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Can Gerbils Eat Rice, Fried Rice, Rice Cakes?

can gerbils eat rice

Rice, the versatile grain that’s a staple in many cuisines, is a true culinary superstar. 

It does have a humble appearance, but don’t be fooled by its unassuming nature. 

Rice has the power to transform any meal into a delightful feast.

Can gerbils eat rice? 

After all, not only does rice please the taste buds, but it also provides essential carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, fueling our bodies with energy and nourishment. 

Pet owners should exercise caution and be mindful of what they feed their gerbils. 

The dietary choices we make for our furry friends can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. 

Gerbils, like all animals, have specific nutritional needs that must be met to ensure their optimal growth and development. Feeding them an improper diet can lead to various health issues and complications.

To be on the safe side, read on to find out more about feeding rice to gerbils, and if it’s the best choice. 

Can Gerbils Eat Rice?

cute brown gerbil

Gerbils can eat rice and it can be included as a small part of a gerbil’s diet.

Because gerbils have specific nutritional needs, their primary diet should consist of a balanced commercial gerbil food mix that provides the necessary nutrients.

 Rice should not replace the staple diet but can be offered as an occasional treat. Gerbils can eat grains and gerbils do quite enjoy them.

When you’re offering rice to your gerbil, it’s recommended to provide cooked plain rice without any added seasonings, oils, or sauces.

Avoid giving them seasoned or flavored rice, as certain ingredients like salt and spices can be harmful to gerbils.

Also, do watch out for the portion size. Rice should be given in small amounts, such as a tablespoon or less, to prevent overeating and digestive issues.

Monitor your gerbil’s response and watch for any signs of discomfort or digestive upset after introducing rice to their diet.

Can Gerbils Eat Cooked Rice?

Plain, cooked rice is fine for gerbils to eat once it doesn’t contain any additives. 

Gerbils have sensitive digestive systems, and certain additives or spices commonly used in cooked rice recipes can be harmful to them. Plain-cooked rice without any additional ingredients is the safest option.

Remember to provide fresh water alongside the cooked rice to ensure your gerbil stays hydrated. Water is essential for their overall health and well-being.

Can Gerbils Eat Raw or Uncooked Rice?

Gerbils can eat uncooked rice in small amounts. They will enjoy the crunchy texture it has and probably the unique taste. 

Another benefit is that crunchy food like this does help to keep your gerbils teeth down which continue growing during their lifetime. 

Can Gerbils Eat Fried Rice?

No, gerbils should not eat fried rice.

Fried rice typically contains a variety of seasonings, oils, and additional ingredients that are not suitable for gerbils’ delicate digestive systems.

The added spices, salts, and other flavorings can harm their health and cause digestive disturbances or other complications.

Health Benefits of Rice for Gerbils

Rice is a staple grain that provides a good source of energy and some essential nutrients. Here’s what 100 grams of cooked white rice contains:

  • Calories: 130 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 28.7 grams
  • Protein: 2.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 0.1 milligrams
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 1.6 milligrams
  • Folate: 8 micrograms
  • Iron: 0.5 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 12 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 43 milligrams
  • Potassium: 35 milligrams
  • Zinc: 0.4 milligrams

It’s important to note that the nutritional values may vary depending on the specific type of rice, such as white rice, brown rice, or wild rice.

Brown and wild rice varieties generally contain more fiber and nutrients compared to refined white rice.

While rice provides energy through carbohydrates and small amounts of vitamins and minerals, it is not a significant source of nutrients. 

Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that gerbils receive a balanced diet that includes a commercial gerbil food mix fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, along with suitable fresh vegetables and occasional treats, to meet their specific nutritional requirements.

benefits of rice

Is Rice Completely Safe for Gerbils?

While rice can be included as a small part of a gerbil’s diet, there are some potential cons to consider when feeding rice to gerbils:

Digestive Issues

Rice, especially in large amounts or when fed improperly, can cause digestive problems in gerbils. Their digestive systems are delicate, and an excessive intake of rice can lead to bloating, gas, or even gastrointestinal blockages.

Imbalanced Diet

Rice alone does not provide all the necessary nutrients for gerbils. It lacks certain vitamins, minerals, and proteins that are vital for their overall health.

Relying too heavily on rice can result in nutritional deficiencies if it replaces other essential components of their diet, such as a balanced gerbil food mix and fresh vegetables.


Rice is a carbohydrate-rich food, and excessive consumption can contribute to weight gain and obesity in gerbils. It’s important to offer rice in small, controlled portions to prevent overeating and maintain a healthy weight.

Potential Contaminants

Rice, like other grains, can sometimes contain contaminants such as molds or pesticides. It’s crucial to ensure that the rice offered to gerbils is of good quality and free from any potential contaminants that could be harmful to their health.

How Often Can Gerbils Eat Rice?

Feeding rice to gerbils once a week is generally considered sufficient. 

It’s important to remember that rice should not replace their staple diet, which should consist of a balanced commercial gerbil food mix.

This mix is specifically formulated to provide them with the necessary nutrients for their overall health.

Can Gerbils Eat Rice Cakes?

Rice cakes are light, crispy snacks made from puffed rice grains that have been compacted into a cake-like form. They are often consumed as a healthier alternative to traditional snacks due to their low calorie and fat content.

When it comes to gerbils, they can eat certain types of rice cakes in moderation. Plain, unsalted rice cakes without any additives or flavorings are generally safe for gerbils to consume. Never offer rice cakes that have sugar, condiments, or additives. 

The primary reason why gerbils can eat rice cakes is that they are made primarily from rice, which is a grain that is safe for gerbils to consume. Rice is a part of their natural diet in the wild, so rice cakes can provide some variety and enrichment to their diet.

Can Gerbils Eat Rice Krispies?

Gerbils should not eat Rice Krispies or any other sweetened, flavored, or processed rice cereal like Rice Krispies. These types of cereals are not suitable for gerbils and can be harmful to their health.

Rice Krispies and similar cereals often contain added sugars, artificial flavors, and other additives that are not appropriate for gerbils’ dietary needs.

Gerbils have sensitive digestive systems, and consuming such sugary and processed foods can lead to various health issues, including obesity, dental problems, and digestive disturbances.

If you’re looking to offer your gerbils a crunchy treat, there are safer alternatives available. You can provide them with small portions of gerbil-safe treats such as unsalted nuts, small pieces of fresh vegetables or fruits, or gerbil-safe chew toys designed specifically for their dental health.

Fun Ways to Introduce Rice to Gerbils

Introducing rice to gerbils can be a fun and enriching experience. Here are some enjoyable ways to introduce rice to your gerbils:

Rice Treasure Hunt: Hide small portions of cooked and cooled plain rice throughout their enclosure. This stimulates their natural foraging instincts and encourages physical activity as they search for the tasty grains.

Rice-filled Digging Box: Create a separate container filled with rice for your gerbils to dig and burrow in. Use a shallow box or a designated digging area and scatter the rice on top. This allows them to explore and enjoy the texture of the rice while engaging in their natural digging behavior.

Rice Balls: Roll small portions of cooked plain rice into bite-sized balls. Place these rice balls in their food dish or scatter them around their enclosure. This interactive feeding method can provide mental stimulation and encourage playfulness as they discover and munch on the rice balls.

Rice on a String: Thread cooked plain rice onto a safe string or twine and hang it within their enclosure. This creates an engaging and interactive way for gerbils to enjoy rice while also promoting physical activity as they climb, reach, and nibble at the rice.

Rice Stuffed Toys: Fill gerbil-safe chew toys or puzzle toys with cooked plain rice. These toys are designed to be filled with treats, and the rice adds an extra element of excitement as gerbils work to retrieve the rice from the toy.

gerbils can eat rice

Grains for Happy Gerbils

Gerbils can eat a variety of grains as part of their diet. Here are some grains that are safe for gerbils to consume:

Oats: Gerbils can enjoy plain, cooked oats or rolled oats as a nutritious grain option.

Barley: This grain can be fed to gerbils in small amounts as a source of dietary fiber.

Wheat: Gerbils can have small portions of wheat, such as wheat berries or wheat flakes, as a part of their balanced diet.

Millet: Gerbils can nibble on millet seeds as a healthy grain snack.

Buckwheat: Buckwheat is another grain that can be offered to gerbils in moderation.

Quinoa: Gerbils can have cooked quinoa occasionally as a source of protein and other nutrients.

Can Gerbils Eat Rice? 

So, can gerbils eat rice? Absolutely!

Rice can be a delightful addition to their diet when offered in moderation. With its mild taste and versatile nature, rice provides a fun and tasty treat for our furry little friends.

Whether it’s cooked plain, incorporated into creative toys, or used in interactive feeding methods, rice can bring joy and enrichment to their lives.

Just remember to stick to plain, unsalted rice and offer it alongside their balanced diet of gerbil food mix, fresh veggies, and occasional fruits.

So go ahead, sprinkle some rice into their day and watch as they nibble away with delight. Remember, a little rice can go a long way in keeping our gerbil companions happy and content.

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