A gerbil's home should be exciting, with interactive play areas and features that promote exercise. A maze of twisting tubes, running wheels and colourful hide-outs adds interest to any style of gerbil cage. Whether it's a fixture in a child's bedroom or prominently displayed in a family room, gerbil cages can be decorated to entice admirers of any age.
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Every gerbil cage requires a water bottle, food bowl and chew treats to keep the gerbil's teeth trim and healthy. You can choose accessories that complement a colour scheme in the room or a theme presented in the gerbil cage. For example, a bright pink water bottle and a ceramic food bowl covered in pink flowers might coordinate with a little girl's pink-themed bedroom. If a little boy is the proud caretaker of the gerbil, he might choose a comic book theme for his gerbil cage. You can apply superhero stickers to a clear water bottle attached to the outside of the cage and pair the water bottle with a ceramic food bowl that complements the colours in his favourite superhero's uniform.
Calcium, mineral and wooden chew treats come in various shapes and sizes at the pet store and are good additions to the cage. Chews shaped like hamburgers, children's building blocks and corncobs are intriguing to children and healthy for the gerbil. Pesticide-free fruit tree branches and timothy hay may also be offered as chew treats, according to the Doctors Foster and Smith website.
Tubes and Ladders
For do-it-yourself pet owners, you might consider adding square footage to your gerbil's home by creating ladders or adding tubes. A piece of plywood can be cut into a slender 3-inch wide walkway with added grooves for traction. With this homemade ladder in the cage, the gerbil can climb and exercise. Unpainted, wooden pet parrot ladders also work for gerbils that love to climb.
Hollow plastic tubes can be purchased at pet stores. These attach to specially designed plastic and wire cages, allowing the gerbil more space to roam, hide and play. Available in a variety of colours, tubes can coordinate with gerbil cage themes.
Gerbils require exercise to stay healthy. Because they are too small and agile to run around on the floor, exercise wheels provide limitless exercising opportunities. You can choose fun varieties such as cage ceiling mounted wheels that the gerbil must climb up and into to access, or ball-shaped wheels that allow the gerbil to run in any direction to make the wheelspin. It is important to choose a running wheel with a smooth, solid surface. Wheels with slats or wire can cause foot injuries.
Gerbils love to chew. Glass jars cannot be chewed and are available in a variety of sizes and colours. Gerbils will eventually destroy houses made from plastic, cardboard or wood. Pet stores offer novelty houses in the shape of oversized fruit, cheese wedges and dollhouse style furniture. These hide outs provide a dark, secure place for the pet to rest and get away from bright lights or noise.
Gerbils enjoy burrowing in their bedding. It is best to add a minimum of 2 to 3 inches of wood fibre-based small animal bedding for tunnelling, according to the Doctors Foster and Smith website.
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