Gerbils love eating foods that have high nutritious value; you can give them foods that are vitamin-rich like bananas. A simple answer to this question is yes, gerbil can eat bananas. They can have all types of bananas; ripe, unripe, and overripe bananas. Bananas have a high component of important nutrients like magnesium, manganese, and copper, bananas are low in protein and fat and high in carbs. Moreover, the magnesium present in a banana is vital for the brain health of a gerbil, it helps in the prevention of seizures. However, there are no health issues or risks associated with eating a banana aside from diarrhea, which can happen only if a gerbil consumes a banana in an excessive amount.
Bananas are considered a safe and healthy snack for a gerbil.
Do Gerbils Like Bananas?
Gerbils love trying new things, they love snacking on different varieties of foods and treats. You provide your gerbil with the food that is specifically formulated for him but he surely loves eating fresh fruits like bananas. Your pet can get used to the food mix that you give him, so when you give him something new to try; he is surely going to love it. Like any other animal, gerbils also love the variety in their food.
However, there is also a possibility that your gerbil may not like eating a banana because different gerbils eat different foods.
Health Benefits of Bananas for Gerbils
Humans love eating bananas and so do gerbils. Bananas have tons of health benefits for both humans and gerbils, they are considered healthy snacks. Bananas have a lot of calories, fiber, and minerals present in them, which makes them highly beneficial for the gerbils.
Additionally, gerbils take all their water content from the fruits and vegetables they eat, so bananas are mostly water and they help gerbils in filling their water requirement. That is mostly how gerbils get water in the wild while the pet gerbils have access to fresh and clean water at all times.
Nutritious Value of a Banana
For gerbils to have a properly balanced diet: their diet should consist of fats, protein, and carbohydrates. They need protein intake when they are growing and evolving while the fibers and carbohydrates make the most of their regular diet. The fat content is as important and they require it in their daily diet but in a limited quantity, a small amount of fat is sufficient for a gerbil.
Keeping that in mind, bananas do not fulfill the criteria hence they should not be the central part of a gerbil’s diet. Bananas do have a lot of carbohydrates and fibers but they certainly do not have the required quantity of protein and fats. Hence, they should not be the central part of a gerbil’s diet because protein and fats are more important than fibers. This does not mean that you should not give a banana to your pet rather you can still give it to them as a snack or occasionally. Bananas are safe for the gerbils and they won’t interfere with your pet’s diet or weight overall.
Bananas are rich in potassium content and with potassium they also contain some amount of copper, manganese, and magnesium. All the components mentioned are very essential and vital for the health and long life of a gerbil. Additionally, bananas also have content of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin A, but these vitamins are present in small amounts and are not very essential for the gerbils. Bananas are good and healthy to give to your pet as a snack.
How Much Banana Should You Feed Your Gerbil?
Introduce bananas into your pet’s diet slowly and gradually, it should not be more than half the weight of its entire meal and the other half should be food-mix. The mentioned quantity is more than enough for your pet to enjoy as an occasional snack.
The bananas do not have any nutrients that are very essential for gerbils, so it is not the most important or healthy fruit for your pet. But you can, however, feed your gerbil a banana as a snake. Gerbils enjoy new flavors and textures.
What Human Foods Can Gerbils Eat?
Gerbils love having fruits and veggies, so the only human food that a gerbil can have are fruits, vegetables, and some unsalted nuts. Gerbils are desert animals and they develop and grow in similar conditions. Since they are desert species their digestive systems are adapted to the desert conditions and climate. Hence, the things humans love to eat, gerbils kind of cannot munch on them very often. To be specific, human foods like cakes, sweets, chocolates, chips, basically the processed foods, can upset their stomach and cause serious problems to their dental health. So, it is best to keep all the processed foods away from your little one.
When you are giving your gerbil human food remember to stick to giving them fresh fruits, veggies, and a few nuts. Some of the human foods that a gerbil can handle and are safe for its health are the following:
- Pear pea
- Blue barriers
- Unsalted nuts and teats
- Pumpkin seeds
What Fruits Can a Gerbil Eat?
Gerbils are small delicate animals and they love eating new and variety of foods. Gerbils can eat different fruits such as pears and apples. But one thing to consider is that gerbils are desert species and they do not have access to water-rich fruits and vegetables in their daily life. So, their digestive system is built accordingly, they cannot handle foods that are rich in water content or moisture. Hence, only a small portion of fruit or vegetable should be given to them at a time or else they can have an upset stomach. Following are some of the fruits that are safe and healthy for the gerbils if given in an appropriate amount:
- A strawberry
- A slice of an apple
- A slice of a banana
- A small piece of pear
- Two to three blueberries
While these fruits are safe for your little one, be sure to not feed them the citrus fruits because it can cause acidity in them and make their stomach upset real quick. Since the skin inside and around the mouth of a gerbil are very sensitive, the acidic fruits can cause severe problems for the tiny creature. Citrus fruits can cause sores and sensitivity in these areas of a gerbil.
Downsides of a Banana
If you look at the diet of a gerbil closely you will notice that its diet is fairly low in sugar content. Gerbils do consume fruits and veggies that have high sugar content but still, their daily sugar intake is very low. This concludes that a gerbil should not consume a lot of sugar-rich foods and unfortunately bananas are one of the high sugar content fruits. A gerbil cannot have a lot of sugar in its daily diet because it is very unhealthy and problematic for its health. When a gerbil has a high sugar diet, there are quite downsides to it which mainly includes weight gain. Weight gain in gerbils may look adorable and cute but it causes serious health problems. Of course, it is not fatal but it can make your gerbil’s health go down. To avoid this risk it is important to feed a banana to your gerbil in an appropriate and moderate amount to maintain its good health.
Even though bananas are high in sugar content, they still make a great snack for your little pet. The nutrients present in a banana are very healthy and essential for a gerbil if fed in an appropriate amount. Gerbils love the taste and texture of a banana. If bananas are fed properly, they can add to a gerbil’s regular diet. Bananas can be fed in various ways i.e. fresh, overripe, under-ripe, dried, banana chips, banana bread, banana skins, banana flower, and banana leaves, etc.
How to keep a Gerbil Healthy and Happy
If you are an owner of this tiny pet then you need to know about the healthy diet for your pet to keep it healthy and safe. Following are ways in which you can keep your gerbil healthy and happy.
- Gerbils must have access to clean and fresh water all the time. Their water bottle should have a metal sipper so that gerbil can drink water out of the bottle easily and conveniently. You must check their water bottle daily for leaks or dirt. If you see that the water is dirty then you should clean it right away. Their water should be changed regularly and the nozzle must be cleaned thoroughly.
- Avoid anything that has a lot of sugar or fatty acid in it, since it can make your gerbil obese and can further cause health problems.
- Their diet should be balanced containing all the important nutrients and minerals that they need. Their diet can be a sum of compound pellets, a jumble of seeds, or commercial feed.
- Do not give gerbil’s grapes, raisins, or rhubarb as they are fatal to their health.
- Give gerbils a variety of fruits and veggies to supplement their diet, but in an appropriate and moderate amount.
- Avoid sudden changes in their diet as it can upset their stomach.
- Remove stale food from their space daily.
- Keep a close eye on the texture of their feces, if you see a problem then take them to your local vet right away.
Gerbils are very small and friendly animals, they love nibbling on fruits and veggies apart from their feed. In this article, we have put our best effort to make you aware of everything that this tiny animal needs to maintain its health. We hope this article helps you in raising your little pet in the best possible way.