There are more than a hundred species of gerbils living in the wild, all with varying life spans.
Wild gerbils only live for up to 1-2 years.
However, in captivity, pet gerbils normally live for 3-5 years.
But some breeds can live to up to 8 years.
The life span of any pet, gerbils included, depends a lot on genetic factors. But it also depends a whole lot on things like quality of food, diseases, stressful environment, exercise, and so on.
You should know there are many factors that affect the average lifespan of a gerbils.
The most important ones are:
- Breed. There are about 110 different breeds of gerbil, with each having a slightly different life expectancy.
- Wild vs captivity. In general, pet gerbils live longer than wild gerbils.
- Quality of food and water. Healthy nutritious food, and access to clean drinking water, are important factors for a long life.
- Accidents and diseases. Accidents, like falling from the top of the cage or being taken by a predator in the wild, are ever-present dangers. Disease is also a serious threat, that can hastily shorten the lifespan of a gerbil.
- Exercise and mental stimulation. Exercising daily is important. It’s healthy for the body, and great for mental stimulation as well.
- Stressful environment. Long periods of stress will drastically shorten a gerbil’s life expectancy.
- Genes. Last but not least; an individual gerbil’s genes greatly affect how long it will live. Just like with us humans. Some people smoke cigarettes and eat junk food like there’s no tomorrow, but still manage to live for a hundred years.
So what can you do to make your gerbil friend live longer?
Here are a few tips:
- Provide your gerbil with organic high-quality food and snacks.
- Constant access to fresh water is a must.
- You should provide your pet with an exercise wheel and a few toys so that it can exercise its body and brain on a daily basis.
- Make sure the cage is safe, and place it in a quiet room. Stress and lack of sleep is unhealthy.
- Cleanliness is vital for a gerbil to avoid getting sick. Clean the cage thoroughly and regularly.
- If you suspect your gerbil to be sick, contact a veterinarian.
Good luck! 🙂