Can Gerbils Eat Meat? (7 Clear Food Facts)

People who keep gerbils as pets often seek to know whether the gerbils can and should eat meat. There are also those who seek to know whether gerbils can eat meat out of simple curiosity. In this article, we answer that question comprehensively.

Can gerbils eat meat? Yes, gerbils can eat meat: especially insect meat such as mealworms, waxworms, crickets, locusts and flies. Gerbils may also eat some forms of bigger animal meat such as chicken, pork and beef in very small quantities and only once in a very long while.

Since gerbils are omnivores, they are able to handle both plant-based foods and animal-based foods like the meat in question.

Can gerbils eat meat
Can Gerbils Eat Meat?


Do Gerbils Eat Meat In The Wild?

In order to understand whether eating meat is truly natural for gerbils, the key question to ask ourselves is whether the wild gerbils actually eat it.

So, can gerbils eat meat in the wild? The answer is ‘yes’, though the meat that gerbils eat in the wild is specifically insect meat.

Wild gerbils do eat insects like crickets, locusts, flies and various worms. But they normally don’t eat bigger animal meats.


Do Gerbils Like Meat?

Gerbils seem to vary considerably when it comes to their attitudes towards meat. So you find that some gerbils really seem to like meat, even as others seem to somewhat detest it.

So there is no single answer to the question on whether gerbils like meat: so do, some really don’t.

Much also depends on the type of meat in question. For instance, if it is insect meat, many gerbils will show a liking for it. But if it is bigger animal meat, some gerbils may seem to spurn it (unless they are very hungry).


Do Gerbils Need Meat?

Gerbils may be able to survive without meat, since they are omnivores. So they are not like the animals in the obligate carnivore class, which can’t survive without meat.

Meat does contain more protein and fat than the gerbils can normally get in plant-based foods. In the wild, gerbils do try to capture insects, in order to supplement their protein and fat.

Thus while they strictly don’t need it, gerbils can nonetheless benefit from a little meat: especially insect meat.


Can Gerbils Eat Meat?

Gerbils have the capability to eat meat. If you place meat before a gerbil, especially insect meat, the gerbil will recognize it as food, and grab it.

To be sure, gerbils’ meat eating habits can be a bit strange. For instance, it is not uncommon to find a gerbil only eating off the heads of mealworms, and leaving the rest of the body.

It is also not uncommon to find a gerbil disregarding bigger animal meat (like beef or chicken), while strongly liking insect meat.

But yes, gerbils can certainly eat meat. Eating meat (in small amounts, and only once in a very long while) is usually alright for gerbils.


Can Baby Gerbils Eat Meat?

Baby gerbils may eat meat: but in extremely small quantities, and only once in a long while.

From the meat, baby gerbils can get the protein they sorely require for faster and sturdier growth.

What tends to be better for baby gerbils is insect meat: similar to what they would be eating in the wild.

Of course, while introducing a baby gerbil to meat, you need to move gradually. Since the meat will be very new/strange food to the baby gerbil, it may initially cause minor stomach upsets.

But in due course, the baby gerbils get to adapt to the meat.

Can gerbils eat meat
Can Gerbils Eat Meat Frequently?


Which Types Of Meat Can Gerbils Eat?

Meat can be available in many forms: cooked meat, raw meat, frozen meat… and so on. There are also many meat varieties – steak, bacon, chicken, sausage, fish and so on.

What we then need to find out is what forms can gerbils eat the meat in? And which types of meat can gerbils eat?


Can Gerbils Eat Raw Meat?

Yes,  gerbils can eat raw meat – especially raw insect meat. In the wild, gerbils subsist partially on raw insect meat. Therefore there is no reason why pet gerbils shouldn’t be able to eat raw insect meat.

As for raw bigger animal meat, this may harbor pathogens which are not particularly good for gerbils.


Can Gerbils Eat Cooked Meat?

Gerbils can eat cooked meat, especially bigger animal meat (such as beef, chicken and pork) – but only in very small quantities, and very infrequently.

As for the insect meat which gerbils may eat somewhat more often, there is no need to cook it. You can present it raw to gerbils, and they will enjoy it.


Can Gerbils Eat Frozen Meat?

It is best to first thaw the frozen meat, before letting gerbils eat it.

If, for instance, it is some mealworms or waxworms you had frozen, you can thaw them fully first. Then present them to your gerbil, which will usually proceed to relish them.


Can Gerbils Eat Steak?

Steak is alright for gerbils to eat, but in extremely tiny bits and only once in a very long while.

From steak, gerbils can get extra protein and fat. But eating steak too often may translate into the gerbils getting too much protein and fat, which can be problematic.


Can Gerbils Eat Chicken?

Yes, gerbils can eat a little chicken meat if it is offered to them.

To be sure, chicken meat is not the sort of thing that gerbils would be eating in the wild. So it is not exactly a natural food for them.

But if it is offered to them, they can eat it. Just ensure that your gerbil doesn’t get more than a few grams of chicken, once in a long while.


Can Gerbils Eat Bacon?

Gerbils may be capable of eating a little bacon. But we also have some gerbils that, when offered bacon, don’t seem to recognize it or know what to do with it.

Even for the gerbils that are able to eat bacon, extreme moderation is key. The level of protein and fat in bacon is way too high for a gerbil’s regular consumption.


Can Gerbils Eat Sausage?

While a gerbil may have the capability to eat sausage, it is best not to offer gerbils sausages. Sausages are processed meat. The process of making them introduces additives and preservatives that may be harmful to small pets like gerbils.

Therefore it is best to resist the urge to share your sausage with your gerbil.


Can Gerbils Eat Fish?

If the fish in question is plain raw or boiled fish (with no salt), then a gerbil may eat a very small bit of it. That is of course if the gerbil wants, as there are some gerbils that won’t stand fish..

On the other hand, if it is fried or seasoned fish, it would be totally unsuitable for gerbils to eat.


How Much Meat Can Gerbils Eat?

Gerbils should have extremely little meat: like, say, just one tablespoon of meat per two weeks.

The amount of fat and protein in meat can be a bit overwhelming to gerbils. This is why extreme moderation is critical, while feeding gerbils on meat.


Final Verdict – Can Gerbils Eat Meat

Gerbils can eat meat. Since the gerbils are omnivores, their bodies are capable of handling both plant-based foods and animal-based foods (meats).

In nature, the type of meat gerbils eat is specifically insect meat. So they eat insects such as crickets, locusts, flies, mealworms and waxworms.

Can gerbils eat meat
Can Gerbils Eat Meat Safely?

Pet gerbils are sometimes also offered bigger animal meat – such as chicken, pork and beef. And they usually seem to tolerate it well, in small quantities.

Therefore gerbils can be offered small amounts of meat to eat, infrequently.

It is always good to remember that the amount of protein and fat in meat may be overwhelming to a gerbil. Therefore a gerbil should only be fed very small quantities of meat, and very infrequently.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet gerbil a good and comfortable life!

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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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