Did you know that dandelions are nutritious plants that promote good health and can be eaten just like regular veggies? While considered a flower, dandelion is often used as a tea, garnish, veggie, or snack.
Some people discard this ‘weed’ from their yard very often, but it’s a fantastic flower that can be used to benefit humans. However, can gerbils eat dandelions? Is this healthy snack that’s great for their health too?
Let’s find out more about dandelions and whether it’s a good fit for your furry friend!
Can Gerbils Eat Dandelions?
Gerbils can eat dandelions as they are entirely safe for them. However, it’s best to remember that a gerbil’s main food will include food pellets along with a small number of fruits and vegetables to supplement the diet. Dandelions can be fed to gerbils as a snack, but they should not make up a significant part of their diet.
Do Gerbils Like Dandelions?
Yes, gerbils do like dandelions and actually quite enjoy them. Dandelions have a bitter, tangy flavor which gerbils are used to from some of the root plants they subsist on in the wild. One Redditor mentioned that his gerbil loves fresh dandelion leaves but doesn’t like the flowers.
Another mentioned that when feeding your gerbil dandelions, they should be washed carefully to remove any dirt or impurities.
Are Dandelions OK for Gerbils?
Dandelions are fine for gerbils in moderation. While he may enjoy this unique snack, it is best to give him occasionally and in small amounts. Dandelions should not become a staple in your pet’s diet, but something to enjoy now and again.
Gerbils can enjoy dandelions when they are fresh, usually around springtime and they should be completely pesticide free.
Dandelion Nutritional Facts
As mentioned before, dandelions are highly nutritious, so they make for a nice snack from time to time. They are loaded with vitamins such as A, C, K, E, and some B vitamins as well. It also contains Folate, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, and Manganese.
As you may already know, vitamin A is great for your eyes, the immune system, reproduction, general growth and development, and for organs such as the heart and lungs.
Vitamin K helps with blood clotting and building bones. It has also been shown to maintain strong bones, improve bone density, and decrease the risk of fractures.
This vitamin is a nutrient that is important for vision, blood health, reproduction, and organs such as the brain and skin. It also has antioxidant properties and may be good for oxidative stress.
This is an essential nutrient as it’s needed for not only the formation of red blood cells but for their growth and development. It also lowers blood pressure and improves heart health.
Iron works in tandem with folate as it helps make hemoglobin which is a protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. Iron has also been known to improve cognitive function and helps to boost the immune system.
This mineral is necessary for proper cell function and helps to regulate the heartbeat, metabolize carbohydrates, and helps the muscles and nerves to function properly.
We don’t hear about this mineral too often but it helps the body to form bones, tissue, and even assists with blood clotting. It also helps with calcium absorption and blood sugar regulation.
Are Dandelions Ever Unsafe for Gerbils?
Dandelions on their own are not dangerous to gerbils, but too much of any plant should be avoided. Feeding your gerbil dandelions a few times is perfectly fine, but too much may cause health issues.
While studies have only found possible negative effects in humans, it’s possible that too many dandelions could have the same effect.
Dandelion has been shown to cause stomach burns in some people. Is it likely that this could affect your gerbil as well? It’s highly possible even though the digestive systems of humans and gerbils are different. Remember that gerbils have sensitive tummies and anything given in excess can cause stomach issues, which leads us to the next potential issue.
When a gerbil drinks too much water or eats too much of certain foods, he runs the risk of having diarrhea. This issue alone is not detrimental, but if you notice your gerbil not eating while experiencing diarrhea, don’t feed him any more dandelions and ask your vet for the best course of action.
Can Gerbils Eat Dandelion Flowers?
It’s safe for gerbils to eat the flowers of dandelions as they are nutritious and can be a tasty snack on occasion. The flower contains antioxidant properties and can help to boost the immune system.
Can Gerbils Eat Dandelions Stems & Leaves?
Gerbils can eat dandelion leaves as some pet owners feed this part of the plant to their pets. The leaves help with kidney function which is great. However, when it comes to the stem of the plant, it’s best to consult your vet for advice.
Can Gerbils eat Dandelion Roots?
Gerbils can eat dandelion roots, but it’s still best to get more information from your vet. This Redditor stated that the dried roots of the dandelion are very popular, which means your gerbil may also enjoy it.
How Much Dandelion Should Gerbils Eat?
Dandelions can be eaten by gerbils occasionally as they supply benefits such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But of course, you do not want to go overboard. So just how many dandelions should gerbils have and how often?
Your gerbils should only have one dandelion per serving, although he could probably be fine with two servings. It’s best to introduce the item slowly and watch your gerbil’s reaction to it. You could try feeding this to your pet once or twice per week or at the advice of your vet.
What Plants do Gerbils Eat? Healthy Alternatives!
While dandelions are fine for gerbils to eat, there are some healthier options that offer greater benefits such as chicory, carrots, and broccoli.
Chricory is a perennial plant that has been used over the years mostly to feed livestock. However, humans have been using them in recent years because they possess antibacterial properties and are anticarcinogenic. Just a small amount of this healthy green in your gerbil’s diet will suffice.
Carrots are another enjoyable treat for gerbils and are excellent for their health. Carrorts are great for gerbils due to the fiber content and the fact that they help to keep blood sugar levels under control.
Finally, broccoli is a healthy green that’s great for gerbils due to its fiber content. Just as with carrots, it aids in digestion and also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep your gerbil going. Broccoli also contains anitoxidants and bioactive compounds that may reduce inflammation.
Can Gerbils Eat Dandelions? Final Thoughts
Gerbils can enjoy a number of plants, veggies and fruits as a part of their diet. Some of these may definitely be better for your gerbil than dandelions, but it’s still okay to feed him this plant occasionally. It’s best to provide small amounts so that your gerbil doesn’t encounter any health problems.
Gerbils like to experiment with food, so have them give it a try and see if it’s something that they enjoy!