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Can Gerbils Eat Sesame Seeds? Too Fattening?

can gerbils eat sesame seeds

When it comes to our beloved gerbil companions, providing them with a safe and nutritious diet is paramount. 

While we often associate sesame seeds with delicious foods like buns and dressings, it’s crucial for pet owners to exercise caution when it comes to incorporating them into a gerbil’s diet.

Can gerbils eat sesame seeds?

Tiny, but powerful, sesame seeds are a delight to snack on! 

From topping off your favorite dishes to adding a delightful crunch, sesame seeds have been delighting taste buds for centuries.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at these mighty little seeds and discover why they deserve a special place in your pantry.

They are packed with essential nutrients like calcium, iron, and healthy fats, making them an appealing choice for human consumption.

However, when it comes to our gerbil companions, we must tread carefully and understand the potential risks involved.

 In this post, we’ll explore the potential benefits and risks associated with sesame seeds and shed light on why pet owners need to be vigilant about what they feed their gerbils.

Let’s find out if these nutritious seeds are healthy for gerbils!

Can Gerbils Eat Sesame Seeds?

cute brown gerbil

You can definitely feed your gerbil sesame seeds! They are safe for gerbils to consume and can be offered as an occasional treat. They are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients. 

As healthy as they are, your gerbil should consume sesame seeds in moderation, as they are high in fat and should not be a main part of your gerbil’s diet.

 Offering a small amount of sesame seeds as a treat once in a while can add variety to their diet and provide a tasty snack.

 Remember to monitor your gerbil’s reaction and ensure they tolerate sesame seeds well without any digestive issues. As with any new food, it’s best to introduce them gradually to avoid upsetting your gerbil’s sensitive stomach.

How Healthy Are Sesame Seeds for Gerbils?

Sesame seeds are tiny powerhouses of nutrition, offering a range of essential nutrients that contribute to a well-rounded diet. Here is a nutritional breakdown of sesame seeds per 100 grams:

  • Calories: 573
  • Protein: 17.7 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 23.4 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 11.8 grams
  • Fat: 49.7 grams (including healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats)
  • Calcium: 975 milligrams
  • Iron: 14.6 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 351 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 629 milligrams
  • Potassium: 468 milligrams
  • Zinc: 7.8 milligrams
  • Vitamin B6: 0.8 milligrams
  • Vitamin E: 0.25 milligrams

Sesame seeds are rich in iron, an essential mineral for red blood cell production and oxygen transport. 

The significant amounts of magnesium and phosphorus in sesame seeds contribute to bone health, energy metabolism, and cellular function. 

Also, sesame seeds are a good source of potassium, which supports heart health and helps maintain proper fluid balance in the body.

The presence of zinc and vitamin B6 further enhances the nutritional profile of sesame seeds, supporting various bodily functions.

Incorporating sesame seeds into your pet’s diet, in moderation, can provide a range of nutrients and add a flavorful and nutritious boost to their meals.

Can Gerbils Eat Toasted Sesame Seeds?

Gerbils can certainly eat toasted sesame seeds. 

They are safe for gerbils to consume and can be offered as an occasional treat. 

As mentioned before, take special care to portion sesame seeds when feeding your pet, due to the fat content. 

Toasted sesame seeds can provide a slightly different flavor and texture compared to raw sesame seeds, which can add variety to your gerbil’s diet. 

sesame seeds for gerbil diet

Pros and Cons of Feeding Sesame Seeds to Gerbils


Nutritional Benefits

Sesame seeds are packed with essential nutrients such as healthy fats, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin E. When offered in moderation, they can contribute to a well-rounded diet for gerbils.

Taste and Variety

Sesame seeds provide a unique nutty flavor and crunchy texture that can add variety to your gerbils’ diet. Offering different types of foods can prevent boredom and stimulate their taste buds.

Enrichment and Foraging

Incorporating sesame seeds into interactive feeding methods, such as hiding them or using food puzzles, promotes mental stimulation and engages your gerbils’ natural foraging instincts.


High-Fat Content

Sesame seeds are relatively high in fat, which can contribute to weight gain if overfed. Gerbils have sensitive digestive systems, and consuming excessive amounts of fatty foods can lead to obesity or other health issues.

Choking Hazard

Sesame seeds are small and can pose a choking hazard if consumed in large quantities or without proper chewing. It’s crucial to offer them in small portions to minimize this risk.

Imbalance in Diet

Gerbils require a balanced diet that includes a commercial food mix specifically formulated for their nutritional needs.

Relying too heavily on sesame seeds or other treats can disrupt this balance and lead to deficiencies or imbalances in their nutrient intake.

How Often and Much Sesame Seeds Can Gerbils Eat?

When it comes to feeding sesame seeds to gerbils, it’s important to exercise moderation and offer them in limited quantities. Sesame seeds should be considered an occasional treat rather than a staple food in a gerbil’s diet.

A general guideline is to offer sesame seeds to gerbils no more than once or twice a week.

The serving size should be small, typically consisting of just a few seeds. Remember that gerbils have small digestive systems, and consuming large amounts of seeds can lead to digestive issues or obesity.

It’s crucial to monitor your gerbil’s reaction to sesame seeds. If you notice any signs of digestive discomfort, such as diarrhea or bloating, it’s best to discontinue offering sesame seeds and consult a veterinarian.

gerbils love sesame seeds

Creative Ways to Introduce Sesame Seeds to Gerbil

Scavenger Hunt: Hide a few sesame seeds around your gerbil’s enclosure and let them explore and search for the tasty treats. This stimulates their natural foraging instincts and adds an element of excitement to their day.

Food Puzzle: Place sesame seeds in a food puzzle toy or create your own by poking small holes in a cardboard box. Your gerbils will have a blast figuring out how to extract the seeds, keeping them mentally stimulated and entertained.

Sprinkle on Toys: Sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top of your gerbil’s toys or in their digging box. It encourages exploration, playfulness, and adds an extra incentive for them to engage with their toys.

Hide and Seek: Bury sesame seeds in a small layer of bedding or substrate, allowing your gerbils to dig and uncover the hidden treasures. This mimics their natural instinct to search for food and provides a fun and rewarding experience.

Training Time: Use sesame seeds as a training reward for your gerbils. Teach them simple tricks or behaviors, such as coming to you when called, and reward them with a sesame seed each time they successfully perform the action.

Food Dispenser Toys: Invest in food dispensing toys designed for small animals. Fill them with sesame seeds and watch your gerbils roll, push, and manipulate the toy to access their tasty reward.

Homemade Treat Mix: Create a homemade treat mix by combining sesame seeds with other gerbil-safe ingredients, such as dried fruits, oats, or small pieces of vegetable. Present this mix to your gerbils in a shallow dish or scatter it around their enclosure for them to discover.

Other Snacks that Gerbils Can Enjoy

Can Gerbils Eat Sesame Seeds?

Gerbils can indeed eat sesame seeds but on an occasional basis. 

Sesame seeds can be a delightful and nutritious addition to their diet, providing healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients. 

However, due to their small size and high-fat content, it’s crucial to limit the amount of sesame seeds given to gerbils to prevent potential health issues such as weight gain or digestive problems.

 Remember, sesame seeds should never replace the staple diet of your gerbils, which should consist of a balanced commercial food mix supplemented with fresh vegetables and occasional treats.

 By providing sesame seeds as an occasional snack and incorporating them into fun and interactive feeding methods, you can ensure that your gerbils enjoy their treats while maintaining a well-rounded and healthy diet.

 Always monitor their response and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns about their dietary needs. With the right approach, sesame seeds can be a safe and enjoyable addition to your gerbils’ culinary repertoire.

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