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Can Gerbils Eat Almonds? Healthy or Poisonous?

can gerbils eat almonds

Not everyone loves the taste of almonds, but my family loves them! What about you? Do you enjoy the nutty flavor of this delicious snack? Almonds are native to Iran and trees were found in abundance in countries like Greece, Spain, Morocco, and Israel. Historians estimate that they existed for as long as the past 5,000 years. 

Almonds contain a number of minerals, vitamins, and even fiber and protein. They can usually be eaten raw or roasted for added flavor. That begs the question for some pet owners, can gerbils eat almonds? Is this tasty treat safe for your pet, or are you better off giving him pellet food?

Let’s find out!

Can Gerbils Eat Almonds?

Gerbils can eat almonds in moderate amounts because they eat similar items in the wild. Technically though, almonds are actually seeds and not nuts as they are largely considered. It should be incorporated into their diet as a snack, but should not make up a significant part of it.

Your gerbil’s main diet would be his pellet food along with items like fruits, veggies, and some seeds and nuts, small amounts, of course. 

Do Gerbils Like Almonds?

It would be surprising if your gerbil turned his nose up to almonds because gerbils simply love to eat!

Still, every gerbil has preferences, so your furry friend may not like almonds. However, in general, gerbils love almonds and they will snack on them ravenously.

Health Benefits of Almonds for Gerbils

Although almonds are known for their high-fat content, they contain the ‘good’ fats that are beneficial for us. Even though gerbils can eat almonds, their diet should not contain a large number of high-fat foods. Still, almonds do contain vitamins and minerals that are great for gerbils. 

According to Very Well Fit, an ounce of almonds contain:

  • Calories: 164
  • Fat: 14.2g
  • Sodium: 0.3mg
  • Carbohydrates: 6.1g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Sugars: 1.2g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Vitamin E: 7.3mg
  • Magnesium: 76.7mg

Vitamin E is helpful for proper immune function, vision, reproduction, and the health of your blood, brain, and skin. Magnesium on the other hand supports muscle and nerve function and energy production.

Almonds also contain small amounts of calcium, iron, manganese, and magnesium and have antioxidant properties. 

Other potential benefits of almonds include:

  • Lowers cholesterols
  • Reduces cancer risk
  • Improves heart health
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Supports gut health
almond types

How Many Almonds Can Gerbils Eat?

Almonds should be limited in a gerbil’s diet as they are fattening. One ounce of almonds contains about 14 grams of fat with 80% being monounsaturated fat, 15% polyunsaturated fat, and 5% as saturated fat.

While this is a healthy snack for humans to have frequently, a tiny gerbil should not have a large number of almonds in one serving. Almonds should not exceed more than 10% of a gerbil’s diet due to the high fat they contain. 

Are Almonds Safe for Gerbils? 

Almonds are safe and nutritious treats to feed your gerbil as an occasional treat. They contain healthy nutrients and antioxidants which can boost health. They also contain healthy fats that promote heart health. 

Gerbils can eat almonds in their various forms which include raw, roasted, blanched, and sweet almonds. However, you should avoid feeding them bitter almonds as they can cause health issues and death.  

If gerbils eat too many almonds, it can result in side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weight Gain
  • Obesity

Can Gerbils Eat Salted Almonds?

Gerbils should not eat salted almonds because the salt content is not great for these little guys. Store-bought almonds are usually salted which is the reason most people purchase them. The salt brings out the flavor of almonds which makes them more addictive.

Gerbils shouldn’t eat any amount of salted almonds as it could cause health issues such as high blood pressure,  dehydration, and heart problems. When purchasing almonds always go for the salt-free version. 

Can Gerbils Eat Raw and Roasted Almonds? 

Gerbils can eat raw almonds as these are the healthiest type. They contain no salt, additives, or oil. So they can be safely fed to your pet in small amounts. 

Roasted almonds are also a healthy choice for gerbils as long as they contain no added salt. Roasted almonds are just as healthy as raw almonds because they lose little nutritional value during the cooking process. 

They still retain healthy fats, protein, fiber, and a small amount of carbohydrates. Your gerbil can definitely enjoy roasted almonds occasionally.

Can Gerbils Eat Bitter Almonds?

Bitter almonds are used to create almond oil and as the name states, they are really bitter. Bitter almonds contain amygdalin, a toxic chemical that is poisonous when consumed. That’s because it turns into hydrocyanic acid which can cause breathing problems. So gerbils should not eat bitter almonds as it would be poisonous to them.

Can Gerbils Eat Candies Almonds?

Sweet almonds, include both the sweet almond and bitter almond families. While the bitter almond is poisonous, the sweet almond is perfectly fine for gerbils. Sweet almonds are often used in cooking and used to create oil.

They are healthy for gerbils in very small amounts as they do contain high amounts of fat. When it comes to candies almonds, it’s best to avoid this cooked dish because of the high sugar content.

 Can Gerbils Eat Flaked Almonds?

It’s safe to feed your gerbil flaked almonds in moderation. Just as with raw and roasted almonds, flaked almonds have a high-fat content, so they shouldn’t be given too often. Feed your gerbils a balanced diet containing pellet food and small amounts of fruits and veggies. 

Can Gerbils Eat Blanched Almonds?

Gerbils can certainly eat blanched almonds as they are just almonds with the skins removed. They have a lovely sweet flavor with a sort of buttery texture. It is often used to make almond milk which I find delicious. I’ve made almond milk and even nut cheeses with blanched almonds. 

Again, gerbils should only eat small portions because they are high in fat. It should be a tasty treat for your gerbil to snack on from time to time.

Can Gerbils Eat Almond Butter?

Almond butter is a favorite for many people. It has risen in popularity in recent years and is used as a replacement for peanut butter and is touted as a healthier alternative. Almond butter is safe for your gerbil in very small amounts as long as it contains no sugar, salt, or additives. It is high in fat, so it should be used very sparingly. Store-bought almond butter generally contains high amounts of sugar, so it should be avoided.

Can Gerbils Drink Almond Milk?

Almond milk is safe for gerbils in small amounts. However, gerbils should only have a small amount of liquid each day which primarily includes water. It’s better to feed almonds in their solid form rather than in the liquid form as your gerbil may ingest a high amount of fat. 

Can Gerbils Eat Almonds?

Almonds are a tasty snack that gerbils can enjoy on an occasional basis. They do enjoy the flavor of almonds which is often described as delicate, nutty, slightly sweet, and buttery. Gerbils can eat raw, roasted, blanched, and flaked almonds as well as almond milk. 

If this is the first time feeding almonds to your gerbil, introduce it slowly and take note of his reaction. If he shows signs of poor health, stop feeding the almonds and ask your vet for advice. On the other hand, if your gerbil shows no signs of distress and enjoys it, you can then feed him small amounts of almonds. 

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