Gerbils cost between $0 to $100 to buy, and supplies cost $50 to $200 per year. Their cage is cheap at around $50 to $60. The most expensive recurring cost when keeping gerbils is the cost of food at approximately $50 to $100 per year.
Gerbils are affectionate rodents that are increasingly being kept as pets. They are one of the most popular rodent species, besides hamsters.
They make excellent first-time pets, and caring for them is easier than some people expect.
As for cost, they’re relatively cheap to buy and keep. You can even get one for free if you’re lucky.
But how much does a gerbil cost? And what do they actually cost to keep?
This article discusses the pricing of gerbils and their supplies to help you make a better decision when getting your first gerbil.
How Much Does a Gerbil Cost?
Gerbils cost $0 to $100 depending on the breed and where you get them from. You can get a gerbil for free from a variety of sellers if they have an abundance of them. Gerbils from high-quality breeders can cost you as much as $100.
Gerbils are generally inexpensive pets compared to dogs and cats. The most significant cost of owning a gerbil is the cost of the rodent itself.
The cost of a gerbil depends on various factors:
- Coat color
- Demand for the breed
- Breeder costs
Cost of Buying a Gerbil
There are several starting costs of bringing home a new gerbil. Apart from the supplies, the only major cost is that of the gerbil itself.
You can get a gerbil in one of three possible ways.
|$5 to $30
|Purchase from breeder
|$15 to $100
Craigslist is one of the most famous classified ad websites. And, you can use it to find gerbils for free.
There are many reasons why people give gerbils away:
- They are not able to care for their gerbils.
- Their gerbils multiplied.
- They are interested in keeping their pet.
Finding someone who wants to give away their gerbil is the most cost-effective way of getting a gerbil. It’s free.
If you are lucky, you can even find an owner who will give you all of the necessary starting supplies for free.
The best way to get your new pet gerbil is to adopt one from a rescue or a shelter. Adopting a gerbil from a shelter gives unfortunate rodents a new chance at life.
Each shelter has its own policy and pricing, but it is the most affordable way to get a gerbil (apart from giveaways).
The average cost of adopting a gerbil is around $5 to $30, depending on the breed and shelter.
Some shelters also provide cages and other supplies, keeping the cost even lower.
Gerbil breeders are professionals and have experience in producing the healthiest gerbil babies possible. If you want to buy from a breeder, it is important to find a reputable one.
Breeders also provide additional information and knowledge sources to help you in case of any queries and concerns.
Look for healthy and clean gerbils that are active inside the cages. Lethargic and dirty gerbils are not ideal as they can be sick. You can also ask to see the mother know about the parent breeds.
Gerbils from a professional breeder can cost you anywhere from $15 to $100.
Gerbil Cost According to Breed
Fat-tailed gerbils are less common and more expensive than Mongolian gerbils. These two breeds are the only gerbil species kept as pets. Fat-tailed gerbils sell for $80–100, while Mongolian gerbils sell for $5–20.
Gerbils occur in nature in a variety of breeds. Most of them are not kept as pets due to their availability and less domestication. Some of the most common types of gerbils are:
- Mongolian gerbils
- Fat-tailed gerbils
- Great gerbils
- Indian gerbils
- North African gerbil
- Shaw’s Jird
- Greater Egyptian gerbil
Among them, only the Mongolian gerbil  and the fat-tailed gerbils are commonly kept as pets.
Due to their high availability, Mongolian gerbils are inexpensive and can be bought for $5 to $20.
The Mongolian gerbils are one of the most common types of gerbils found in the world. They are also the most kept gerbils as pets. They originated in Mongolia but are also found in Russia and China.
Mongolian gerbils have a life expectancy of around three to five years and a length of around 6 inches.
Fat-tailed gerbils are not easy to find, and only a few breeders sell them. You can get a Duprasi for around $80 to $100.
The Duprasi, or the fat-tailed gerbil, is another popular gerbil breed kept as a pet. They have a thick tail that stores food and water for the small rodent to use in the desert climate where nutrition is short.
The fat-tailed gerbils are smaller than Mongolian gerbils but have a longer lifespan of up to 6 years. They are highly docile and are found in Africa.
Cost of Supplies
Gerbils need a cage, food, food bowls, water bottles, bedding, and more. The price of gerbil supplies is about $160 to $350 to get started, with some recurring expenses on top.
Now that you know the cost of buying a gerbil, you should know about the cost of some major supplies. Gerbils need some essential supplies to remain happy and healthy.
|Food (per year)
You can divide the supplies into two categories – one-time and recurring.
One-Time Costs of Supplies
One-time supplies for gerbils include:
- Feeding bowls
- Glass water bottles
- Exercise wheels and chew toys
- Carrier (Optional)
Let’s look at each of these supplies one by one.
The cage is the most important part of keeping your pet safe. A cage keeps gerbils contained and is where they have all of their necessities.
Rodents are usually kept in steel cages that help them run around easily, but gerbils are different.
Gerbils are burrowers and prefer to burrow deep in the ground. You should fill the gerbilarium with a lot of bedding so your gerbil can satisfy its burrowing needs.
You can get a high-quality gerbilarium for around $30 to $100.
Like humans, gerbils need food to survive. To feed your gerbil, you need proper food bowls.
Gerbils love to chew plastic even though it is harmful to them, which is why plastic bowls should be avoided.
Ceramic food bowls are a great choice as they are heavy to move and are difficult to chew.
You can get a high-quality gerbil food bowl for around $15 to $20.
Gerbils drink less water than most other rodents. They are native to deserts and can survive long periods with no water.
But this doesn’t mean that they don’t drink water at all.
You need to install glass water bottles in your gerbil’s cage to ensure a smooth water supply. Plastic bottles should be avoided as gerbils can chew on them.
You can get a glass water bottle for around $5 to $10.
Gerbils are highly active and energetic rodents. They are also active at night and can make loud noises out of boredom. Keeping them busy and distracted is important to give yourself uninterrupted sleep.
Gerbils need a lot of exercise to fulfill their needs. Digging and burrowing are only half of it.
A safe exercise wheel should be installed inside your gerbilarium to keep your pet entertained.
Don’t use a hamster’s exercise wheel for gerbils. They have different requirements, and their wheels are not interchangeable.
A high-quality and safe exercise wheel will cost you around $20 to $40.
Chew toys are another important part of your gerbil’s cage. Gerbil’s teeth continue to grow forever.
If the teeth become too big, they can hurt the lips and inhibit proper eating. This is a serious issue, but it can luckily be avoided.
Gerbils regularly trim their teeth by chewing. The more they chew, the smaller their teeth become. It is important to provide chew toys in your gerbil’s cage so it can chew on them and file its teeth.
Small pieces of wood and hay are the best chew toys for gerbils and cost around $2 to $10.
If you travel a lot and want to take your gerbil with you, you should have a gerbil carrier. A carrier allows your gerbil to remain safe from the outside world while walking on safe bedding.
This also decreases their anxiety and stress levels.
A good-quality carrier costs around $20 to $30.
Recurring Costs of Supplies
As a pet owner, you will have recurring expenses. The most important recurring costs of gerbils are:
- Dust baths
- Veterinary costs
There are a variety of foods you can feed your gerbil. They are omnivores which means they eat plants and animals.
Pet gerbils should be given specialized pellet mixes as part of their daily intake.
These pellets contain all the necessary nutrients for gerbils and are available in large quantities, so you can buy them in bulk. A high-quality pellet mix costs around $50 to $100 annually.
You can also feed your gerbil fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to mix things up.
One of the essential parts of a gerbil’s cage is its bedding. If you have a gerbilarium, you can create a layer of bedding to mimic the desert landscape for your gerbil.
They have natural urges to burrow, which is why a thick layer of bedding is important. In the wild, gerbils burrow to keep themselves safe from predators and escape the harsh weather of deserts.
There are several types of bedding you can use for gerbils:
- Aspen shavings
- Shredded paper
Bedding should be dust-free and made of edible materials so your gerbil doesn’t get sick. It should also be able to absorb urine.
The best bedding option is aspen shavings along with sand. A mixture of these can help gerbils create stronger tunnels that don’t fall in.
You can get good-quality aspen bedding for around $20.
Unlike most animals, gerbils don’t bathe in water. They clean their bodies by rolling in special dust. This helps them clean their bodies and remove excess oil.
All gerbils need regular dust baths to stay clean and healthy. But you can’t use any regular dust. You need to use specially created dust known as gerbil dust.
There are two ways to give your gerbil a dust bath:
- Put a dust bowl in the gerbilarium so your gerbil can take a dust bath whenever it wants
- Put your gerbil in a dust bath outside the cage two to three times per week. Replace the dust in the dust bath if it starts to get moldy or lumpy.
You can get good-quality dust for around $15 to $20.
Like all other pets, gerbils need veterinarian visits every once in a while. They are generally healthy rodents and don’t get sick often, but they can develop problems that require attention.
Dental issues are one of the biggest causes of vet visits for gerbils. When their teeth become uneven or too large, they have difficulty filling them.
A trained vet can professionally trim your gerbil’s teeth so it can eat in peace.
Another great part about having gerbils is that they don’t require any vaccines.
A regular health checkup with your veterinarian costs around $0 to $80, depending on your insurance.
Gerbils are inexpensive to buy and maintain. You can get a gerbil for free, adopt one from a shelter, or buy them from breeders. The cost varies from $0 to $100.
You do need to invest a small amount of money initially, which includes the cost of the gerbil and essential supplies.
The recurring costs of gerbils are between $100 to $150 per year, which is cheap compared to some other pets such as cats and dogs.
Are Gerbils Cheap Pets to Own?
Yes, gerbils are cheap pets to own. They don’t cost much upfront and are inexpensive to maintain annually. The biggest costs of owning a gerbil include the cost of the gerbil itself and the gerbilarium.
What Is the Cheapest Gerbil Bedding?
Shredded paper is the cheapest gerbil bedding. Paper is easily available everywhere and can be used as bedding for gerbils. Ensure that the paper doesn’t contain any ink as they are harmful to gerbils. They can easily chew paper, and it doesn’t affect their digestive system.
How Much Do Gerbils Cost at Petco?
Gerbils at Petco cost $10 to $20. Petco doesn’t sell gerbils online. You can get a gerbil from any of its stores which you can locate using Petco’s website.