Gerbils Need Fresh Water

All you need to know about hydrating your gerbil.

Gerbils will drink from a water bottle or dish. Via dbgg1979/Flickr

By Jessica Cordia

In the wild, gerbils don’t drink water because they get a sufficient amount from their food. As pets, your gerbil needs to have a constant supply of water at all times. Gerbils don’t drink much water, but it is still vital to their survival.


The water you give your gerbil should be clean and healthy to drink. Susan Horton, DVM, Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital said, ‘A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t drink [the water], don’t give it to your gerbil.” Avoid distilled water because it lacks minerals and has higher levels of sodium than tap water.

Water Bottle And Dish

Your gerbil will drink out of a water bottle or dish. It just depends on what your gerbil is used to. Water bottles are more sanitary than dishes, but the sipper tubes get clogged easily with debris and bedding material. Dishes are good, but they will get dirty quickly, and knocked over. Both options are fine, so see which one your gerbil prefers.


“You need to clean your gerbil’s water bottle or dish every other day,” Horton said. Use dish soap and water, and scrub with a good brush. Bacteria grow quickly in bottles and dishes, so regular cleaning is necessary. Check sipper tubes every day for clogs.

Article Categories:
Critters · Gerbils

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