The main diet for gerbils consists of gerbil food mix and gerbil pellets. These contain most of the nutrients a gerbil needs for a healthy and balanced diet. Sometimes, gerbil owners like to add some variety into their pet’s diet by offering them healthy treats. These are usually small portions of fruits and vegetables. One fruit that they may offer is tomatoes but are these safe for gerbils to eat and do they have any nutritional benefits.
Can Gerbils Eat Tomatoes?
The flesh of tomatoes is safe for gerbils to eat, so you can give this to your pet as a treat. However, they are an acidic fruit, and this can give your gerbil diarrhea if they eat too much. Therefore, you should only give tomatoes to gerbils sparingly.
What About Tomato Stalks?
The tomato stalks are a different matter as you should never give these to your gerbil. These contain a toxic substance that is extremely dangerous for gerbils and can potentially kill them.
Nutritional Values of Tomatoes and Do They Benefit a Gerbil’s Diet?
The nutritional values of 100g of tomatoes are as follows:
- Calories- 18 kcal
- Protein- 0.9g
- Carbohydrates- 3.9g (2.6g)
- Fiber- 1.2g
- Fat- 0.2g
- Vitamins and minerals- Vitamin C, vitamin B9, vitamin K, and potassium
Although tomatoes are acidic, there are some nutritional benefits to feeding very small amounts of this fruit to your gerbil occasionally. They contain a good selection of vitamins and minerals that will support the health of your gerbil.
How Much Tomato Can You Give to Your Gerbil and How Often?
It is vital that you remove the stalk first if you decide to feed your gerbil tomatoes. These fruits are acidic and have a high water content. This means they can cause digestive problems for your gerbil. For this reason, you should feed this to your gerbil as a treat only occasionally. A small piece of flesh cut into tiny pieces is plenty and it is safest if you do not feed this to your gerbil more than once a week.
Although the nutritional values of tomatoes do have some benefits for a gerbil’s diet, the high acidity and high water content mean that this is something you should feed to your gerbil only on rare occasion. The most important point to remember is to remove the stalk of the tomato as this contains toxins that will poison your gerbil.