Usually, the treats that gerbil owners offer to their pets are fruits and vegetables. They give these along with the regular gerbil diet of food mixes and pellets. However, not all treats that you can give to your gerbil are fruits or vegetables. Another option you might consider feeding your gerbil are small pieces of cheese.
Can Gerbils Eat Cheese?
As an occasional treat, it is fine to feed cheese to a gerbil. You should not feed gerbils this food too often because it is high in fat. A gerbil’s digestive system struggles to cope with this and too much fat leads to obesity. It is better to opt for milder varieties of cheese, such as cottage cheese or mild cheddar.
The nutritional values of 100g of cottage cheese are:
- Calories- 98 kcal
- Fat- 4.3g
- Carbohydrate- 3.4g (2.7g sugars)
- Vitamins and minerals- Vitamins A and B12, calcium, potassium, and magnesium
Cottage cheese is a better option than mild cheddar as it is lower in fat, so your gerbil’s digestive system can cope better with this snack. It is also a good source of vitamins A and B12, protein, and calcium.
The nutritional values of 100g mild cheddar are approximately:
- Calories- 280 kcal
- Fat- 31.2g
- Carbohydrate- 6g (3.2g sugars)
- Protein- 30g
- Vitamins and minerals- Calcium and vitamin A
Mild cheddar is high in fat, so it is something that you should only give to your gerbil occasionally. There are some benefits of including mild cheddar in your gerbil’s diet. It is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin A.
How Much and How Often Can You Feed your Gerbil Cheese?
Cheese is a high-fat food, so it is unhealthy for your gerbil to eat this too often. You should certainly not give it to your gerbil more than once a week. Offer your gerbil half a teaspoon of cottage cheese or a small cube of mild cheddar that they can easily hold between their paws. Never feed your gerbil moldy cheese as this will make your gerbil ill. Similarly, remove leftover cheese from your gerbil’s habitat to make sure it does not eat cheese that is past its best.
Cheese is food that most gerbils enjoy eating, but too much is bad for them because of the high-fat content. It is best to only give this treat to your gerbil once a week and mild varieties are the better options.