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Can Gerbils Eat Peanuts and Are They a Healthy Choice?

can gerbils eat peanuts

Peanuts are one of the most popular legumes that are enjoyed by folks all around the world. They grow in pods such as lentils and soybeans and are edible seeds. Unlike what many believe, they don’t actually grow on trees, even though that may be really convenient. 

Despite this, peanuts are tasty and loved by most people. You may be wondering, can gerbils eat peanuts? Your gerbil can eat a variety of seeds, nuts, and grains to keep them healthy. But are peanuts safe?

If you enjoy eating peanuts and want to share some with your gerbil, read on to find out of it’s safe for him. 

Can Gerbils Eat Peanuts?

Gerbils can eat peanuts and they are completely safe for gerbils. Peanuts contain healthy nutrients, protein, and fats. You can feed your gerbil peanuts as a treat, but not too often. While seeds can be incorporated in their diet, they contain a high amount of fat which should be limited. Gerbils also love peanut butter, which can be fed to them as a treat. 

A high-quality pellet food is the best source of nutrients for your gerbil and should contribute to a significant portion of their diet.

Do Gerbils Like Peanuts? 

Gerbils actually enjoy eating peanuts and do you really need to ask why? Peanuts have a delicious nutty taste that gerbils enjoy. Also, the small size makes it the perfect food for them to snack on. 

When feeding peanuts to your gerbil, feed them in small amounts because due to the small size, your gerbil may want to eat several of them at once. 

Can Gerbils Eat Peanuts in Shells?

Gerbils can certainly open peanut shells using their teeth. As a matter of fact, it is actually helpful for them to gnaw on certain foods because it helps to keep their incisors down. If your gerbil is not a picky eater, he may gobble down the peanut shells too!

Can Gerbils Eat Roasted Peanuts?

Gerbils can eat roasted peanuts in moderation. However, they should contain no additives, salt, or sugar. You will find that most store-bought peanuts contain these ingredients, so you should try to source them at health food stores. 

Also, when peanuts are roasted, they lose some nutritional value and the heating process can create free radicals which are not best for gerbils. 

Can Gerbils Eat Salted Peanuts?

Gerbils should not eat salted peanuts as high salt consumption can lead to health issues. Some salted nuts contain extremely high amounts of salt which severely impact the health of humans. Your gerbil is much smaller which means that it will affect them much worse. Too much salt can cause high blood pressure and dehydration in your gerbil. 

Can Gerbils Eat Blanched Peanuts?

Blanched peanuts are those that have had the skins removed. They are placed in hot water for a few minutes which leaves them which a softer texture. Some people may use blanched peanuts to create peanut milk as a homemade recipe. 

Gerbils can eat blanched peanuts and may enjoy the texture just as much, if not more than unblanched peanuts. 

Can Gerbils Eat Fried Peanuts?

Gerbils should definitely not eat fried peanuts because they offer no nutritional value. Fried peanuts usually include oil and salt, which are not necessary in your gerbil’s diet. While they might be very tasty as most things fried in oil are, they are not a good option for gerbils. 

Can Gerbils Eat Sugar-Coated Peanuts?

This is another type of food that gerbils should avoid. The natural sugar found in fruits like strawberries and bananas is fine in moderation, but added sugars are not beneficial for a gerbil’s health. Excess sugar intake can lead to heart problems, weight gain, inflammation, and obesity.

peanuts nutrition facts

Are Peanuts a Healthy Choice for Gerbils?

Peanuts are a safe choice for gerbils based on their nutritional content. According to Healthline, 100 grams of peanuts contain:

  • Calories: 567
  • Water: 7%
  • Protein: 25.8 grams
  • Carbs: 16.1 grams
  • Sugar: 4.7 grams
  • Fiber: 8.5 grams
  • Fat: 49.2 grams

Obviously, the fat content stands out on this list and is one of the main reasons why your gerbil should eat peanuts in moderation. Because of the high fat in peanuts, they are considered oilseeds. However, the plus side of this is that they contain Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fat in high amounts. These are good fats that promote heart health. 

Also, peanuts contain vitamins and minerals such as:

  • Vitamin E
  • Folate
  • Copper
  • Thiamine
  • Niacin

Peanuts have been shown to improve overall health too. When eaten regularly and in moderation, they can contribute to heart health. 

Are Peanuts Harmful to Gerbils? 

Peanuts can be harmful to your gerbil in one instance. Sometimes, they contain a mold known as Aspergillus flavus which produces a type of toxin. In humans, it can lead to symptoms such as yellow discoloration of the eyes to more serious effects such as liver problems. 

In gerbils, it can lead to poisoning or even death. So be aware of this risk and store your peanuts in a dry, cool place as warm conditions can lead to the growth of this mold.

How Many Peanuts Should Gerbils Eat?

Peanuts are tasty – and fatty, so your gerbils should only eat about or two in a single serving. While you do want your gerbil to enjoy a delicious and varied diet, you also want to extend its life span.

Feeding them anything of a high-fat nature frequently will reduce their quality of life. Limit the eating of peanuts to once a week or once every two weeks. 

Can Gerbils Eat Peanuts?

Peanuts are healthy and a good source of nutrition for some humans and animals. While many people have allergic reactions to peanuts, most animals don’t so it’s generally safe for them. Your gerbil should be able to munch on peanuts once a week and he will enjoy the unique nutty flavor that it offers. For the most part, feed your gerbil a healthy pellet mix as his main source of nutrition along with small amounts of fruits and vegetables

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