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Five-Star Gerbil Habitat

September 1, 2014

Your new gerbils Giles and Georgia will think they’ve landed in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. You’ve consulted with your West Greenwich veterinarian, who has given you insider knowledge about gerbils’ habitat preferences. Most importantly, he emphasized that a habitat that suits Giles’ and Georgia’s behaviors promotes their good health. Since you’ll soon pick up your two new family members, you’ll take them to your vet for physical exams before they meet your family.

Location Is Everything

Giles and Georgia will enjoy some indirect sunlight as much as you do, but don’t expose them to potentially harmful direct sun. Keep them away from heating vents, wood stoves, and other heat sources; otherwise, you might have two baked gerbils on your hands. But you also don’t want these delicate little critters to be affected by window drafts or ceiling fan backwash. It’s a delicate balancing act, but Giles and Georgia will be happiest if the room temperature is between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Containing Your Champion Chewers

Gerbils who live in the wild chew and dig almost constantly. Wild gerbils create lots of food storage and predator protection tunnels; and they hollow out cozy little dens where they raise their babies. Since you won’t allow Giles and Georgia to burrow through your walls, they’ll get the next best thing: a roomy glass aquarium with tons of bedding material. Giles and Georgia can pile up the bedding into a little nest, and they can’t tunnel through the glass walls.

Giles and Georgia will be quite happy in a 10-gallon rectangular aquarium, but you’d want a bigger one if their cousins moved in. Of course, Giles and Georgia will probably try to escape, so install a strong wire mesh cover they can’t chew through. Clean the cage at least once a week so Giles and Georgia don’t get gassed by their own waste product ammonia fumes. A cleaner cage also means their respiratory systems stay healthier.

Luxurious Bedding Material

Giles and Georgia are very particular gerbils, so give them bedding made from plain shredded paper, corn cobs, or aspen shavings. Avoid pine or cedar shavings, and also nix shredded paper that includes newsprint.

Hotel Security Protocol

Your secure, elevated glass aquarium keeps Giles and Georgia safe from curious visitors who might poke and prod your little pets. The glass aquarium also keeps your hungry dog and cat from grabbing your gerbils for dinner.

Give Giles and Georgia a nice heavy ceramic food bowl, a sturdy water bottle, and a regular supply of toilet paper rolls for playtime.

Ask your West Greenwich vet for suggestions on other safe play accessories. Remember that keeping your pets pampered and active helps them to stay healthy.

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