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Can Gerbils Eat Oats and is it a Good Snack?

can gerbils eat oats

As a responsible pet owner,  you are on top of your game when it comes to what food your furry friends can and cannot eat. There are certain foods that should be avoided, and maybe you’d like to know, can gerbils eat oats?

Oats are whole grains, rich in nutrients such as fiber, protein, and vitamins. It’s great as a breakfast meal in many homes, but this does not mean it’s suitable for your pet.

Ultimately, as with any addition to your gerbil’s diet, it’s best to discuss it with your veterinarian first. But by arming yourself with the right information, you can better advocate for your gerbil’s health. So let’s dive in and learn more about the potential benefits and risks regarding oats in your pet’s diet. 

Can Gerbils Eat Oats?

Gerbils can definitely eat oats, as they are a highly beneficial snack for them! Oats are rich in fiber and provide essential nutrients that are vital to the health of these small rodents. 

Oats can be a fantastic way to treat your gerbil and keep them entertained. It can be fun for rodents like gerbils to interact with a new snack to nibble on and try a new taste and texture. 

Of course, it’s always important to keep track of what your gerbil eats and how much they eat. Feeding them oats in moderation and being sure that their diet is balanced with other essential foods is necessary. 

Do Gerbils Like Oats? 

Cute gerbil with grain

Surprise, surprise! Gerbils do like oats and really enjoy eating it. Gerbils can consume oats, as long as they are given in moderation. They enjoy the crunchy texture and it may keep them busy while they munch on it.

Raw oats on their own are rather bland, though it has a sort of earthy flavor. While gerbils in general may like it, these animals do have preferences.

So, if your furry friend does not enjoy it, don’t feel downhearted, as you can try again at another time or supplement with other treats. 

Are Oats Safe for Gerbils? 

Oats are generally safe for your gerbil to consume in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Oats can provide them with many benefits and keep them healthy and happy. 

However, it’s important to be aware of the risk factors involved with feeding this popular grain to your pet. 

Possible Risks of Feeding Oats to Gerbils


Gerbils can eat small amounts of oats as part of a varied and balanced diet. However, it’s important to note that oats are high in phosphorus and calcium, which means that they should not be the main part of a gerbil’s diet.

Feeding your gerbil a diet that is too high in certain minerals can lead to serious health problems such as bladder stones, kidney problems, and bone disorders. Therefore, it’s important to offer a variety of foods that provide a balanced amount of essential nutrients.

If you want to give your gerbil some oats as a treat, it’s best to do so slowly and vary his diet with other foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, and high-quality commercial gerbil food.

 It’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian who has experience with small pets to ensure that you are feeding your gerbil a safe and healthy diet.

Possible Intolerance

Also, it’s not impossible for your gerbil to have an intolerance to oats or experience digestive issues when consuming large amounts of oats. If you notice that your pet has discomfort, stop feeding him and consult a vet if necessary. 


It’s important to note that some types of oats, such as instant or flavored varieties, may contain added sugars or other additives that can be unhealthy if consumed in excess. Choosing plain, whole-grain oats and preparing them without added sugar or excessive amounts of salt is certainly best for your pet!

Carbohydrate Intake

Oats are high in carbohydrates and should be given as a treat, not as a regular meal. Gerbils need a balanced diet which should primarily consist of grains, vegetables, and small amounts of fruits and seeds. When feeding oats to gerbils, make sure to monitor portion sizes and avoid giving them sweetened oats as those can cause digestive problems.

Nutirional Benfits of Oats for Gerbils

We’ve already established that oats are pretty healthy, but it’s great to have an idea of their nutritional profile. Healthline states that a cup of raw oats contains:

  • Calories: 307
  • Water: 8.7 grams
  • Protein: 10.7 grams
  • Carbs: 54.8 grams
  • Sugar: 0.8 grams
  • Fiber: 8.1 grams
  • Fat: 5.3 grams

They are an awesome addition to your gerbil’s diet for the following reasons:

Heart health: Oats contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.

Weight management: Oats are a filling food that can help you feel full for longer and may aid in weight management.

Digestive health: The fiber in oats can help regulate digestion and prevent constipation.

Blood sugar control: Oats have a low glycemic index, which means they are less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Nutrient-dense: Oats are a good source of vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and B vitamins.

So as you can see, oats are a great way to provide your furry friend with an extra boost of energy and nutrition. Oats contain essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid, which is essential for a gerbil’s healthy coat and skin. They are also high in complex carbohydrates, which are necessary for a gerbil’s digestive health. Oats also have an abundance of fiber, which is necessary for a gerbil’s healthy gut and helps to keep their digestive tract in top shape.

nutrients found in oats

How Much and How Often Can Gerbils Eat Oats? 

Gerbils can safely eat a small amount of oats as part of a varied and balanced diet. As a treat, it is recommended to offer no more than a teaspoon of oats per week for a gerbil, in addition to their regular diet of commercial gerbil food and fresh fruits and vegetables.

It’s important to remember that gerbils have specific nutritional needs, and their diets should be carefully balanced to prevent health problems. As mentioned before, oats are high in phosphorus and calcium, so it’s important to avoid feeding your gerbil a diet that is too high in certain minerals which can lead to serious health problems.

Can Gerbils Eat Raw Oats?

Oats are an excellent source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber for gerbils, and they can be a tasty treat for your pet. However, it is important to make sure the oats are served in a dry, unflavored form. This is the healthiest option for gerbils because they contain a high amount of nutrients for your pet to benefit from. 

Can Gerbils Eat Cooked Oats AKA Oatmeal?

Gerbils should not eat cooked oats, as the heating process can change the texture and make them difficult to digest. The water added to oatmeal is also necessary for gerbils who have a mostly dry diet and don’t need it. Some pet parents have noticed that their gerbil has looser poops after eating oatmeal, so it’s not the best choice. 

Additionally, flavored oats, such as those that contain sugar and other sweeteners, should be avoided as they can be unhealthy for your pet. When feeding oats to your gerbil, always make sure to monitor their consumption and remove any uneaten oats to avoid over-eating.

Oat Options for Gerbils

Gerbils can eat oats in various formats once they don’t have any additives. Healthy options that gerbils can eat include:

  • Oat Flakes
  • Rolled Oats
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Oat Bran

It’s important to note that these items should be fed in their dry form to your pet instead of being cooked. 

gerbils enjoy eating oats

How to Feed Oats to Gerbils

Oats can be given as a snack, or can be used to enrich the environment, such as in treat balls. Treat balls are plastic or ceramic balls that have been specially designed to allow small pieces of food to drop out while the gerbil is rolling it around, which helps to keep them active and mentally stimulated. 

Oats can also be sprinkled in the gerbil’s cage to provide them with a tasty snack that encourages foraging behavior.

Can Gerbils Eat Oats?

Oats can be a great occasional treat for your gerbil, as long as you feed them in moderation. Oats are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein, and they can provide your gerbil with much-needed nutrition. However, you should always choose oats with no added sugar, salt, or flavorings, and make sure to feed them in small amounts to avoid upsetting your gerbil’s stomach. With these precautions in mind, oats can be a great snack for your gerbil!

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