By Jessica Cordia
Gerbils bite. Their teeth continuously grow giving them a natural urge to gnaw. When they get scared, they bite out of defense. Your pet gerbil may bite you or another gerbil, but there are ways to make biting less frequent. The less your gerbil bites, the happier you and your gerbil will be.
Stop Biting Before It Starts
Gerbils bite because they are afraid. Get your gerbil used to you by handling it gently. Linda Stern, DVM at Avian and Feline Hospital in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. said that using a small towel to handle your pet gerbil makes it feel secure. “Get your gerbil used to not being hurt,” Stern said. When your gerbil feels comfortable being handled, it won’t be afraid and bite.
Try and get your pet gerbil when it is young. Baby gerbils adjust to gentile handling easier making them less scared of their human owners. “The more you handle your gerbil, the less it will bite,” Stern said.
Use caution if your gerbil bites you. “If you are afraid of infection, report the bite to a professional,” said Stern. See a physician if you think the bite is serious.
If your gerbils bite each other, separate them. Lower their stress level by putting each gerbil in a separate cage. Evaluate the bite injuries, and if there are wounds, call your veterinarian. “Wounds need to be addressed,” said Stern.