Can gerbils eat almonds? One variety can kill your gerbil

Can gerbils eat almonds

Almonds are the delicious edible seeds of the Prunus dulcis tree known as the almond tree, they are consumed and used in many forms and for a variety of purposes.

Almonds are often sold with the shell removed, and ready to consume, you can find different almond products in almost all stores (raw, roasted, flakes, oil, milk…)

Almonds are not known for being pet food but gerbils feed essentially on seeds and almonds contain vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, and so they may offer a number of health benefits and make a great treat you can give them occasionally in reasonable quantities.

Can gerbils eat almonds?

Gerbils can eat almonds in reasonable quantities, but they can not eat bitter almonds which contain traces Hydrocyanic acid an organic version of the well-known poison, cyanide and could be fatal to gerbils even in small amounts, almonds can be used as high quality treats for gerbils but not as a primary diet item.

Looking for healthy treats to balance your gerbil’s nutrition is important,but not as important as choosing the best food for his main diet.

The best and healthier gerbil mix we recommend is the Oxbow garden Select Gerbil Food (check the current price on Amazon), it’s made of pellets which are best for gerbils that tend to pick fatty seeds and leave the rest.

Do gerbils eat almonds in the wild?

There are very few places in the world where almond trees can be grown; the trees can’t freeze in the winter, must have lots of water, sunshine, and a long growing season, so they are not suited for a desert climate.

Gerbils originate from deserty areas of the world, hence the name desert rats, so almonds are not on the gerbil’s natural diet in the wild.

All food items that gerbils don’t naturally feed on in nature should be checked and introduced slowly into their diet, gerbils have very sensitive tummies and any sudden change in diet could affect them.

Do gerbils like almonds?

gerbils eat almonds
Gerbils eat almonds

Gerbils seem to like almonds and when given with other regular seeds they do pick them up first, so it is safe to assume that they do like almonds.

Gerbils often tend to prefer almonds and many other nuts to their regular seeds mix but it really depends on the seeds you feed your gerbils and if separate seeds or pellets.

Gerbils are picky eaters and would pick the fat seeds and nuts and leave the rest if there is enough food to pick from.

Can gerbils open almonds shells?

Almonds shells are pretty hard to open but rodents are known for their chewing capabilities, so the shell should theoretically present no difficulties to gerbils.

However, in captivity gerbils are not used to cracking open nuts and might lose interest in almonds if the shell is not removed and easy alternatives are available.

Shells could also present a choking hazard so it would be best to remove it before feeding the almonds to your gerbils.

How many almonds can gerbils eat?

Gerbils feed primarily on seeds and any supplement like almonds or other vegetables like (bananas, apples, carrots…) should be given in small quantities that don’t exceed 10% of the daily diet.

Almonds and all other treats and supplements should not be given daily and should be changed for a more balanced diet.

Nuts are high in calories and easy to overeat and almonds are high in fat and calories and should only be used as high-value treats or lures.

Can gerbils eat almond butter?

Gerbils can eat almond butter that is found in health stores, with no added sugar, the one commercially sold in all grocery stores has too much added sugar and too much fat fo gerbils.

Almond butter is very high in fat and calories and should not be fed to gerbils more than once a week and with very reasonable portions.

Almond butter should not be given to gerbils in the same week they’ve had another food item that has too much fat.

Can gerbils eat roasted almonds?

Gerbils can eat roasted almonds as long as they’re not salted or roasted in oil.

Salted almonds contain too much sodium which could be harmful to your gerbils, while oil roasted almonds contain extra levels of fat so they should be avoided.

Contrary to popular belief the roasted nuts lose very few nutrients in the process, and the difference with raw nuts is very minimal.

Can gerbils eat flaked almonds?

As long as they are not salted or roasted in oil flaked almonds are good for gerbils to eat. Almonds contain the same nutrients in any form as long as they are not mixed with other ingredients like oil or salt.

Almonds are loved by gerbils and flaked almonds would make a great treat if you have some left after baking but they should be fed in moderation.

Can gerbils eat bitter almonds?

No, gerbils can not eat bitter almonds even in the smallest quantities; Bitter almond comes from a different type of almond tree (Prunus amygdalus ) and does contain toxic chemicals.

Bitter almonds may yield 4–9 mg of hydrogen cyanide per almond and contain 42 times higher amounts of cyanide than the trace levels found in sweet almonds which is extremely poisonous for small rodents like gerbils.

The bitter almond is slightly broader and shorter than the sweet almond and contains about 50% of the fixed oil that occurs in sweet almonds.

Although it’s different in shape from sweet almond it can easily be mistaken so being extremely careful when buying almonds is important. In case of doubt, it should not be fed to gerbils.

Are almonds dangerous for gerbils?

Are almonds dangerous for gerbils
Are almonds dangerous for gerbils?

Sweet almonds are full of nutrients that are very good for gerbils and other than the fact that they contain too much fat and high calorie causing gerbils to get fat if consumed in high portions they are perfectly safe.

Bitter almonds, on the other hand, are fatal to gerbils even in small quantities, it contains an organic version of the cyanide poison which is lethal.

When unsure almonds should never be fed to gerbils especially from unknown sources, the bitter almonds could be easily mistaken for sweet almonds and cause an unfortunate incident; Bitter almonds contain more cyanide traces than the apple seeds.

Almonds health benefits for gerbils.

Almonds are full of great nutrients that are great for gerbils, it can be a great high-value treat since it’s high in fat and calories, but it’s loaded with minerals proteins and aminoacids.

All of these nutrients are necessary for a healthy diet and one almond nut would make up for the gerbil’s needs of the week that is why it should only be given once a week in a reasonable amount.

Total lipid (fat)50g
Carbohydrate, by difference20g
Fiber, total dietary13.3g
Sugars, total including NLEA3.33g
Calcium, Ca367mg
Iron, Fe4.2mg
Sodium, Na0mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid0mg
Vitamin A, IU0IU
Fatty acids, total saturated3.33g
Almonds nutrition facts

Conclusion: Can gerbils eat almonds

  • Gerbils can eat almonds as a supplement to their seeds diet.
  • Almonds are very high in fat and calories and should be consumed in small quantities no more than once a week.
  • Gerbils can crack open the almond shell but it is best to give your gerbils the nuts without the shell.
  • Gerbils can eat almond flakes and roasted almonds as long as they’re not salted or oil roasted.
  • Bitter almonds are poisonous and fatal to gerbils.

Other foods gerbils can eat