If you’ve ever wanted a veggie that’s nutritious, hydrating, and great for juicing then cucumbers should be high on your list. It’s a widely cultivated plant around the world and is used in many recipes as well as a healthy salad addition.
Cucumber is perfectly safe for humans, however, can gerbils eat cucumber? Can it become a staple in their diet, or should they avoid it entirely?
Let’s find out more information about your gerbil’s diet and how to give the best nutrition possible!
Can Gerbils Eat Cucumbers?
Cucumber is considered a fruit, although it is used as a vegetable in most parts of the world. It is a healthy plant item due to its low calories, its collection of minerals and nutrients, and its water content.
Gerbils can eat cucumber, but in small amounts. The main reason is the high water content which can be harmful to them. If cucumber is fed in small amounts, your gerbil should be fine, but in large quantities, your gerbil may experience side effects.
Do Gerbils Like Cucumbers?
Gerbils do enjoy eating cucumber and many other vegetables. They usually enjoy the texture which can be crunchy and may help to file their incisors. If they are feeling hot on a particular day, cucumber could help to hydrate them and cool them down because of the water content.
Every gerbil is unique and some might enjoy it more than others. These pet owners mentioned that their gerbils don’t like it that much, but some gerbils do.
While your gerbil might enjoy cucumber, offer it in small amounts to avoid any potential health problems.
Do Gerbils Eat Cucumbers in the Wild?
Wild gerbils are found in the desert and because water is hard to come by, their bodies are specially adapted to meet this crisis. Therefore, they do not need a lot of water and their bodies can adjust to drinking very small amounts in order to survive.
Cucumbers won’t naturally be found in the desert, so gerbils would not have access to this veggie. They do get water from the roots they eat in their natural environment, which is sufficient for them.
Is Cucumber Safe for Gerbils?
Cucumbers are generally safe for gerbils in small amounts. However, if fed too much of this vegetable it could cause certain health issues.
Gerbils have sensitive stomachs so if they eat an item excessively, it can lead to stomach problems. Keep in mind that cucumbers do contain a healthy amount of fiber which is fine for humans. However, for a small animal like a gerbil, too much fiber can lead to additional problems.
While this is usually a sign of a deadly disease known as Tyzzer’s disease, it can sometimes be caused by gerbils ingesting too much water. As mentioned previously, gerbils do not need much water to survive. Cucumber is a water-heavy plant source, so it could affect your gerbil if he eats too much of it.
Dehydration and Weight loss
Gerbils can suffer from dehydration and weight loss as a result of experiencing diarrhea. Diarrhea usually causes water and nutrient loss in animals, which is dangerous if not tended to quickly. Sometimes, your gerbil may also lose his appetite and avoid eating altogether. If this takes place, you should check with your vet for the best course of action.
Can Gerbils Eat Raw Cucumber?
Gerbils can eat raw cucumber and they will certainly enjoy it more than cooked ones. Raw cucumber contains a range of nutrients and minerals that gerbils can benefit from. In fact, raw vegetables are what gerbils naturally consume anyway, so they will easily much on fresh cucumbers.
Can Gerbils Eat Cooked Cucumber?
It’s possible for gerbils to eat cooked cucumbers, but cooking will result in the loss of nutrients and minerals. For optimal health, gerbils should eat food in the most natural form possible. If you do choose to cook cucumber, be sure to avoid additives like salt, seasoning, or sauces. Also, your gerbil should not eat fried cucumbers as they offer no nutritional value.
Can Gerbils Eat Cucumber Seeds?
It’s completely fine for gerbils to eat cucumber seeds while eating the vegetable itself. This means, there is no need to remove the seeds and feed them separately to your gerbil, as it may be more difficult for your gerbil to eat them.
Cucumber seeds are a healthy option because they contain sodium, manganese, iron, and zinc, so it’s a great addition to your gerbil’s diet.
Can Gerbils Eat Cucumber Skin?
One thing that gerbils love about fruits and vegetables is the crunchy texture they have. Cucumbers certainly do have a crunchy texture that gerbil’s enjoy munching on and much of this comes from the skin.
It’s fine for gerbils to eat the skin of cucumbers as it does have its own health benefits. As long as you don’t overfeed your gerbil cucumber skins, he should be ok. One thing to keep in mind is that the skin may contain pesticides that are unsafe for gerbils. Try to source them organically if you can.
Can Gerbils Eat Pickles?
Gerbils should not eat pickles because they contain additives such as salt, spices, and vinegar. These rodents cannot handle these ingredients and they offer no health benefits. High sodium can raise your gerbil’s blood pressure significantly and can also lead to diarrhea.
How Often Can Gerbils Eat Cucumber?
Cucumbers can be fed to your gerbil once a month as a refreshing and hydrating veggie. It can probably come in handy during extremely hot weather or when your gerbil isn’t drinking that much.
Gerbils generally eat a pellet and seed mix which provide sufficient nutrients. As a treat, though, pet owners can feed vegetables and fruits in small quantities. Some can be safer than others based on the water, sugar, salt, and nutritional content they contain.
Because cucumber has high water content, give your gerbil this veggie in very small amounts.
Health Benefits of Cucumber for Gerbils
One thing that stands out about cucumbers is that they are a fantastic source of hydration. What makes them great as well, is that they are low-fat, low-calorie, and are a good source of fiber. A half cup of cucumber contains a range of nutrients including:
- Calories: 30
- Total fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 10% of the recommended daily value (DV)
- Vitamin K: 57% of the DV
- Magnesium: 9% of the DV
- Potassium: 12% of the DV
- Manganese: 9% of the DV
With the number of nutrients it contains, no doubt it has some benefits for your furry friend. Cucumbers are great because:
It Has Antioxidants
Antioxidants are excellent for health because they fight free radicals which cause damage to the body. Cucumbers contain beneficial antioxidants which fight inflammation and chronic diseases.
Helps With Hydration
While gerbils do well without lots of water, cucumber is refreshing and contains vitamins and minerals which are beneficial for your gerbil’s health.
Great for Digestion
Fiber does help to move things along, and in the case that your gerbil is feeling stopped up, cucumber can certainly help out.
Can Gerbils Eat Cucumbers?
While gerbils can eat cucumbers, they should eat them in small amounts. The water content is the primary issue here and gerbils don’t need large quantities of water. Your gerbil should be safe eating cucumbers once a month and they do enjoy it because of the crunchy texture.