Anyone who owns one or more Gerbils is familiar with one very common issue. And that is Gerbils chewing the bars of the cage they are in. While this may seem harmless and pretty cute at first, it stems from a deeper underlying problem and can lead to serious damage to the Gerbil.
Don’t worry, this guy has a good guide for your problem.
In this article, we will try our level best to show you all the things you can do to stop your gerbil from chewing on the bars of its cage.
Why Do Gerbils Chew Bars?
Before we move on to the solutions, it is important to know why Gerbils chew on the bars in the first place. The primary reason is a desire to escape which may develop due to a number of reasons.
Loneliness or Boredom
If your Gerbil does not have anything to play with or pass its time with inside the cage, it is likely that they would want to escape the cage and explore the outside world to alleviate its boredom. For this purpose, they chew on the bars to make way for their escape.
If the Cage Is Too Small
If the cage your gerbil is in is too small or congested, the gerbils may feel claustrophobic. Like any other rodent, gerbils love to move around and stay in motion. But a small cage prohibits them from fulfilling that desire and thus an urge to escape is created in them.
Needing Something to Chew on
Besides the desire to escape, gerbils often chew on the bars because of a dental issue which is common for all gerbils. Gerbil teeth grow continually unlike ours and if they continue to grow they may cause injury.
So your gerbil needs something to bite on and grind their teeth and that is why they chew on the bars. But this is in no way a healthy remedy to the problem.
Why This Is a Serious Problem?
Now that we know why your gerbil is chewing on the bars, we have to look at the possible damages that may occur due to this.
The Teeth becomes Misaligned
Gerbils often tilt their head while chewing on these bars which may result in their teeth becoming misaligned. This creates issues while feeding them.
Possibilities of Infection
When gerbils chew on these bars the skin around their nose and mouth constantly rub against the bars. This may cause an open wound which may, in turn, lead to severe infections.
How to Stop Gerbils from Chewing Bars?
Now we are finally here. We know why gerbils chew bars and what damage it may cause. So now it is time to learn how to stop it.
Give your Gerbil Things to Chew on
As mentioned, this habit may stem from having nothing to chew on. So little pieces of cardboard or wood should be kept inside the cage so that the gerbil can chew on them instead of the cage bars
Play with Your Gerbil
Boredom is a huge reason for a Gerbil to continuously chew on the cage bars and it is upon you to alleviate that boredom. Put a running wheel inside the cage so that the gerbil can jeep itself occupied.
You can also let him out of the cage sometimes and take him out in the open.
Putting Wooden Pegs on Particular Bars
If your gerbil keeps chewing on a particular bar, you can fix a wooden peg on the bar and stop it from doing so
Applying Olive Oil to the Bars
If putting pegs doesn’t work for you, you can apply olive oil to that bar. Take a few drops on a kitchen towel and rub it. This needs to be done twice a day for at least a couple of weeks.
Finding an Alternate Cage
If none of the above-mentioned solutions work for your gerbil, the only thing to do is get a different type of cage. You should get an aquarium or a fish tank with a screened lid. This stops the gerbil from chewing on the bars but allows enough air to flow through the cage
If you notice even the slightest indication that the Gerbil may be trying to chew the bars, you should nip the habit in the bud as soon as possible because the gerbil’s health and wellbeing always come first. Follow the methods mentioned above and hopefully, your gerbil will stop this habit in no time.