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Can Gerbils Eat Bananas? The Truth About This Sweet Fruit!

can gerbils eat bananas

Bananas are one of the most delicious fruits around and there’s no denying that. When you bite into one, the sweet flavor and soft texture can’t really be compared to anything else. Have you ever taken a bite of a banana, only to notice your gerbil staring at you with envy? 

Maybe not, but perhaps you’ve wondered, “can gerbils eat bananas?” Could I give him a piece to pacify his raging, never-ending hunger? Is it safe for my gerbil to eat or should I steer clear of this delectable fruit?

Does this mean you can’t enjoy banana movie nights together? Let’s find out if bananas are a nutritious addition to your pet’s diet. 

Can Gerbils Eat Bananas?

Bananas are a safe fruit for your gerbil to eat, but should be fed to your pet occasionally due to the high sugar content. Bananas can make for a healthy snack to include in your gerbil’s regular nutritious diet of pellet food. It will add some variety to his diet and bring him some happiness, especially if he’s a sweet tooth! I mean, don’t we all enjoy some sweetness occasionally?

However, while feeding your furry friend bananas, portion control is veeeeery important and you’ll want to avoid feeding him too much to avoid any potential health problems.

Do Gerbils Like Bananas?

Gerbils love to eat and that’s no secret. To feed their voracious appetite, you need a variety of healthy, nutritious foods that will keep them satisfied. Gerbils do love and enjoy bananas because they’re sweet and have a nice mushy texture! Preferably, feed them ripe or green bananas, as these will provide the most nutritional value. 

The Sweet Story About Bananas

Almost everyone has had at least one banana in their life at some point. It is a very tasty fruit (in my opinion) hence its popularity among the masses. Also, bananas tend to be one of the most affordable fruits around, which is a plus for your pockets! 

Surprisingly, bananas are actually berries. I bet you didn’t know that right? That’s the case because they develop from flowers with multiple ovaries, which might not make sense to us – but that makes it a berry.

The plant doesn’t grow from a tree (even though it looks like one), but from a plant in the Musaceae family. All in all, bananas are healthy fruits that most humans and pets can enjoy.

Do Wild Gerbils Eat Bananas?

What do gerbils normally eat in the wild? This might helps us to decide whether or not bananas are really suitable for gerbils. Gerbils are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods in the wild including grains, grass, roots, vegetables, and fruits.

Because wild gerbils live in grasslands and deserts, they do not have access to all their usual foods year-round. However, they do still find ways to get the necessary nutrients that they need to survive. In essence, gerbils will eat almost anything, so it is safe to say that they would eat bananas if they were readily accessible to them in the wild. 

Nutritional Profile of Bananas

How can we really decide if bananas are appropriate for gerbils, without knowing how healthy they are? You want the best food for your gerbils, to keep them healthy and happy for as long as possible. So let’s find out just how healthy bananas are and if they are a great choice for your pet. 

Bananas are not only sweet, they contain a well-rounded list of nutrients such as potassium, fiber, folate, niacin, copper, and antioxidants. 

According to Healthline, a regular-sized banana contains the following:

  • Calories: 112
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 29 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Riboflavin: 7% of the DV
  • Folate: 6% of the DV
  • Niacin: 5% of the DV
  • Copper: 11% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 8% of the DV

As you can see, these nutrients are great for your gerbil’s health and no doubt, he will be getting an energy boost from bananas!

Are Bananas Ever Bad for Gerbils?

It’s true that bananas can be unhealthy for your gerbils if they are not stored and prepared properly. However, it can also be harmful if given in excess. 

Bananas are safe, healthy, and nutritious if fed to your gerbil in moderation. Also, try feeding your gerbil bananas alongside other fruits to add variety.  Here are a few ways that bananas can be bad for your little gerbil if given too much. 

Digestive Problems

Eating too much of anything can create health issues for your pets. However, because bananas have a pretty decent amount of fiber, you won’t want to feed your gerbil too much of it. Eating too many bananas can lead to bloating and irritation. This can in turn lead to diarrhea, constipation, and even dehydration if he loses too many fluids. 


Gerbils can gain weight if they take in too much sugar. While fruit sugar is healthy, too much of it can be detrimental to your gerbil’s health. When sugar isn’t converted to energy, it is stored in the body as fat. This fat will lead to weight gain and your gerbil may develop diabetes and mobility issues. As mentioned by this vet, gerbils are very prone to obesity, so be careful when adding fruits to their diet. 

Are Bananas Good for Gerbils?

Of course, bananas are a great addition to a gerbil’s diet! (when given in moderation that is) They are loaded with vitamins and minerals that will keep your gerbil energized! Let’s take a look at the many benefits of this bountiful fruit!

Antioxidants for Gerbils

Did I mention that bananas are jam-packed with antioxidants? (Oh yeah, I already did) Antioxidants help to keep your gerbil’s cells safe and fight what are called free radicals. They are also linked with health benefits such as reduced heart disease and degenerative diseases. In short, antioxidants help your furbabies live a lot longer!

Vitamin Boost

Bananas are also filled with several minerals, all of which benefit your pet’s health. Potassium is one of these beneficial minerals that help to lower blood pressure which manages your gerbil’s overall heart health. It also plays a key role in your pet’s nerves and muscles!

  • Folate – great for red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth and function.
  • Riboflavin – helps the body break down carbs, protein, and fats to produce oxygen. 
  • Magnesium – supports muscle and nerve function and helps with energy production. 

Awesome Fiber

Fiber can help with your gerbil’s digestion once he eats the right amount. Unripe Bananas contain what’s called resistant starch which is a prebiotic. The prebiotic becomes food for beneficial bacteria which is great for gut health. Also, pectin, found in bananas, can help to soften stools.  

Blood Sugar Level

Even though bananas do contain sugar, in the right amounts it may improve blood sugar levels.  The soluble fiber contained in bananas along with resistant starch can work in tandem to moderate blood sugar levels. All in all, bananas won’t spike your gerbil’s blood sugar levels. 

nutritional facts about bananas

How Much Banana Can I Give My Gerbil?

Have you ever given your gerbils a whole banana and let them go crazy on it?

Well, I would recommend going easy on that!

When feeding your gerbils, moderation is key. Even when healthy, anything eaten in excess is not good for a small animal like a gerbil. Bananas are rich in sugar, so they should be eaten occasionally. 

Even though your gerbil may give you pitiful stares for more food, he should only be fed about 1 teaspoon of bananas in one serving. Remember that fruits should only make up around 5% of a gerbil’s diet, so he does not need a large serving of fruits each day. Slice the banana into manageable pieces (enough for him to hold) and have him eat a piece. Remove any banana from his cage before the end of the day, to avoid spoilage.

How to Feed Bananas to Your Gerbils

If this is your gerbil’s first time eating a banana, you should introduce the fruit slowly. This means giving bananas to your gerbil in small amounts to see how he reacts. Keep an eye on your gerbil and look for any unusual or negative reactions to the fruit. 

He could experience stomach ache or even diarrhea which should be treated immediately. If you notice any bad reactions, stop feeding him this fruit and take him to the vet. If he does enjoy the banana, it’s safe to continue feeding him. 

Can Gerbils Eat Banana Peels?

Banana peels are edible and gerbils can eat them. However, your gerbil may take to ripe bananas more readily because of the sweet taste and soft texture. Banana peels are not usually eaten by humans, however, a gerbil can eat them. Be sure to wash banana peels thoroughly before feeding them to your pet. 

Can Gerbils Eat Ripe Bananas?

Gerbils can definitely eat ripe bananas as they are healthy. Your gerbil will probably prefer ripe bananas more than the other forms of bananas because they’re delicious! Try giving ripe bananas to your gerbil by slicing them into pieces and presenting them. He may go at them right away and probably squeak for more!

Can Gerbils Eat Green Bananas?

Green bananas are generally cooked and eaten. They have a bland taste and can be eaten as is or turned into a porridge or salad. There are other ways to get creative with green bananas and I can’t list them all here! Your gerbil can eat green bananas but preferably cooked. This is one of the healthiest options for your gerbil to eat.  

Can Gerbils Eat Dried or Dehydrated Banana Chips?

These are excellent snacks for your gerbil and come packed in many gerbil pellet food products. Dried bananas are sliced and placed in a dehydrator which removes all the moisture. The texture is suitable for your gerbil, as they tend to be chewy or crunchy. When purchasing dried bananas, try to get ones that aren’t processed or those that contain additives. Even though the nutrients are a little less than fresh or cooked bananas, due to the drying process, they are still a healthy choice for your gerbil. 

Can Gerbils Eat Banana Chips?

While dried bananas and banana chips might seem similar, they are completely different food items. Dried bananas are dehydrated to remove water, and banana chips are usually fried in oil. However, some people bake them without oil, which is a healthy option. While they are tasty, they have a high-fat content due to added oil and the frying process. Your gerbils can eat them because they aren’t poisonous, but banana chips should be avoided at all costs. The high-fat content isn’t appropriate for your gerbil and they offer little nutrition when fried.

Can Gerbils Eat Banana Leaves?

Banana leaves are found on the plant of the banana and are not a part of the edible banana itself. Banana leaves are acceptable for your gerbil, even though we humans don’t eat them. Your gerbil can nibble on these leaves which are packed with antioxidants. Avoid feeding banana leaves to your gerbils more than once a week. 

Best Type of Bananas for Your Gerbil

The best types of banana products for your gerbil are those that have vitamins, minerals, and a great amount of nutrition, without unnecessary additives or added sugar. These would include cooked green bananas, ripe bananas, and dried bananas. Feed these delicious treats to your pet in moderation. 

How to Prepare and Store Bananas for Your Gerbils

  • First, try to get organic produce for your pet. In most cases, it is not necessary when getting bananas unless your pet is eating the banana peel which would contain pesticides. 
  • Wash bananas carefully to remove dirt and any other inedible substances. 
  • Slice the banana and feed it to your gerbil. Enjoy! (For the gerbil not, you)
  • Bananas can be stored at room temperature until ripened, or placed in the fridge before eating. Avoid freezing them if you plan on feeding your gerbil this treat. The texture will change and it won’t be as appetizing. 

Healthy Banana Cake Recipe for Gerbils

I found this on the website, Easy Kids Recipes and thought it would be a great addition for people who want to get creative with their pet’s recipes. Give it a try and see how it works!

Banana Recipe for gerbils

Can Gerbils Eat Bananas: Final Thoughts

Gerbils can eat bananas in moderate amounts as a healthy treat. While gerbils do enjoy them very much, if given in excess, they can cause digestive issues. Gerbils can eat green bananas, ripe bananas, and dried bananas. Your gerbils will benefit from antioxidants, and minerals like potassium, folate, and magnesium. Bananas are a healthy treat for your gerbil, but you should still include other veggies and fruits to create a balanced diet.

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