Peanuts are a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which are both antioxidants. They have high monosaturated fats and can help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, and it seems like a good ingredients for our gerbils. However, is it? Can gerbils eat peanut butter? Is it safe for them? How often can you offer them in a week?
The quick answer is YES! Peanut butter is perfectly safe for gerbils. I see wrong information about peanut butter and gerbils on the internet and I want to make things clear. Gerbils can eat peanuts, and a small amount may be offered a few times a week – that’s it. I would recommend 1/10 a teaspoon. Peanut butter is also a quick source of protein and fat boost for breeding females and their pups.
Take into account that most of the peanut butter you buy in the store contains other ingredients and sugar is often added. If your peanut butter contains sugar, offer it once a week, as the sugar is not suitable for them. Let’s see in more detail for other food our gerbil can eat safely and also for the ones we shouldn’t allow at all.
Peanut Butter For Gerbils [In More Detail…]
So we now understand that gerbils can eat peanut butter, in small amounts, but still can eat it with no worries.
Let’s clarify that we will not use peanut butter as food for our gerbil but as a treat. I recommend you to give your tiny friend only natural peanut butter, meaning with no sugar at all. In such cases, you can give it as a nice treat to your gerbil even a few times a week. I would recommend 1/2 a teaspoon or even take a small portion and spread it on your pet cage. You will see your tiny friend rush over and lick it off the cage walls.
If you bought sugar-included peanut butter, I recommend giving it the same amount, just once a week, that’s it. Fat, in general, is not so good, not to us, and not to our gerbil friend.
You should not worry about cleaning the rest overs from your pet cage. they will do the cleaning job for you, and will not leave a single drop of peanut butter on it.
Further Reading: “Can Gerbils Have Sand Baths?“
What Human Food Can Gerbils Eat?
The only human foods that a gerbil should eat are fruits and vegetables and three or four varieties of unsalted nuts. Gerbils are a desert species that have evolved in very different conditions than us. Our digestive system is totally different as we are not adapted to a desert climate like our gerbil friends. Does this mean we don’t want them to eat so many sweeties, ah? This can cause very bad things to our small pets and it’s our job to control it.
In particular, processed items such as crisps, cakes, sweets, and chocolate can upset your pets’ stomachs and cause significant problems with their teeth.
It’s best to be cautious when offering your gerbils food. Check below to see our food list. If you can’t find something there, then it’s best to steer clear. Whenever you are offering your gerbils human food, it is advisable you stick to vegetables, fruits, and some types of nuts and seeds. Some of the safe foods are as follows:
- Broad beans
- Pumpkin seeds (treat)
- Sunflower seeds (treat)
- Unsalted peanut (treat)
See here for the best vitamin supplements for your gerbil.
What Is The Best Food For Gerbils
Although we stated above the types of food suitable for your pet, below is a more concise explanation about the good foods and the more appropriate for your gerbil pet.
Healthy food which gerbils love is seeds. You can give them seeds that have soft shells. Examples of healthy seeds to provide your Gerbils are:
- Seeds of grass, herbs, and bulbs
Gerbils love fruits, just like humans. But because of the sugar content, give them occasionally and in a considerable quantity. The healthy fruits they can take are:
Gerbils get minerals and vitamins from vegetables. These vegetables can benefit gerbils, but you need to feed them in a considerate amount. Examples are:
- Bell pepper
- Green beans
Gerbils love nuts, but you need to be careful while selecting the nuts to give them. Here are a few examples to offer your pet
- Brazil nuts
I recommend you to go and read my article about gerbils and nuts, where I explain in detail if almonds, nuts, and related, are good for our sweet gerbil.
What Food Kills Gerbils?
As a gerbil owner, you must be aware of the types of food which can harm your pet. I tried to summarize it here. Let’s dive and see.
Tea and coffee
Tea and coffee have caffeine, which is dangerous for your small pets. Giving them these beverages is the wrong thing to do.
Due to the acidity, you are advised to avoid feeding your gerbil with citrus fruits.
Salmonella bacteria are present in eggs sometimes. The bacteria will affect your gerbil, and they spread through its feces. So, to kill the bacteria, you must bake the eggs.
Chocolate contains theobromine – a substance indigestible in a gerbil’s system. It renders a similar effect to caffeine, but it is considered to be less pronounced. In some severe cases, it can cause a heart attack.
Can Gerbils Eat Cheese?
As an occasional treat, it is OK to feed cheese to a gerbil. However, do not do it often because it is high in fat. A gerbil’s digestive system is opposed to fat, and this can cause obesity. Opt for milder varieties such as cottage cheese or mild cheddar.
You certainly should not give your gerbil cheese more than once a week. Offer half a teaspoon of cottage cheese or mild cheddar that they can easily hold between their paws. Never feed your gerbil moldy cheese, as this will make your gerbil ill.
Can Gerbils Eat Peanuts?
Yes. Gerbils will happily eat nuts anywhere, from peanuts, pine nuts, brazil nuts, pistachios, pecans to macadamia nuts. Raw peanut shells serve as chew toys for gerbils and contain various nutrients like B vitamins, minerals, and vitamins like magnesium, potassium.
Peanuts are packed with protein and fat, so they should only be considered healthy snacks for gerbils. If they are fed regularly or daily, your gerbil will become overweight.
And what about peanut butter? Can gerbils eat peanut butter? Yes, they can but remember, as a treat, in a small amount, max a few times a week. I also recommend giving them peanut butter without any sugar in it.
Can Gerbils Eat Crackers?
Yes, but in little amounts. Anything more than that isn’t very nutritious for gerbils. Crackers can be eaten alone or with other food items like meats or cheese. Smooth jams can also be spread on them.
However, there are better foods for gerbils to eat than crackers, which will give them the nutritional goodness they need.
Can Gerbils Eat Cantaloupe?
No. Cantaloupe contains a hint of phosphorus, salt, and calcium, but it is quite sweet and acidic. This means it is not good food for gerbils to eat and should be avoided.
Also, it has too much water. Gerbils cannot deal with the fluid, and it may give them diarrhea. Hence, it is best avoided as far as they are concerned.
Peanut butter is perfectly safe for gerbils, and you can give them by smearing a tiny blob on the side of the cage. Gerbils will gladly lick it off the walls. Also, they cannot get it stuck in their mouth or choke on it.
However, if you are offering natural peanut butter, a small amount is acceptable a few times a week. Obese, overweight gerbils do not need extra food. Also, if your peanut butter contains added sugar, only offer it once a week, as the sugar is not good for them.
Lastly, sick gerbils or senior gerbils with teeth problems who are losing weight may benefit from daily offerings of peanut butter.