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Can Gerbils Eat Raisins? (The Sweet Truth!)

can gerbils eat raisins

I’ve despised raisins since childhood and could never eat them. The soft, chewy texture just creeped me out. Prunes though were a different affair. I love them a lot and could eat them every day. 

But why am I going on about myself? 

You’re here for me to answer the question, “Can gerbils eat raisins?” If so, do they enjoy raisins, and are they safe for gerbils?

Let’s find out more about how to feed your gerbil and keep them happy!

Can Gerbils Eat Raisins?

Gerbils can eat raisins and it’s quite the yummy treat for them too! Raisins are dried grapes and can be incorporated into your gerbil’s meal time as part of a balanced diet. There are warnings by experts who state that gerbils should not eat grapes as they could be harmful to rodents. 

While this could be true for some rodents, this is not the case for gerbils, as raisins are found in some gerbil pellet foods and do not cause any ill effects!

Do Gerbils Like Raisins?

Even though I don’t like raisins, that doesn’t mean your gerbil doesn’t! Gerbils love raisins due to their chewy texture and sweet taste. They also love dried fruits in general, which would include raisins. However, don’t let them eat too much! Raisins are rather high in sugar, so it’s not a snack that your gerbil should have often. 

Another reason gerbils may enjoy raisins is that the texture is great. It is this tough texture that helps them to keep their teeth filed down. This is necessary as a gerbil’s teeth continue to grow throughout its lifetime. The hard texture of raisins is very beneficial in that department. 

Are Raisins Poisonous to Gerbils?

As mentioned before, some experts warn that grapes could be harmful or even poisonous to gerbils, due to a substance found in the fruit. This substance, resveratrol, is part of a group of compounds called polyphenols which acts like antioxidants and protect the body from damage

Because grapes are harmful to dogs, it is thought that they might also be harmful to gerbils. However, there is no actual evidence to prove this. It has been stated that grapes can be harmful to mice, but gerbils can eat them safely. A member from Gerbil Forum stated that, ‘My gerbils have had grapes with no adverse effects, so I’d say they are okay.

What are the Nutritional Benefits of Raisins?

Now that you know that your gerbil can enjoy this yummy, flavorful treat, what kind of benefits will your pet get from raisins? According to WebMD, raisins contain healthy nutrients and minerals for humans, which are great for your pet as well. 

A quarter cup of raisins has the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 108
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 29 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 21 grams

One good thing about raisins is that they do not contain any fat, which is good news for your gerbil, But look out for the sugar content, as it’s pretty high! Another benefit of eating raisins is their nutritional profile. It contains nutrients such as Iron, Potassium, Copper, B6, Manganese, Fiber, Calcium, Boron, antioxidants, and antimicrobial compounds.

Now all this sounds great, but how exactly do these nutrients help your little nugget? 

  • Iron:  This is important for making red blood cells and carrying oxygen around the body.  It helps with improving energy levels, boosts the immune system, and even helps to regulate body temperature. 
  • Potassium: This nutrient will help your pet’s cells function normally. Along with this, potassium also regulates the heartbeat, helps to synthesize protein, and ensures that muscles and nerves function efficiently. 
  • Cooper: We don’t talk about this nutrient enough, but your gerbil will benefit from it in many ways. Not only does copper help to make red blood cells, but it also supports the immune system, protects cells from damage, and turns sugar into energy.
  • B6 or Pyridoxine is a water-soluble vitamin that most of us probably don’t even think about. You will love that it helps with normal brain development and keeps your gerbil’s nervous system healthy.
  • Magnesium plays a role in energy production and protein synthesis.
  • Fiber is something every animal and human needs and it is essential for proper digestion and prevents gastrointestinal issues like constipation.
  • Calcium is necessary for strong teeth and bones. It also helps with nerve function and blood clotting. Calcium also supports heart health. 
  • Boron is essential for building muscles, improving thinking skills, and even muscle coordination. 
  • Antioxidants on the other hand prevent cell damage and have compounds that reduce conditions like diabetes and cancer. Phytochemicals in raisins such as oleanolic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid promote healthy teeth and gums.


How Many Raisins Should Gerbils Be Fed?

Gerbils will really enjoy getting dried fruits like raisins, but it is important that you don’t give them too much. It makes for a nice snack that they can enjoy occasionally, rather than as a regular meal. You can also feed a small amount to your gerbil with its regular meal as a treat so that he gets the right amount of nutrition. 

Even though this is just a guesstimate, you could feed your gerbil about 2-3 raisins at a time due to their sugary nature. To be on the safe side, check with your vet for the specific amount as it could depend on the breed, size, and preference of your gerbil. 

How Often Should You Feed Your Gerbil Raisins?

gerbil in dirt

Gerbils should not be fed raisins often. Raisins should be a snack that they can enjoy from time to time. Your gerbil’s regular meal should be pellets, so raisins can be added as a treat.

Although they will benefit from healthy nutrients, there are healthier meals they could enjoy on a regular basis. 

Gerbils should not be fed raisins often. Raisins should be a snack that they can enjoy from time to time. Your gerbil’s regular meal should be pellets, so raisins can be added as a treat. Although they will benefit from healthy nutrients, there are healthier meals they could enjoy on a regular basis. 

It’s recommended that gerbils be fed raisins once or twice a week. If your gerbil eats too many raisins, it’s possible that the high sugar content will cause weight gain, especially if he doesn’t get enough exercise. Even if your pet is active, too many sugars are not beneficial for his overall health. 

What Dried Fruit Can Gerbils Eat

Gerbils love to munch on yummy fruits just like us humans! When they’re dried, it’s even better, as gerbils prefer a drier diet which they are accustomed to in the wild. Here are a few other dried fruits that gerbils can enjoy:

  • Banana
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Orange
  • Melon
  • Pear
  • Strawberry 
  • Blueberry

While these snacks are tasty and nutritious, your gerbil should only eat them in moderation. Too many sugars can lead to negative side effects which will be explained below.

Health Risks of Feeding Raisins To Gerbils

While raisins are a healthy snack to have occasionally, an excess amount can lead to complications in your pet. Raisins have a lot of sugar too which makes up about 65 – 72 % of raisins’ weight. 

Dental Problems

Remember when your mom told you that too much sugar isn’t good for your teeth? Well, the same is true for gerbils. Sugar can combine with saliva and bacteria which results in plaque on teeth. Plaque can dissolve enamel which isn’t good for your pet’s tooth health. 

Weight Gain & Mobility Issues

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but sugar can lead to obesity. This is because excess sugar is converted to carbs, which leads to weight gain if enough energy isn’t used up. I don’t think your gerbil would be too happy if he can’t move around much. 

Increase in Blood Pressure

Too much sugar can raise your little gerbil’s blood pressure and that can’t feel good. It may also lead to other health issues in your gerbil and decrease his overall health. 

Upset Stomach

Again, sugar is the culprit for this unfortunate side effect. Sugar can cause digestive problems in gerbils as too much isn’t good for the stomach. Along with stomach pains, he may also have loose stools and cramps. 

Can Gerbils Eat Raisins?

Raisins make for a delish snack that your gerbil can eat occasionally. About once or twice a week should be enough. While raisins are healthy and contain beneficial nutrients like B6, Potassium, Iron, and Boron, they can have negative effects like weight gain, and stomach cramps if eaten in excess. 

If you are in doubt, however, avoid raisins altogether if it keeps your gerbil healthy. He will love eating raisins due to the taste and texture, but too much sugar taken by your gerbil can lead to ill health. 

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