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Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon or Should They Avoid This Treat?

can gerbils eat watermelon

Watermelons are juicy, sweet (mostly), and delicious! There’s no denying that this is a favorite during the hot summer months. Kids and adults enjoy munching on watermelon, whether straight from the fruit, as a watermelon salad, popsicle, or melonade. 

Have you ever tried watermelon bites? They’re delicious! 

We know that it’s perfectly safe for humans, however, can gerbils eat watermelon? They do enjoy a range of fruits and sweet treats, so let’s find out if watermelon is a suitable contender!

Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon? 

As a healthy snack, watermelon can be eaten by gerbils occasionally. It contains a few vitamins, minerals, and nutrients which are beneficial for your pet. However, watermelon also contains a high amount of water and some sugar, which means your gerbils should eat it sparingly.

If you would prefer to avoid the health risk associated with your gerbil eating watermelon, avoid feeding him in large quantities or choose other fruits like bananas or apples that are less risky. Providing a healthy pellet mix and seed mix is enough for your gerbil to have a balanced diet. But if you do choose to feed watermelon, do so in small amounts.  

Do Gerbils Like Watermelon?

Gerbils are omnivores, so they enjoy a range of seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, and insects. The best diet for your gerbil is one that is as close to its natural diet as possible. This means limiting foods not found in their natural habitat. 

Gerbils do like watermelon and will enjoy the texture when they eat it on occasion. It is recommended that your gerbil eat small portions of fruit and vegetables along with his pellet mix. 

Is Watermelon Ever Healthy for Gerbils?

Watermelon is a healthy fruit and does have nutritional value for gerbils. Healthline states that ⅔ cup of raw watermelon contains:

  •  Calories: 30
  • Water: 91%
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Carbs: 7.6 grams
  • Sugar: 6.2 grams
  • Fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

It also contains Vitamins A, C, and B5, along with nutrients like potassium, and copper. Studies have yet to show that vitamin C is necessary for animals like gerbils, but the other nutrients certainly do count. 

So clearly, while watermelon is healthy, the nutrient count is not spectacular when it comes to adding it to your gerbil’s diet. That’s because your gerbil’s pellet mix is more than enough to supply its needs. Feeding watermelon as an occasional treat will bring him some joy, but won’t have much of a positive impact on his health. 

However, watermelon does have some overall benefits which include:

  • Heart health
  • Joint support
  • Reduced insulin resistance
  • Antioxidant benefits
  • Aiding in digestion 

So watermelon can benefit your gerbil, but it does not provide outstanding benefits on its own. Your gerbil can eat much healthier foods that can be enjoyed regularly. 

Is Watermelon Unsafe for Gerbils?

Watermelon can be unsafe for gerbils if he overeats the fruit. If eaten in small quantities, however, it will not harm your pet. Your pet’s safety will definitely depend on how you feed them, so never give your gerbil too much watermelon.

Water Content

As the name suggests WATERmelon contains a high amount of water, 92% to be exact. So it’s enough to hydrate your pet, but can be too much, especially if your pet already has access to fresh water. Gerbils are accustomed to a dry diet and do not need the amount of water that some animals do. 

Wild gerbils are found in deserts and shrubland where water is not found in abundance. Therefore, their bodies are used to functioning on little water. So take care to give watermelon sparingly.

Sugar Content

Let’s face it, watermelons are sweet, which is why most of us love it! Your gerbil will also love the taste since they don’t mind sweet stuff. Watermelon does not have a significantly high sugar content though as it contains only 7% per 100 grams. However, because gerbils are prone to diabetes, it’s still best to keep watermelon to a minimum. 

watermelon benefits

How Often Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon?

This depends on the discretion of the owner, but generally, watermelon should be restricted to about once per week. Fresh fruits are fine for gerbils and they should have them in small amounts. Just be sure to feed your gerbil a high-quality pellet mix as his main food source and add watermelon as a treat. 

Can Gerbils Eat Fresh, Frozen, or Dehydrated Watermelon? 

Fresh watermelon is fine for gerbils in small amounts. One of the main benefits of eating watermelons in season is that they are packed with nutrition. So yes, gerbils can eat fresh watermelon occasionally. 

Dried or dehydrated watermelon has had most or all of the water removed. What’s left of this is a chewy, sweet item that gerbils will love to snack on. It’s better for gerbils because the water has been removed, but it will be a LOT sweeter than fresh watermelon. 

Frozen watermelon is also safe for gerbils, but the texture won’t be quite the same. If you do freeze watermelon for your gerbil be sure to thaw it before consumption as it will lower his body temperature. 

Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon Rind?

Gerbils can eat watermelon rind as it is not poisonous to them, however, it’s also very tough. It might make for an unpleasant eating experience or cause your gerbil to choke, so it’s best to stick with the red part of the fruit. 

Also, there is the risk of exposing your pet to contaminants and pesticides that could harm your pet. 

Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon Seeds?

Gerbils do eat seeds and usually enjoy pumpkin and sunflower seeds as treats. However, watermelon seeds aren’t a tasty treat that your gerbil will enjoy. They are not poisonous, but there are other healthy seed options that your gerbil will prefer. 

Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon Leaves?

There is not enough evidence to determine if gerbils can eat watermelon leaves. It’s pretty unusual for humans to eat watermelon leaves, so we cannot say for sure that gerbils can eat them. It’s best to avoid giving watermelon leaves to your pet. 

Watermelon Varieties

There are plenty of watermelon varieties with some of the most popular being:

  • Allsweet
  • Crimson Sweet
  • Charleston Gray
  • Georgia Rattlesnake
  • Sweet Princess
  • Bush Sugar Baby
  • Icebox

Can Gerbils Eat Watermelon?

Gerbils can eat watermelon in small quantities and on an occasional basis. It has a high water content which is not best for gerbils. While it’s not high in sugar, gerbils are prone to diabetes so watermelon should be kept to a minimum. There are healthier options for your pet such as bananas, apples, and strawberries. 

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