Gerbils in captivity consume various grains, seeds, nuts, and dry vegetables. However, certain foods can cause gerbils to gain weight, while others are healthy.

Excessive consumption of fatty foods, such as nuts and sunflower seeds, can cause your gerbil to gain weight. Inactivity adds to weight gain as well. Change the gerbil’s diet to a less calorically dense blend of gerbil food to aid in weight loss. Provide a running wheel or exercise ball for consistent physical activity.

The healthy weight range for gerbils is between 80 and 110 grams. However, this varies between males and females. However overweight gerbils do not often die significantly younger than fit gerbils.

Can Gerbils Be Overweight?

There is little to eat in the harsh Mongolian wilderness besides grasses and grains. Gerbils must spend the entire day foraging for food. Gerbils do not eat meat, and they rarely consume fatty seeds and nuts. This means that wild gerbils do not gain weight readily.

In captivity, though, gerbils will consume anything provided. Therefore, if you feed your gerbil the incorrect foods, it will quickly gain weight.

gerbil eating kiwi

Moreover, there is the question of exercise. In the wild, gerbils excavate their burrows. They gallop about while playing and avoiding predators. In quest of food, they may be required to be on the go all day. In an enclosure, your gerbil does not receive any of this exercise.

All of this indicates that captive gerbils can gain weight. But with appropriate care, you can avoid the worst of this problem.

What Is the Ideal Weight for Gerbils?

Gerbils, like all other animals, have a natural healthy weight range. According to Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals, the weight range for males falls between 80 and 135 grams. This range is between 70 and 110 grams for females. If your gerbil weighs more than this, it may have weight problems. Gerbils vary in their weight. There are various explanations:

  • Some gerbils are naturally larger or smaller than others 
  • A gerbil’s weight can fluctuate depending on its last eaten or what time of day it is.

Don’t be concerned if your gerbil weighs less than the ‘proper’ number. Its weight might return to a healthy level when you weigh it again. If your gerbil is chronically overweight, this is undesirable.

Are My Gerbils Too obese?

Comparison is the easiest way to determine if a gerbil is overweight. If you have had gerbils for a long time, you will recognize an overweight or underweight gerbil. The gerbil can be compared to other gerbils in the same enclosure. There are observable indicators when a gerbil is overweight.

However, weight is not a significant issue. Gerbils regulate their weight by managing the amount of food they consume. You can also resolve your gerbil’s weight problem by altering its diet.

Moreover, gerbils do not live long lives. Therefore, have fewer opportunities to get overweight. And if they do, the results are minimal. Even the heaviest gerbils will only die a few months earlier, on average, if they are overweight.

How to Recognize an Obese Gerbil

The first indicator that your gerbil is overweight is its appearance.

Nonetheless, it would help if you did not base your gerbil’s diet on mere speculation. You should be scientific and routinely weigh your gerbil to determine if it is gaining or losing weight.

You’ll need accurate digital scales for this. If you don’t already have them at home, digital kitchen scales are ideal for weighing gerbils. To determine the weight of your gerbil, place it in a bowl and then on the scales.

If your gerbil has difficulty remaining still, place it in a small, comfy box. You can weigh the box to determine its weight and subtract it from the total. The measurement should only take a few seconds, so your gerbil should not be too distressed.

Each week, record the weight of your gerbil in a record book. This will indicate whether your gerbil is gaining, dropping, or maintaining weight.

Are Certain Gerbils fatter than Others?

Some gerbils are naturally more significant than others, whereas others are naturally smaller. This occurs with every animal. Animals can have a variety of physiques, including a stocky frame or large bones, for instance. This applies to gerbils as it does to other animals. Male Gerbils, in particular, are selected by natural selection to grow as large as possible. This assists a man in fighting off rival males and finding a mate.

The same holds for smaller gerbils. The newborn gerbils begin feeding practically immediately after birth. However, if one is weaker than the others, its siblings will push it aside to feed.It becomes considerably smaller than it may have been. However, there is no need for panic. Your gerbils will all be different weights. An issue exists when your gerbil constantly overeats.

How to Reduce Weight in a Gerbil

Gerbil has everything it needs in captivity. Food is served in a dish or scattered across the bedding. There are no dangers to avoid. Therefore it becomes your responsibility to assist your gerbil to shed pounds.

gerbil wheel

This can be achieved through either reduced caloric consumption or increased physical activity. Utilize both techniques to attain optimal outcomes and ensure your gerbils are as healthy as possible.