Can gerbils eat bananas? 3 banana types tested

Can gerbils eat bananas

Bananas are the first fruit that comes to mind when trying to feed animals or babies, it’s so famous and affordable that you can find it almost anywhere, but can gerbils eat bananas since it’s not part of their natural diet in the wild.

Yes! gerbils can eat bananas, and they love it, but only in reasonable quantities and it can not be considered as a substitute for their original diet but only a supplement, since they are low on protein and fat and high on calories. Gerbils can eat not only fresh bananas but also green (under-ripe) and black (over-ripe) bananas.

Bananas are a very common fruit you can find in any household that most rodents enjoy but what kind of bananas how much you can give your gerbil and what parts can he eat are the questions we’re going to answer next.

Can gerbils eat other types of bananas

can gerbils eat bananas

For many of you (me included till very recently) this is going to come as a surprise but there are a lot of types of bananas and not only the regular yellow ones we love.

There are multiple varieties of bananas and some are very different in color and shapes but they all have fairly the same texture and they only differ in the level of sweetness.

But can our gerbils eat other types of banana? the answer is yes since the key elements of this tropical fruit are all the same for all banana types, you just want to be careful with the super sweet ones.

Can gerbils eat Cavendish banana

can gerbils eat banana : Cavendish

The bananas we all know and can find in all local markets are actually called Cavendish Bananas and it’s the most common type of bananas.

Gerbils can feed on them and if given occasionally to complement their primary diet it does not present any danger.

Usually, the very tip of the banana is enough for an adult gerbil and he’ll enjoy it for a while just make sure they don’t keep it somewhere in their tank since gerbils love to hoard food.

Can gerbils eat Plantain banana

can gerbils eat banana : Plantain

The Plantain has a rather unpleasant flavor when eaten raw and it’s low on sugar which makes it even better for gerbils.

Although it’s not very popular as the Cavendish, the Plantain banana can be found in large markets.

Can gerbils eat Manzano Banana

can gerbils eat bananas : Manzano Banana

Manzano Bananas are unique in size and smaller than most bananas types, they are sweeter with a hint of crunchy apple-strawberry flavor they are a bit different.

However, they should be given to gerbils in smaller quantities due to their sugar concentrated nature.

What parts of bananas can gerbils eat

The inner part (the flesh) is of course, edible and it’s the sweetest part and gerbils love it just like we do, but what about the other parts.

Can gerbils eat banana peels

Yes! gerbils can eat banana peels, it’s less sweet but gerbils don’t really mind, of course, it should be in reasonable quantities.

The peels have some flesh on them that is also sweet and gerbils like nibbling on.

Can gerbils eat banana leaves

Banana leaves are used for cooking and especially smoking food, they add a great flavor to the food contained inside, but generally, that’s the only way they are related to food.

Gerbils don’t originate from a tropical environment, so in the wild, they do not feed on banana leaves, and I wouldn’t recommend experimenting with your gerbil’s diet since they are very sensitive to sudden diet change.

Ways gerbils can eat bananas

Bananas can be eaten in different ways it all depends on the regions especially tropical areas where bananas are abundant.

Fresh banana flesh

The obvious way a gerbil can eat bananas is fresh flesh like we do, of course in a gerbil-size portion.

Gerbils like it and it could be a great supplement for their diet and it’s always fun to watch.

Cooked banana

Gerbils can eat cooked bananas as long as they’re cooked alone, other ingredients could be dangerous for their sensitive digestif system.

Banana dried chips

Dried bananas are actually part of most gerbil food mixes and they are a great and delicious supplement.

You need to be aware that most banana chips on the market are baked with other ingredients like lemon juice or sugar to keep them from turning black and sweeter.

Only give your gerbil banana chips that you make yourself or ones you’re sure they’re natural.

Dehydrated Bananas

Naturally dried bananas are great they taste even sweeter, but they shrink in size taking out the water which constitutes about 75 % of the total weight leaving a dehydrated banana chip with concentrated nutrients considering the size.

This will make a gerbil size portion super concentrated in sugar and other elements that could be harmful to your gerbil.

So in case you feed your gerbil, dehydrated bananas make sure the portions are much smaller.

Can baby gerbils eat bananas

Baby gerbils grow up rapidly and they soon get to eat regular adult food permanently and the whole process takes less than 5 weeks.

When bought from a breeder or a store baby gerbils are often old enough to eat regular adult food, it’s the ones born in captivity that need more attention.

When you get new baby gerbils from a breeder or the store it is best to get the same food the breeder is using not to disturb their tummies with a sudden change in diet.

Young under six weeks old baby gerbils often lose weight when taken to a new home without their mothers, which is normal but check with a vet if it seems too much of a change.

Gerbils from birth to two weeks old

Baby gerbils from birth to two weeks old feed exclusively on their mom’s milk and can’t handle any other form of food.

At this young age, they still don’t have any teeth to gnaw on food.

Gerbils From Two Weeks To four weeks Old

At this age, gerbils start to mouth and grew their tiny teeth which makes them able to gnaw on regular gerbil food.

However, they still feed on their mother’s milk when they get a chance, so it is best to provide food and not to separate them from their mothers at this age.

Gerbils at five weeks and older

At five months old baby gerbils are weaned and their teeth are grown and they can feed on regular adult food permanently.

It is at this age that baby gerbils can have access to other fruits and vegetables like bananas of course in reasonable portions.

How much banana can gerbils eat

Bananas and other fruits and vegetables are only supplemented food to complement your gerbil’s primary diet.

In the wild, gerbils feed on a variety of ingredients and that is how he gets all the nutrients he needs for a balanced diet.

In captivity, you need to make sure your gerbil gets a good food mix and complement it with other vegetables and fruits.

In case you’re wondering we recommend the Oxford Gerbil Food it’s not the cheapest but it’s surely the best for gerbils but you need to add some fruits and vegetables in small quantities, which brings us to our point of how much bananas can gerbils eat.

Adult gerbils should be given about the tenth of a regular size banana (not the giant ones)once a day, while young (under six months) and nursing/pregnant gerbils could have up to double that amount.

Changing the fruit or vegetable you give your gerbil is recommended and it would be better not to give bananas every day to diversify the nutrients your pet gets.

Do gerbils like bananas

Generally, gerbils are not picky eaters and would eat anything edible you give them but they do like some fruits over other items.

Gerbils love bananas and can’t seem to have enough of it; they gnaw on it with their tiny mouth until it’s all gone.

They love the sweet and creamy texture of the bananas and they prefer it over other vegetables.

We did a little test with different fruits and vegetables and sweet soft fruits appear to be their favorite.

You still have doubts? enjoy the following video of a gerbil enjoying a banana.

Gerbil enjoying a banana

Do gerbils eat bananas in the wild

Gerbils are originally from Africa, Asia, and India so they are adapted to arid habitats hence the surname desert rats.

In their natural habitat, there are no bananas since they are tropical fruits that generally don’t grow in arid climates.

So the sight of a wild gerbil feeding on bananas is not common.

Gerbils in the wild will eat a mixture of grasses, roots and bulbs, seeds, and leaves. They are foragers and will dig through undergrowth or soil to find the food they need.

Can bananas be dangerous to gerbils

Bananas and other fresh vegetables and fruits you give your gerbil are not dangerous or poisonous to gerbils.

However, when you exceed the regular daily portion it can turn dangerous especially bananas with their level of sweetness.

Bananas could also be dangerous when used as a primary diet ingredient and on a daily basis since it doesn’t contain all the nutrients a gerbil needs.

When given in large quantities bananas could cause diarrhea and other digestive system disturbances.

Bananas nutrition facts

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits worldwide. They contain essential nutrients for gerbil’s diet.

Bananas are rich in the mineral potassium. Potassium helps maintain fluid levels in the body and regulates the movement of nutrients and waste products in and out of cells, which is essential for gerbils since they must always have access to clean fresh water. 

For nerd pet parents like me here is a table with the detailed nutrients of a 100 g of banana:


Total lipid (fat)0.33g
Carbohydrate, by difference22.84g
Fiber, total dietary2.6g
Sugars, total including NLEA12.23g
Glucose (dextrose)4.98g
Calcium, Ca5mg
Iron, Fe0.26mg
Magnesium, Mg27mg
Phosphorus, P22mg
Potassium, K358mg
Sodium, Na1mg
Zinc, Zn0.15mg
Copper, Cu0.078mg
Manganese, Mn0.27mg
Selenium, Se1mg
Fluoride, F2.2mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid8.7mg
Pantothenic acid0.334mg
Vitamin B-60.367mg
Folate, total20µg
Folate, food20µg
Folate, DFE20µg
Choline, total9.8mg
Vitamin A, RAE3µg
Carotene, beta26µg
Carotene, alpha25µg
Vitamin A, IU64IU
Lutein + zeaxanthin22µg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.1mg
Tocopherol, gamma0.02mg
Tocopherol, delta0.01mg
Tocotrienol, alpha0.06mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)0.5µg
Fatty acids, total saturated0.112g
Nutrients for a 100 g Portion

Final verdict: can gerbils eat bananas

  • Gerbils can eat bananas, in fact, they can eat all types of bananas without any danger.
  • Gerbils should be fed bananas in small portions not to disturb their diet.
  • Bananas are not a substitute to the gerbils primarily diet and can only be used as a supplement to provide other nutrients their diet could lack.
  • The vegetables and fruits given as supplements should be diversified for a more balanced diet.
  • Gerbils don’t feed on bananas in the wild, so it can’t be given bananas every day.
  • Baby gerbils can have bananas and adult food starting from the second week and permanently from the fifth week.
  • Gerbils can eat bananas in different ways if the nutrients portion is taken into consideration.

Other foods gerbils can eat


4 thoughts on “Can gerbils eat bananas? 3 banana types tested”

  1. I’ve just got 3 gerbils a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been giving them seeds mix that the breeder gave me and some vegetables but I’m lost on what I should be giving them now on.
    I’ve been using the same vegetables (carrots mostly) every day, they seem ok until now but they’re not picking up much weight and I’m a bit concerned.
    I noticed they’re chewing on a plastic tunnel I’ve installed in their tank is it normal?

    1. Hey Fati congratulations on getting new gerbils you made a great choice of pet, they’re a lot of fun and easy to handle.

      You did well by giving your gerbils the same food they used to feed on when they were with the breeder, now all you have to do is gradually introduce a new and permanent food a good seed mix(I’ve suggested a great brand in the article or any other good brand) just make sure it’s good quality since gerbils have very sensitive tummies and would get disturbed easily that’s why it’s best not to suddenly change their diet.

      Start by replacing the 1/4 on the first week and then 1/2 then 3/4 on the third week and in the fourth week you can totally switch to your own mix.

      You want to introduce other vegetables and fruits that gerbils can eat like bananas but it’s best if you change it every day. different fruits have different nutrients so you want to balance their diet.

      The weight problem is normal, baby gerbils don’t pick up much weight when they change their environment but you did well getting 3 gerbils together.

      YOU NEED to remove the plastic from their tank ASAP they will eat fragments and get sick or die no plastic should be installed in a gerbil’s tank.

  2. IS hamster food ok for gerbils? I have a hamster and was thinking about getting a couple of gerbils since they are more active in the day and i’ve read that they don’t smell but when I checked up my hamster’s food it has gerbil on it also.

    It’s great if it’s the case I’ve been using the same brand for a couple of years now and my hamster likes it and his healthy but still I’m not sure they eat the same thing.

    1. Hey, Carol, you are totally right, unlike most rodents gerbils are more active during the day and they don’t smell when taken care of properly.
      They are easier to deal with and won’t bite unless provoked or stressed.
      mostly, gerbils can eat hamster food mix and it’s ok.
      However, you need to introduce fruits and vegetables like bananas and carrots to balance their diet with all the nutrients they need.

Comments are closed.