Are gerbils allowed to eat dandelions?
Dandelions are on the menus of many rodents and small animals.
But what about gerbils?
Whether and if so, how much dandelion gerbils can eat, we tell you in this article.
Can gerbils eat dandelions?
Yes, in small amounts, if the leaves are free of pesticides and other harmful substances, you may feed your gerbils dandelions.
However, there are much better and healthier alternatives for your gerbil.
More on that in a moment.
Is dandelion healthy for gerbils?
If you can ensure that the dandelion does not contain harmful chemicals because it comes from your own garden, then feel free to give your gerbils some leaves.
Provided you wash them well and don’t feed them every day.
You need to know that although dandelion per se contains many vitamins and nutrients that are good for your animals, it also has a relatively high sugar content.
At this point, it is important to mention that you should basically be careful that your gerbils do not consume too much sugar, as gerbils can also develop diabetes.
Especially in spring, when the dandelion leaves are fresh and juicy, you may do your gerbil a favor and put one or the other leaf in the cage once a week.
Always remember: The dose makes the poison!
You should also make sure that the basic diet of your animals is very healthy. Food with a high fiber content can also help your gerbils digest the dandelion better.
6 healthy alternatives to dandelion for gerbils
Of course, you can please your gerbils with the tasty dandelion – but there are a number of other foods that your rodents will enjoy at least as much as the dandelion.
Chicory is just as valuable to your gerbils as dandelion in terms of nutritional content.
Due to the fact that the sugar content of this lettuce is significantly lower, you can even feed a little more of it to your gerbils.
However, you should not overdo it with the chicory, as the high water content can quickly lead to diarrhea and upset the digestive system.
The same applies to the popular cucumber.
Every now and then, a thin slice of a crunchy carrot makes gerbil hearts beat faster.
This sweet snack is not only delicious, but also extremely healthy, as carrots contain significantly more nutrients than dandelions and chicory.
Although yellow beets also have a fairly high sugar content, they are nevertheless easier to digest and less diabetes-promoting than other snacks. This is because carrots have a comparatively high fiber content, which ensures that the sugar enters your gerbil’s body much more slowly.
If you offer your gerbils a piece of apple, they will jump at it – no matter what kind it is!
It is okay to offer your gerbils a small piece once a week, about 1 x 1 cm in size and about 0.5 cm thick.
It is not harmful if a little bit of shell is still attached to this piece – however, your gerbils should not get the seeds between their teeth, as they contain the toxic substance cyanide, which can have a lasting effect on the health of your animals.
Finally, your gerbils are also relatively small animals, where a single apple core can cause quite a bit of damage – especially to very young, very old or sickly animals.
Broccoli is not only extremely healthy for your gerbils, it can even be useful for dental care due to its rather hard texture.
Gerbil teeth continue to grow continuously throughout their lives, so they need to be worn down by gnawing and eating.
If you want to do your animals’ teeth a favor, feed not only the roses of broccoli, but also the stems or stump.
- sunflower seeds
All gerbils love sunflower seeds!
The particularly aromatic seeds of the sunflower are very healthy for your little four-legged friend in small quantities.
However, due to the high fat content, you should definitely refrain from feeding the seeds in larger quantities. Otherwise, it can quickly lead to obesity and other health problems.
If you feed a special gerbil food, which is already delivered to your home as a ready mix, it is best to sort out these seeds directly and feed them in controlled quantities as a small snack.
- pumpkin seeds
The same applies to pumpkin seeds as to sunflower seeds: If you feed your gerbils one seed per day, you will find that your gerbils become almost euphoric – because gerbils love pumpkin seeds!
Feeding these seeds in small quantities is no problem at all, so you can do your gerbils this favor without having a guilty conscience.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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