Can Gerbils Eat Tomatoes? Get Useful Information

Gerbils are small rodents that are known for their ability to eat a wide variety of foods. Talking about tomatoes that is a popular fruit or vegetable across the world. We love it but can gerbils eat tomatoes?

Yes, they can but in moderation. Tomatoes contain useful nutrients and vitamins which are good for gerbil’s health. However, the high water level and acidity in tomatoes can cause various digestive problems in gerbils. So you better avoid them.

Can Gerbils Eat Tomatoes?

Can Gerbils Eat Tomatoes

Tomatoes are generally safe for gerbils to eat, but here are a few things to consider before feeding them to your gerbil. Tomatoes contain a compound called solanine, which can be toxic to gerbils in large quantities. Solanine is the most concentrated in the stems and leaves of the tomato plant, so it’s best to remove these parts before giving tomatoes to your gerbil.

In addition to being aware of the potential toxicity of solanine, it’s also important to consider the nutritional content of tomatoes. Tomatoes are high in sugar and acidity, which is harmful to gerbils if consumed in excess. It’s best to offer small, diced pieces of tomato as an occasional treat rather than as a regular part of their diet.

As with any new food, introduce tomatoes to your gerbil slowly and observe their reaction. Pay attention to any signs of digestive upset or allergic reactions, and if you notice any negative symptoms, it’s best to discontinue feeding tomatoes to your gerbil.

When gerbils eat tomatoes, you have to do so in moderation and with caution. Monitor your gerbil’s reaction to tomatoes and make adjustments to their diet accordingly. If you have any concerns or questions about feeding tomatoes to your gerbil, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian for guidance.

Is it common for wild gerbils to eat tomatoes?

Gerbils are native to desert regions where such water-rich foods are scarce. In the wild, gerbils do not eat tomatoes or any water-rich fruits and vegetables.

Their natural diet mainly comprises seeds, various types of grass, nuts, and other dry plants. This diet matches the desert environment they inhabit, where access to water-rich foods is limited.

Gerbils and other desert-dwelling species have evolved to survive on minimal water intake. As a result, their digestive systems are not well-suited to handle foods with high water content.

This adaptation minimizes water loss, making the most of the little water they acquire from their dry diet. This unique characteristic contributes to the fact that gerbils, unlike many other rodents, tend not to emit strong odors, making them appealing as pets.

Can gerbils eat tomato flesh?

Gerbils can eat tomato flesh, but it’s too watery. So there is high chanch of digestive issues like diarrhea and potential weight loss if consumed in excess.

Tomato flesh does contain valuable nutrients, but feeding it to your gerbil may not be the best choice. However, if you have a dehydrated gerbil or want to provide some hydration, you can offer a small portion of tomato flesh to help refresh and rehydrate your pet. In general, it’s advisable to limit tomato flesh consumption.

Can gerbils eat tomato seeds?

Gerbils can safely consume dried tomato seeds. When harvested, tomato seeds contain a significant amount of moisture, approximately 60% to 70%, but this moisture content reduces to about 9% when the seeds are dried.

Dried tomato seeds can provide your gerbil with valuable nutrients. However, it’s worth considering whether the time and effort required collecting and dry these seeds is worth it when there are easier-to-obtain alternatives available.

Can gerbils eat parts of tomato plants?

Tomato leaves, stems, roots, and even unripe green tomatoes are highly poisonous to gerbils. These plant parts contain high levels of solanine and alpha-tomatine, which can be very toxic, even in small quantities, and can cause severe gastric issues.

Gerbils should never have access to any part of the tomato plant other than the dried seeds.

It’s essential to ensure that your pets like gerbils, do not have access to any of these parts of the tomato plant to prevent any potential harm.

Which Type Of Tomatoes Are Good For Gerbils?

Do Gerbils Eat Tomatoes

There are many varieties of tomatoes. So which is suitable for your gerbils? Here is the explanation:

1. Grape Tomatoes: Gerbils can eat grape tomatoes without any issues. These tomatoes have thicker skins, which might make them seem a bit harder to eat, but gerbils enjoy foods with thicker, rough, or fibrous skins as they are ideal for gnawing.

2. Cherry Tomatoes: Gerbils can also safely consume cherry tomatoes. While these may be slightly more watery and have more seeds compared to grape tomatoes. However, your gerbils generally appreciate the variety in taste and texture. Their thinner skins pose no problem for your pet.

3. Green or Yellow Tomatoes: Gerbils are allowed to eat both green and yellow tomatoes. The main difference between these and ripe red tomatoes is the taste, which gerbils don’t mind. However, it’s essential to avoid feeding your gerbil fried green tomatoes, as they are deep-fried and cooked in hot oil, making them too fatty for your pet’s diet.

You can feed fresh chopped tomatoes to your gerbils. Also, they can eat cooked tomatoes. Whether gerbils can eat cooked tomatoes depends on how they are prepared. If tomatoes are cooked in oil, it is best to avoid feeding them to your gerbil.

Cooking in oil increases the caloric content of the food and alters the macronutrient balance, which can lead to an excessive intake of fat. But you can give them roasted tomatoes.

Can Gerbils Benefit from Eating Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are packed with various nutrients, carbohydrates, calories, fat, protein, fiber, and water.  One key aspect that stands out is the high water content in tomatoes, similar to most vegetables. While this may not be a problem if fed in moderation, gerbils generally enjoy vegetables with higher water content.

In terms of calories, tomatoes are low in this department, offering only 16 calories per 100g. This is both a positive and a negative aspect. So you can safely include tomatoes in your gerbil’s diet without worrying about weight gain.

Gerbils require roughly 80% of their calories from carbohydrates, 15% from protein, and 5% from fat for optimal growth. Tomatoes closely align with these proportions like Carbohydrates: 71%, Fats: 10%, and Proteins: 17%.

Tomatoes also offer a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and potassium, among others. These nutrients are essential for your gerbil’s overall health.

While tomatoes boast a rich assortment of vitamins and minerals, there is one notable omission: magnesium. Magnesium is crucial for maintaining good brain health and can help prevent seizures. Therefore, your gerbil will need to obtain sufficient magnesium from other sources in its diet.

How Often Should Gerbils Eat Tomato?

You should provide tomatoes to your gerbils as an occasional snack. Although tomatoes are a healthier choice compared to some snacks, they should still be limited due to potential side effects.

When offering tomatoes, ensure that it’s just a small part (like small apple slice ) of this daily allowance. To maintain a balanced diet, you can provide your gerbil with approximately half a tablespoon of tomato and half a tablespoon of their regular food.

Just as people enjoy snacks occasionally, the same principle applies to your pet gerbil’s diet. Feed tomatoes to your gerbil as a treat, once a week is sufficient. More frequent consumption can increase the risk of side effects, so it’s best to stick to this recommended frequency and quantity.

What If Your Gerbils Eat Excessive Tomatoes?

Eating tomatoes in excessive amounts can have some side effects for gerbils. For example:

Diarrhea: If your gerbil consumes an excessive quantity of tomatoes, it can cause diarrhea. They will experience loose stools that are more watery than usual. This is primarily due to the high water content in tomatoes.

Acidic Content: Tomatoes are acidic in nature. Excess acidity in food can disrupt the balance of stomach acid in gerbils, potentially damaging their digestive system and causing discomfort,

Nutritional Deficiency: If your gerbil were to consume a diet consisting solely of tomatoes, it would not receive the necessary vitamins and minerals. Gerbils need a varied diet that includes fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and a wide range of micronutrients for optimal health.

Weight Loss: Prolonged diarrhea can lead to weight loss in gerbils. This is because their bodies do not efficiently absorb all the nutrients they consume when they are experiencing diarrhea, resulting in potential nutrient loss and decreased body weight over time.


Gerbils can eat tomatoes and you should give it only as a treat. Tomatoes are not an ideal choice for gerbils due to their high water content, which can lead to digestive issues. It’s better to avoid feeding them tomatoes, but if you want to add some new food to their diet, then you can include tomatoes in a small amount.

A small portion of tomatoes can help rehydrate a gerbil. But, in general, it’s advisable to consider other hydrating options. You should always feed tomatoes in moderation. 

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