbils strawberry jam. Strawberry jam is full of sugar, acid, salt, and preservatives. Salt is needed to preserve the strawberries and prevent them from going bad. Sugar makes the jam extra-sweet and appetizing. It can also be used as a preservative.
Some jams also add lemon juice or pectin to make a strawberry preserve. It adds flavor to the strawberry jam. So you can spread it on toast, on pancakes, and on biscuits.
Clearly, feeding strawberry jam to gerbils is a bad idea.
How Often to Feed Strawberries to Gerbils?
Whenever you want to feed your gerbil strawberries, make sure they’re clean and fresh. You also have to make sure you do not give your gerbil the stalks.
If you grow your own strawberries, your pet gerbil will love to eat the plant leaves. They’re not dangerous or poisonous to eat.
But doing so in moderation is a good idea. A small gerbil-sized portion of strawberries is perfect. Since this fruit is high in acid and sugar. Stick to once or twice per week. This is considered a safe amount for gerbils.
Do not feed your gerbils just strawberries every week. It’s best to play around with other permissible fruits. And that, too, should be given after your gerbil has had his or her staple food. Once your gerbil’s dietary needs are met, you can feed strawberries 1-3 times per week.
If your gerbil shows signs of discomfort, vomiting, bloating, loss of appetite. Then stop feeding strawberries immediately. And take your pet to the vet.
Gerbils have sensitive tummies. So chances are that he or she might be allergic or sensitive to the high sugar content or acid in the strawberries. You can move on to other foods that your gerbil can eat happily.
Such as apples, bananas, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, and lettuce.
Conclusion – Can Gerbils Eat Strawberries
One great thing about feeding strawberries to gerbils is that you get to watch them eat it. While strawberry is a healthy snack. Gerbils love the sweet and juicy flesh of strawberries. And watching them eat it, you won’t get enough of that sight!
Rich in vitamins and minerals, strawberries are good for gerbils. One small piece of strawberry 1 to 3 times per week is a safe amount. Anything more may cause diarrhea or any internal problems.
So make sure you feed your gerbil fresh strawberries. And cut them into small pieces so they do not choke or spit out most of the fruit while eating. Everything else about feeding strawberries to gerbils is safe and 100% tasty!
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