When considering feeding their pets human foods as treats most pet parents will think of foods they consume very often on a regular basis and that are available at all times in their homes.
Cereals are the most common breakfast in America and it’s what most people start their day with, so it would be obvious to think about it as a potential treat for gerbils.
Cheerios has been for the last 50 years one of the most consumed brands in the US and it’s considered by most people as the best and healthiest cereal brand in the market.
Cheerios was first introduced in the market under the name of CheeriOats back in 1941 and re-branded as Cheerios in 1945 by “Big G” the nickname for General Mills a company founded in 1928 but can trace its history back to Minneapolis Milling Company that was incorporated in 1856 known for producing flour.
The company is deeply rooted in American history and it’s the honey nut cheerios that was introduced in 1979 that made it to the top of the best and most popular cereals and haven’t been dethroned since.
The most important question remains, can gerbils eat cheerios?
Gerbils can eat the original cheerios in reasonable quantities of 3 or 4 a day, it’s made from whole grain oats, and without artificial flavors or colors, they’re naturally low in fat and cholesterol-free, cheerios is a good source of vitamins and minerals also full of calcium and fiber and low in fat and sugar, so it can be a good addition to the gerbil’s main diet.
Cheerios is a great treat for your gerbil and it’s important to always look for treats to balance the gerbil’s diet but what’s more important is the gerbil’s main diet and how healthy it is.
We recommend the Oxbow Fortified Food for Gerbils (check price at Amazon), it’s good quality, made of natural ingredients and it’s in pellets which are good for gerbils that get picky with their food when served full seeds.
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Can gerbils eat honey nut cheerios?
Honey nut cheerios is the best selling cereal in the US for years and has an irresistibly sweet taste of golden honey, but unfortunately for gerbils, they can not eat it.
Honey nut cheerios is as healthy as the original cheerios and contains a lot of great nutrients gerbils could benefit from but it’s not 100% safe to consume for gerbils.
Gerbils can only consume the original cheerios, the honey nut cheerios is too sweet for them and it has added flavor and brown sugar.
The cheerios ingredients as presented on the official cheerios website :
Whole Grain Oats, Corn Starch, Sugar, Salt, Tripotassium Phosphate. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness.Original cheerios
Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Oat Bran, Corn Starch, Honey, Brown Sugar Syrup, Salt, Tripotassium Phosphate, Rice Bran Oil and/or Canola Oil, Natural Almond Flavor. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness.Honey nut cheerios
Do gerbils like cheerios?
Gerbils adore cheerios, in general, they love to gnaw on crunchy food and boy is cheerios crunchy, they will prefer it over most fruits and vegetables.
When given cheerios gerbils drop what’s in their hands and just go through the entire portion in literally minutes.
One has to be careful though because as small as they seem in the hands of a small gerbil it’s more like a donut.
Cheerios is one of the gerbil’s favorite human foods and it’s the go-to snack for most gerbil owners when there is anything else to feed their gerbils.
Some gerbil owners use cheerios as a staple food for their gerbils and they seem to be healthy as long as they feed them the original cheerios it’s fine.
Can baby gerbils eat cheerios?
From the age of three to five weeks baby gerbils start to mouth and gnaw on solid food, their teeth are fully developed and their eyes are open and they can explore their surroundings, but they still mostly rely on mom’s milk.
At the age of five weeks, most baby gerbils can eat whatever adult gerbils feed on cheerios included, so you can introduce it at five weeks in small quantities because young gerbils have sensitive tummies and should feed on natural food.
After the age of eight weeks, gerbils are considered adults and can eat regular adult food without any gastric problems whatsoever.
Is cheerios safe for gerbils?
Cheerios is all-natural ingredients it contains no added artificial flavors or preservatives, it’s gluten-free, and has no toxic ingredients for gerbils.
So it is safe to assume that cheerios is actually safe for gerbils as long as they don’t eat too much since it has some levels of salt in it.
Honey nut cheerios, on the other hand, has the added almond flavor and contains three sweeteners, honey sugar and brown sugar which is too much for gerbils.
Is cheerios good for gerbils?
Cheerios is brimming with good nutrients it contains a dozen vitamins and minerals which can only be good for gerbils.
Calcium Carbonate, Iron and Zinc (mineral nutrients), Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), A B Vitamin (niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), Vitamin A (palmitate), Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), A B Vitamin (folic acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.Vitamins and Minerals
All these minerals and vitamins are essential to the gerbil’s general health and provide a healthy and balanced diet.
How many cheerios can gerbils eat?
Like we’ve concluded before cheerios is really a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, it’s gluten-free low in fiber, and an excellent source of iron.
However, if it wasn’t for the sodium levels -not very high if consumed in moderate quantities- it would be a great staple food for gerbils.
Gerbils are desert species that have adapted to living on so little water, they don’t pee very often and their feces are very dry to conserve as much water as possible, and it’s what makes them great pets because unlike other rodents they don’t smell.
Consuming more than 3 to 4 cheerios a day will potentially inject too much sodium in the gerbil’s body and cause dehydration, in which case it’s best to feed him water-rich foods like watermelon, cucumber, and tomatoes in small treat portions.
How often can gerbils eat cheerios?
Gerbils can eat cheerios every day as long as they don’t consume too much of it, like we’ve explained earlier it has traces of sodium and can cause dehydration.
If consumed in moderation – 3 to 4 pieces a day- it can be a nice daily healthy snack for your gerbils, especially that they like the texture.
Balancing the gerbil’s diet and diversifying with other fruits vegetables and occasionally insects like mealworms for some protein is always best for the gerbil’s health.
Cheerios nutritious profile
The nutritious profile of the cheerios is quite impressive, if it wasn’t for the sodium levels it could be used as a staple primary food for gerbils.
Here is the full profile of the cheerios:Cheerios Nutritious Profile
|Amount Per Serving
|Incl. Added Sugars
|Folate (45mcg folic acid)
Conclusion: can gerbils eat cheerios?
- Gerbils can eat cheerios but only the original one.
- The honey nut cheerios is too sweet for gerbils to consume.
- Gerbils can eat cheerios every day if eaten in moderation.
- It’s best not to feed your gerbil more than 3 or 4 cheerios a day.
- Cheerios is highly nutritious and brimming with good nutrients.
- Cheerios has traces of sodium which can cause dehydration to gerbils if consumed in large quantities.
Other foods gerbils can eat
- Apples (without seeds)
- Almonds (not bitter almonds)
- Green beans