Gerbils are some of the least smelly pet rodents on the market. However, their cages and enclosures need to be kept clean at all times, including the gerbil travel carriers, to prevent them from becoming smelly and affecting the pets inside. Sand baths should be occasionally provided to gerbils, for them to properly clean themselves.
If you have been considering getting pet gerbils, but you are worried they might be one of those smelly pet rodents, you might want to read the following lines to better understand how gerbils can be kept odor free with little to no effort at all.
You may also want to get one of the available travel carriers for gerbils, to safely transport your new pets home. One issue to be considered here is the safety these items provide your beloved pets during transportation. Therefore, at first, consider the length of time you will be traveling for.
Whether traveling is on your mind or you intend to keep gerbils in your home, the issue of hygiene and smells often comes up. In this case, you should know that gerbils are some of the cleanest rodent pets you can have around. They will actually spend a considerable portion of the day grooming, cleaning and making sure their fur is clean and soft.
Pet gerbils that are kept in pairs will often be seen grooming each other, which is one way to create strong, long-lasting bonds with each other while being one of the cutest things to look at. When pet gerbils get older, or their health is no longer in tip-top shape, they might need your help in staying clean and well groomed.
There are quite a few things you can do to ensure the cleanliness, health and overall well-being of your pet gerbil, such as nail trimming, providing them with a sand bath, even grooming them yourself, when they are no longer capable of doing that on their own. Cleaning your pet gerbil will also give a chance of giving it a thorough health check-up.
How often should you clean your gerbil’s cage?
How often you clean your pet gerbil’s cage depends on a number of factors, such as how large your gerbil cage is, how many pet gerbils you have living in it, and how little smell you can take coming from the enclosure. Although gerbils are some of the least smelling rodents out there, if the cage is left uncleaned for several days, it may smell a bit, which may bother the owner.
The general rule states that if you own two pet gerbils in the same cage, you should clean it on a weekly basis. If you own more than two gerbils per cage, then you might need to clean the enclosure twice a week, or even more often than that. Spot-cleaning could very much come in handy in the case of gerbils since they urinate very little and their feces are very dry.
The only situation in which it is not advisable to clean the cage at all is in the case of heavily pregnant mother gerbils, or if they have given birth less than two weeks ago. Since these animals are very sensitive creatures, disturbing the mother gerbil during this time will create a huge amount of stress, that could even lead to her abandoning the entire litter.
In all other situations, spot-cleaning should work very well for cages with less than four pets, and the overall cleaning of the cage on a weekly basis should get the job of keeping cages clean done. Since overcrowding is not advisable because of territoriality issues, gerbil cages should be easy to maintain clean and odor free.
How to clean your gerbil’s cage
The cleaning method you choose very much depends on the type of gerbil cage you own. There are traditional cages available, as well as modern cages on the market today. The one that best meets your needs and requirements should be the one you choose, and based on that, cleaning methods may vary quite a bit.
When cleaning a traditional gerbil cage, the first thing you want to do is to find a safe place to put your gerbil while you clean the enclosure. The last thing you want is for the tiny pet to get injured or run away. Then remove all the accessories from the cage, remove the bedding, clean the cage, and then put clean bedding and all the accessories back in their original place.
After the cage has been cleaned and put back together, you should put the pet gerbil, or gerbils, back in and then give it some time to adjust to the new smells and surroundings of its cage. Any changes you make in the gerbil’s cage will only increase the stress level these sensitive creatures feel when disturbed.
When cleaning a modern cage, the method of choice depends on the model you own. Most of the modern cage models come with an easily removable compartment that makes them very easy to clean. They also feature a number of accessories that provide a wide range of entertainment options for your pet gerbils.
These cage models are also safe for pet gerbils, including during cleaning times. Safety comes first, as far as they are concerned. Most of the models are designed with two separate compartments, built on top of each other. The first one is meant for deep-burrowing, this is where the bedding goes, while the second one features all kinds of tubes, wheels and other toys and accessories for your pet’s varied activities.
Grooming, nail trimming, and sand baths.
Every now and then you may spot your pet gerbils grooming each other. This is a very good sign showing they get along very well, trust each other, and are willing to help each other out when it comes to cleaning the hard-to-reach spots on their bodies. This is one of the reasons gerbils should not be kept alone – it helps to have a friend.
This type of behavior also helps the tiny pets maintain their good health because when they groom each other, pet gerbils will eliminate tangled hair, as well as look through their friend’s fur for signs of external parasites or other skin conditions. If you spot one gerbil spending too much time on a specific area of its friend’s body, you should check it out too.
As a responsible owner, you should constantly check the length of your gerbil’s nails. Since pet gerbils don’t get much of a chance to naturally wear down their nails, these could become overgrown, causing problems to your furry friend. Trimming them might be a little tricky in the beginning, but things will get better as you practice.
If you notice your pet’s nails started growing back toward the paws, or they have a strong curve about them, you should definitely do something about it. One advisable option is to have a vet come over and help you with the trimming process while showing you and explaining what the best way to do it is, and what the things you should be careful with are.
There are two main ways you could clean your pet gerbil. The first one is giving it a water bath. However, this method is to be used in emergency situations only, because it may strip your pet’s fur of important substances. This may lead to skin conditions that you definitely want to avoid as much as possible. Therefore, avoid water baths for pet gerbils.
Sand baths, on the other hand, are much more suitable for gerbils. If you think your gerbil is a bit too dirty, then provide it with a sand bath. The pet will be happy to use that, in a mimicking way of its natural environment, and get back to its usual cleanliness level. Sand baths are much more appropriate for gerbils than water baths are.