According to popular belief, dried bread is part of the standard diet of every rodent.
But is that really the case?
In this article we tell you whether gerbils are allowed to eat bread and what you should consider in any case when feeding. In addition, there are 4 healthy alternatives at the end of the hand.
Can gerbils eat (dried) bread?
If you give your gerbils bread, they will enjoy the taste of the bread and eat it gladly.
However, it should be said at this point that you are not doing your gerbils any favors by feeding them bread.
Bread is anything but healthy for gerbils!
Therefore, it is better to use alternative snacks to promote the health of your gerbils.
Why bread is unhealthy for your gerbils
Since bread contains a lot of starch and leavening agents, your gerbil’s digestive tract has great difficulty digesting the bread.
Especially in store-bought bread, preservatives are often added, which are anything but healthy for your gerbil.
If the bread is no longer fresh, but already a few days old, it is not uncommon to find mold spores on the bread, which are not visible to the naked eye, but can affect the health of your gerbils.
The comparatively high salt content should also not be underestimated.
Why do many owners feed their gerbils dried bread?
If you browse a bit through the current YouTube videos, you will see in some videos that gerbils gnaw on dried bread.
Pet owners argue that the dried bread makes it easier for the animals to take care of their teeth, since they automatically rub them down as they eat.
This is true, because dried bread is indeed optimal for tooth abrasion. However, there are much better and healthier alternatives for your pets.
For example, you should make sure that your gerbils always have a few branches and untreated wooden furnishings in their terrarium that they can gnaw on as they please.
With proper husbandry, giving your gerbils bread for dental care is completely unnecessary.
But what happens if you feed your animals despite the bread? Will the animals inevitably get sick or even die from it?
You’ll find out in the next section….
Bread as a snack – the quantity makes the poison?
If you give your gerbils a small piece of hard bread once a week, your animal will most likely not be harmed.
If you absolutely want to feed your gerbils bread, you should really only feed it in small quantities as a snack for in between and not in larger quantities as a dental care product.
Also, make sure your pet always has access to fresh water.
Due to the high salt content in the bread, you will notice that your gerbil drinks more than usual. This is perfectly normal and no cause for alarm.
White bread or wholemeal bread? These are the advantages and disadvantages!
If you decide to feed white bread, your gerbil can get almost no nutrients from it.
In this bread no grains are processed, which could still bring one or the other advantage to the animals. On the other hand, white bread dries very well and has an excellent shelf life in this condition.
So if you dry the bread well for several days directly after buying or baking it, you don’t have to worry about the potential formation of mold spores.
The situation is different with whole grain bread.
Because of the processed sunflower and pumpkin seeds, the flax seeds and many other grains, this type of bread has a much higher moisture content than white bread from the start.
This has the advantage that the water balance of your gerbil is not so much shaken. The kernels provide valuable vitamins and nutrients, but in turn lead to obesity if fed excessively.
So caution is advised here!
Also keep in mind that the kernels provide a lot of moisture and make it difficult for the bread to dry through (even in thin slices). Here, the risk of mold growth is very high.
Therefore, before feeding, always check very carefully whether there is mold on the bread and if in doubt, rather throw it away. If your gerbil eats moldy bread, diarrhea and other infections can be the result.
Does the bread necessarily have to be dried?
Yes, if you want to feed bread to your gerbils, it should be thoroughly dried.
Fresh bread should not be fed due to the potential for mold growth.
Gerbils tend to bury scraps of their food. If your gerbil buries a piece of fresh whole wheat bread without you noticing, mold can form over time and your gerbil will eat it when he digs up his food at a later time.
Since dried bread can also mold, it is always a good idea to watch your gerbils eat the bread and remove any leftover pieces from the enclosure immediately. This way you can ensure that your gerbil will no longer eat bad bread.
Tasty and healthy alternatives
Many gerbil owners give their animals a piece of bread to do them some good. It is not at all primarily about dental care for them, but rather about showing their affection to the animals.
But in this case, there are alternatives you can give your gerbils!
The following snacks are at least as tasty as bread, and a whole lot healthier too!
Bananas are rich in nutrients. For example, your gerbil can benefit from vitamin A, vitamin B6, and potassium.
Due to the comparatively high sugar content, bananas should only be fed in small quantities and not daily.
As a small snack for in between, it is nevertheless excellent – and your racers will love banana!
Unlike apples, pears have a very low acid content.
At the same time, they are rich in water and many different vitamins and nutrients – and that’s exactly what makes pears the ideal snack for your gerbils!
Sweet, crunchy, simply irresistibly delicious and healthy!
Carrots can be fed daily in small quantities.
Among other things, they contain the valuable vitamin A, which contributes to the maintenance of vision. Due to its health-promoting composition and high digestibility, the carrot is also the ideal snack for older gerbils.
Your gerbil has too hard feces and has a hard time drinking enough?
Then feed her a small piece of cucumber!
Cucumber is almost all water and healthy vitamins.
Warning: If you feed too much cucumber, diarrhea can be the result! However, there is nothing wrong with a small snack in the form of a small piece of cucumber per day.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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