Gerbils are great pets - they’re funny, energetic and very, very cute. Getting a gerbil is an exciting experience, whether you choose to adopt one or buy one. This page covers some information on purchasing a gerbil, but we’ve also created a Should I Get Gerbils section if you need advice on whether or not to bring two into your life.
Buying a gerbil is quite easy, provided you know what you’re looking for - and what you should be avoiding.
Gerbils are growing in popularity, and are now available in most pet shops
Before you bring your gerbils home, you need to be really really sure of their gender. If you accidentally bring home one that is the wrong gender then before you know it you could be needing to find homes for over a dozen babies!
Check the quality of the enclosure
Are your prospective pets being kept in good conditions? Do they have a private place to sleep and to run to if they get scared? Do they have access to food and water? Are there too many gerbils in the enclosure? If the gerbils aren’t being kept properly then the seller isn’t very ethical. It could be a cruel practice, and any pets you purchase from them may be more likely than usual to be carrying diseases.
Check that the gerbils, and their cage companions, are well
Are your prospective pets well? Do they have nice, thick fur? Are they walking well? Do they have healthy, bright eyes that are free of lots of crust and discharge? Are they nice and active?
Avoid buying online
If you’re thinking of buying from an online shop, we highly recommend seeing the pets in person before you purchase them (and obviously don’t get them shipped to you). Online shops can mislead customers, and may be very well-disguised gerbil farms. If you can’t see the condition of the mother, and you can’t see how they are being kept, then you could be giving money to an unethical breeder.