Gerbils are relatively cheap pets. Even with all of their shelters, bedding, toys, and food they are still much cheaper than a dog, cat, bird, or serpent. Well, how much do gerbils cost?
Gerbils themselves cost between $5 and $40 each. The initial cost for everything you need can be anywhere from $200 to $250, and the yearly recurring costs per gerbil are $255 to $465.
This chart will show you an overview of how your initial budget and your yearly budget are going to be distributed for your gerbil. To make it simple, this breakdown is for one Mongolian Gerbil.
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Upfront Costs to buy a Gerbil
Let’s take a closer look at the upfront costs.
The most common, and therefore most affordable gerbil, is the Mongolian Gerbil. These little critters do much better in pairs or groups, so it’s highly recommended you buy at least two from the same pet store, adoption center, or breeder.
Buying multiples at the same time makes it easier to bond the gerbils. If you buy them from the same place, they’re probably already bonded. Bonded means they are friendly with each other and they won’t fight when you put them in a cage together.
Depending on where you purchase the gerbils and the type of gerbil, you can expect to pay $5 to $10, even up to $40 per rodent!
A small hamster cage isn’t big enough for a gerbil, no matter how many tunnels and small hideouts you add.
Gerbils are very active rodents and they need space to run around. If you don’t have space to give them a cage with the floor space around the same size as a crib, you’ll need to give them exercise in other ways.
A wheel is a great way for gerbils to get the exercise they need.
The cost of bedding is going to vary by the type, and whether or not you purchase it in bulk. To give you an idea, a 56.6L package of aspen bedding will last around two months of regular cleaning.
Wood shelters are the best for gerbils, unlike plastic ones. Gerbils will chew on anything in their cages, and their shelter is no exception. A gerbil should chew on wood rather than something that is plastic!
The shelters will need to be replaced as your gerbils chew through them. The rate your gerbil chews through their shelter might change how many shelters you’ll need to buy throughout the year.
This means you might pay more or hopefully less than the estimated $45 for shelters in a year.
The cost of food will depend heavily on the contents, the quality, and the size of the bag. A 1kg bag of gerbil food will feed one gerbil for two months.
If you can afford a larger bag of food and you’re able to store it, you’ll get a better price for the volume. Instead of $60 for the year for one gerbil, you might be able to find a very large bag for $40!
Food Dish & Water Bottle
Food dishes and water bottles don’t need to be fancy. The only requirement for a food dish is that it is not made of plastic.
Although the plastic dishes might be cute, it isn’t going to be fun when your gerbil ingests the plastic when they chew on their food dish.
A food dish and a water bottle shouldn’t cost any more than $20 combined.
A cheap plastic wheel isn’t good for your gerbil either. Hamster wheels are too small, and since your gerbil will chew on anything, ingesting the plastic from the wheel won’t be good for their stomach.
Wooden wheels and metal wheels are much more difficult to find, and they are more expensive, but your gerbil will thank you for making the investment.
A wheel around 8-12 inches in diameter, whether it is wood or metal, will cost at least $30, but can go up to $60.
Toys for gerbils are incredibly cheap. You can pick up a toy for just over a dollar. The reason the start-up cost says $20 is because you’re going to want a variety of toys for your gerbils.
Just like everything else in your gerbil’s enclosure, you’re going to want to replace the toys as they chew through them.
You may have noticed the yearly but costs range from $40 to $250. That’s a pretty big difference, so let’s find out why!
A check-up visit is going to cost around $40, and if your gerbil needs any medications or antibiotics it’ll be around $10 each round. Hopefully, you’ll never need to pay for the next cost, but surgeries can start at $200.
These health costs can vary depending on your gerbil’s needs and your vet’s rates. As with any pet, Don’t you wish to you should set money aside each month for “just in case” vet bills.
All things considered, gerbils are cheap pets. For just the cost of a mixed-breed puppy, you can get several years with a gerbil instead.
To get everything you need for when you bring your first gerbil home, you’ll spend around $200, and then approximately $255 per year after that.