Gerbils are lovely pets, but as with all animals, gerbils also have needs. Hence, they need your attention daily. But, for all the responsibilities that will come with being a gerbil pet owner, it will be a brilliant addition to your family. After all, gerbils are amusing, cute, and they develop a deep relationship with their owners.
Are Gerbils Smelly?
Gerbils usually live in dry regions, and they are used to living without a lot of water. Mongolian gerbils reside in the Gobi Desert and require to drink only 5 ml of water every day. In the wild, most of the water intake comes from the food gerbils consume.
Since your gerbil only drinks a little bit of water, it also produces only a tiny bit of urine. According to research, gerbils produce only two to three drops of highly concentrated urine. The feces that gerbils produce are also tiny and hard (because of the less water). It triggers both the urine and feces to have nearly no smell.
Gerbils use scent glands on their tummies to mark their territory, but it does not cause a bad smell. However, if you notice a strong foul smell coming from your beloved gerbil, you should take it to a vet for a quick examination. After all, some ailments may cause your pet gerbil to smell.
Stress or Fright
Stress and scare can cause your beloved gerbil to have a more pungent smell. Here, stress can be a reason for overcrowding and humidity more than 50 percent. Hence, ensure that your gerbil is stress-free and is not in much humidity.
Clear the Pet Cage
The cage smell comes from the cage and its interior, or gerbil. The reasons for smells that come from the cage and its interior are:
As you already know, gerbils have scent glands on the stomachs, and they use these to spot their territory. You can expect that your beloved gerbil will mark its hides, toys, and even the bedding and cage.
Too Much Urine and Faeces (Accumulation of Bacteria)
Although your gerbil only produces a little bit of urine and feces, it can turn out to be too much. It happens when you don’t clean the gerbil cage regularly. Ammonia breaks down the urine by bacteria, and it generates a particular smell.
If you never clear the cage, your pet gerbil will smell foul. When you own a pet, it needs to go to the toilet. Though other pets do so when you allow them to go outside, gerbils do urinate in their cage. It is where this smell comes from.
You may expect highly concentrated urine that is a result of dehydration. Highly concentrated urine triggers a more pungent ammonia smell in and around your gerbil.
Stale or Rotten Food
Vegetables and fruit can get bad very fast and can give a foul smell in the gerbil cage. Seed mixes and pellet food may also turn out to be stale and give a pungent smell after a while.
Hence, it becomes crucial that you clean up the cage as often as possible to ensure that your gerbil stays free from any foul smell. Also, ensure that you give your gerbils a bath to keep them fresh. Dissimilar to people, gerbils do not bathe in water but in the sand. Preferably, it would help if you used either reptile sand or kid’s play sand. These kinds of sand are sterilized, washed, and filtered to eradicate both dust and dirt. To know more about these unique pets, head to the pet blog.
To sum up, gerbils are not smelly pets, but they may smell if they are not clean. Hence, ensure that you keep the gerbil and its belongings clean and fresh. If the smell persists, then take your pet to a doctor.