Can Gerbils Eat Bread? (Clear Risks and Benefits)

Bread is one of our staple foods as humans. As such, there are times when we may consider sharing the bread with our pet gerbils. But one then wonders, is eating bread OK for gerbils?

Can gerbils eat bread? Yes, gerbils can eat bread, especially wholegrain bread, although it is not a particularly healthy food for them. Certain types of bread though – like onion bread, garlic bread and some forms of white bread – are completely unsuitable for gerbils.

Bread is typically made using wheat. Now the wheat used in making bread is a grass seed: exactly the sort of thing that gerbils usually eat in the wild. What makes bread problematic though is the processing that the wheat used to make it undergoes.

Can gerbils eat bread
Can Gerbils Eat Bread?

Another thing that may make bread problematic for gerbils is the whole array of additives it comes with.

Ultimately, bread should be a last resort food for gerbils.


Is Bread Safe For Gerbils?

Whether bread is safe for gerbils or not depends on what type of bread it is.

If it is wholegrain bread, then it may be safe for gerbils. But if it is the likes of onion bread or garlic bread, then it would be totally unsafe for gerbils.

If you go ahead and feed your gerbil on such unsafe types of bread, you may soon or later find yourself panicking saying ‘my gerbil has vomit out a bread and is convulsing! ‘ Or you may end up with even worse outcomes.

To determine whether or not a given bread may be safe for gerbils, you need to check two things. Firstly, you need to check the type of wheat with which the bread is made. Secondly, check the additives in the bread.

Bread that comes from wholegrain wheat may be safe for gerbils.

But bread that comes from highly processed wheat, especially white wheat bread, may be unsafe for gerbils.

With regard to additives, any bread with lots of salt or sugar would obviously not be safe for gerbils.

So is any bread with ingredients like onion and garlic, as in the case of onion bread and garlic bread respectively.


Is Bread Beneficial For Gerbils?

Bread – especially wholegrain bread – can be marginally beneficial for gerbils. From such bread, the gerbils may get carbohydrate, which can then energize their bodies.

The bread, again especially wholegrain bread – may have some fiber which can be helpful once in gerbils’ bodies.

Further still, the bread may have minerals such as magnesium, which gerbils really need.

Therefore bread is not entirely useless for gerbils.


Can Gerbils Eat Bread In The Wild?

This is not as outrageous a question as it may look at first. Bread usually comes from wheat, doesn’t it? And wheat is essentially a grass seed. Now we remember that in the wild, gerbils mostly survive by eating such grass seeds…

Obviously, there is no actual bread for gerbils to eat in the wild. However, in the wild, gerbils may eat grass seeds, similar to the wheat used in making bread. Therefore bread, especially wholegrain bread, is not such an alien food for gerbils.


Do Gerbils Like Bread?

Most gerbils to whom bread is offered will not mind eating it. They may not show a preference for it over other foods. But neither do they show indifference to it.

Therefore we can say that most gerbils like bread to some extent: though it is not always a healthy food for them.

Gerbils’ attitude towards bread starts becoming clear once one has some experience feeding gerbils bread.


Can Gerbils Eat Bread?

A gerbil usually has the ability to eat, or at least gnaw on, bread.

The gerbil’s body is also able to digest bread to some extent. But if the bread is from highly processed flour, it can cause stomach upsets in the gerbil. And if the bread has toxic ingredients like onion or garlic, then obviously there can be major problems…

But generally, if you put bread somewhere close to a gerbil, the gerbil will know that the bread is food. And the gerbil will then proceed to eat the bread, or at least gnaw at it.


Can Baby Gerbils Eat Bread?

Baby gerbils can sometimes eat bread – provided of course that they are old enough to handle such foods.

However, if you give a baby gerbil bread with ingredients like lots of sugar or salt, it may not survive the subsequent gastrointestinal problems.

If you have to offer baby gerbils bread, ensure that it is at least wholegrain bread, with no controversial ingredients.

That would be better both for your peace of mind and for the baby gerbil’s health.


Which Bread Can Gerbils Eat?

There are countless varieties of bread out there – from full grain bread to white bread, pita bread, shortbread and so on.

The interesting question that we now dive into tackling is which of these types of bread gerbils may eat.


Can Gerbils Eat Wheat Bread?

Whether or not wheat bread is proper for gerbils to eat depends on what sort of wheat it emanates from. It also depends on the type of additives present in that wheat bread.

If it is wholemeal wheat bread, it may be proper for gerbils to eat: albeit rarely. But if it is made from highly processed white flour, it may not be good for gerbils.

Whatever the type of wheat used though, if the bread has lots of toxic/harmful ingredients like salt, garlic, onion or too much sugar, it isn’t good for gerbils.


Can Gerbils Eat Full Grain Bread?

Yes, gerbils may eat full grain bread, but only as a very rare/occasional treat.

Plain full grain bread, or that with very little in the way of additives like sugar/salt, is best for gerbils.


Can Gerbils Eat Shortbread?

Shortbread is more of a biscuit than a bread.

Nonetheless, gerbils may not eat such shortbread due to the sugar, salt, oil and other unhealthy ingredients present in it.


Can Gerbils Eat Breadsticks?

There tends to be plenty of salt and sugar in breadsticks.

Since gerbils aren’t supposed to eat much sugar and salt, breadsticks are by inference not good for them.


Can Gerbils Eat Garlic Bread?

No, eating garlic bread is out of question for gerbils.

We all appreciate how toxic garlic can be for gerbils. Therefore the question of gerbils eating garlic bread doesn’t arise at all.


Can Gerbils Eat Pita Bread?

Most Pita bread tends to have some sugar and salt in it. This can render it potentially harmful to gerbils.

Therefore it is best not to give pita bread to gerbils.


Can Gerbils Eat White Bread?

White bread is not a healthy food for gerbils. The bread may be white because it is made using highly processed (white) wheat, or from bleached wholegrain wheat.

Either way, it wouldn’t be very healthy for gerbils to eat.


Can Gerbils Eat Stale Bread?

It is best to completely refrain from giving gerbils stale bread. The fact that it is stale means that it is starting to decompose, with bacteria and fungi inside it.

A gerbil’s small body may not be able to handle the bacteria and fungi that may be in stale bread. Therefore don’t offer gerbils stale bread.


How Often Can Gerbils Have Bread?

If you have to offer bread to gerbils, do it infrequently – like once per month at most.


How Much Bread Can Gerbils Eat?

Gerbils, given their size, can’t be expected to eat much bread. Half a slice of bread or so should be more than enough food for a single gerbil.


Final Verdict

Gerbils can eat bread – at least certain types of bread – though it is not always a healthy food for them.

The bread that gerbils can eat is ideally wholegrain bread, ideally the low-salt low-sugar variety.

Some types of bread, like garlic bread, onion bread and white bread with lots of sugar and salt are completely unsuitable for gerbils.

Thus in deciding whether or not to feed a gerbil on bread, first check which wheat type it comes from. Wholegrain bread is better for gerbils.

Further, check the other ingredients in the bread. Salt, sugar, onion, garlic and other such ingredients would render bread unsuitable for gerbils.

Ultimately, remember that bread is best viewed as a food of last resort for gerbils.

If you have to give gerbils bread, offer it to them as an extremely rare treat: like once per month. And give the gerbils very little bread – like just half a slice of bread per gerbil per feeding. 

Post Disclaimer


The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, food recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or for pet food related questions.

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