Do Gerbils Smell?

Gerbils are small and adorable creatures that make great pets. Many people consider them as low-maintenance pets because they are easy to care for, active, and curious animals. However, one question that often comes up when considering a gerbil as a pet is : Do Gerbils Smell?

It’s no secret that some animals can produce unpleasant odors that can be difficult to live with.

So, if you’re thinking of adding a gerbil to your family, it’s essential to know whether or not they have any particular odor concerns. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of gerbils and explore the truth behind their scent and whether or not you need to worry about any foul smells.

Do Gerbils Smell?

Do Gerbils Smell

Yes, gerbils do have a smell. They produce a musky odor that is similar to a mouse, but much more subtle. This scent is produced by the oils on their fur, skin and can become more noticeable when they are scared or excited.

The smell is not necessarily unpleasant, but it can be strong enough to be detected in an enclosed space like a cage. To help reduce the odor, it’s important to keep your gerbil’s cage clean and regularly change out its bedding and food dishes.

Additionally, you should handle your gerbil regularly to help reduce stress levels which can also contribute to an increase in smell.

Overall, gerbils are generally low-odor pets that don’t require any special cleaning or deodorizing products. However, if you find the smell of your gerbil too strong for your liking, there are some steps you can take to help reduce it.

Why Do Gerbils Smell Bad?

Gerbils are small, social animals that make great pets. Unfortunately, they can sometimes have an unpleasant odor. This is usually due to their diet or their environment.

Gerbils are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Their diet should include a variety of foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and insects. If the food isn’t fresh or if it’s not varied enough, it can cause their urine to smell bad.

Moreover, if the cage isn’t kept clean and there is a buildup of waste in the bedding material, this can also cause a strong odor. To keep your gerbil smelling fresh and healthy, make sure you provide them with a balanced diet and regularly clean out their cage and replace the bedding material. This will help keep your pet happy and odor-free!

How to Keep Pet Gerbils Clean?

Keeping pet gerbils clean is relatively easy and low-maintenance. First, you’ll need to provide a large enough cage with an absorbent bedding material such as aspen shavings or recycled paper pellets. This should be changed every week or two to keep the cage clean and odor-free.

Gerbils are also very good at grooming themselves, so you won’t need to bathe them unless they get into something sticky or smelly. If you do need to give them a bath, use only lukewarm water and avoid getting water in their ears and noses.

Finally, it’s important to keep their nails trimmed. You can do this yourself using small nail clippers designed for small animals, or you can take your gerbil to a vet for trimming if needed.

Can I Bath Pet Gerbils?

Generally, it is not a good idea to bathe pet gerbils. Unlike other rodents, such as hamsters, gerbils do not need regular baths. In fact, bathing them too often can cause health problems due to the stress of being in the water.

Gerbils are desert animals and have natural oils in their fur that help them stay cool and hydrated in hot climates. When they are submerged in water, these oils are washed away which can leave them dehydrated and vulnerable to infection. Additionally, the shock of being placed in water can be very stressful for gerbils and can even lead to death if done incorrectly.

If your gerbil is particularly dirty or has gotten into something sticky, you should spot clean the affected area with a damp cloth instead of giving it a full bath. If you must give your gerbil a bath, use lukewarm water and make sure you dry its fur thoroughly afterward with a soft towel.

Sand Bathe for Gerbils

Sand bathing is a popular activity for gerbils, and it can be an important part of their overall health. Gerbils use sand to clean themselves and remove excess oils from their fur. This helps keep their coat in good condition and prevents skin problems.

To provide your gerbil with a sand bath, you should fill a shallow container with fine sand or chinchilla dust. Place the container in your gerbil’s cage and allow them to explore it.

You may also need to show them how to use the sand bath by gently placing them in the container and helping them move around in it. Be sure to empty out the used sand once your gerbil is finished and replace it with fresh sand every few weeks.

In addition to providing a sand bath, you should also brush your gerbil regularly to help maintain its coat’s natural sheen and softness. This will also help ensure that they stay healthy and happy!

Do Gerbils Groom?

Yes, gerbils do groom themselves and each other. Grooming is an important behavior for gerbils; it helps them keep their fur clean and free of parasites.

They use their tongues to lick each other’s fur and also use their front paws to scratch or comb the fur of their cage mates.

Gerbils typically groom in small groups, usually with one dominant gerbil leading the grooming session. This dominant gerbil will groom the others first before they take turns grooming each other. It’s not uncommon for a group of gerbils to spend hours grooming each other! So, Gerbils should not live alone to miss this grooming opportunity.

Grooming sessions are also important for bonding between gerbils. When they are being groomed, they release hormones that help them relax and build trust with each other. This can be especially beneficial if you have recently introduced new gerbils into your home as it will help them get used to living together peacefully and happily!


Gerbils do produce a minimal odor, but their natural grooming habits and diet can greatly reduce any unpleasant smells. Regular cage cleaning and proper ventilation can also help keep odors at bay. Overall, with proper care and maintenance, gerbils can make wonderful pets for those looking for a low-maintenance option.

As with any pet, it is important to do research and understand their specific needs before bringing them into your home. So, if you’re considering adding a gerbil to your family, don’t let concerns about odor hold you back – just be sure to take the necessary steps to keep their space clean and comfortable.

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