As a gerbil parent, you are always looking for new foods to offer your gerbils, to balance their seeds diet, and because it’s really entertaining to watch them eat.
Feeding gerbils fruits and vegetables is important, they are full of nutrients that the gerbil’s seeds mix could lack offering a healthy and balanced diet.
However, not all fruits and vegetables are healthy for your gerbils, and some can even be dangerous for your lovely little rodents.
One fruit has been subject to many debates and there is contradictory information on the subject and its grapes, some pet parents say it’s poisonous to rodents and should be avoided while others confirm they’ve been feeding it to their gerbils for years with no effects on their health.
Can gerbils eat grapes?
Gerbils can eat grapes, there is no scientific evidence to prove the fact that grapes are poisonous to gerbils and rodents in general, all of the experts advising against feeding grapes to gerbils build their opinion on the fact that grapes are poisonous to dogs, but studies are yet to pinpoint the toxic substance in them, on the contrary studies have shown that the resveratrol found in grapes is good for gerbils.
I can say with confidence that gerbils can eat grapes, and I as a rodent pet parent myself for many years have been feeding my gerbils grapes occasionally, and never did I notice any side effects on their health, not even diarrhea.
What I would recommend is not to feed gerbils grapes in large quantities and not very often not that they are toxic in any way but because they contain 82% water content, which gerbils can’t handle very well being desert rodents that are not used to too much water in their diet.
Can gerbils eat raisins, Sultanas, and Currants?
Raisins, sultanas, and currants are all types of dried grapes. Raisins and sultanas are soft, sweet, and juicy, while currants have an intense, sweet, and tangy taste. Raisins are typically the largest of the three.healthline
Gerbils can eat raisins, sultanas, and currants in fact they are safer than grapes and this is due to the drying process, which reduces the water content from 80% to 15%.
The drying process makes raisins, sultanas, and currants highly nutritious, that’s why they should be fed to gerbils in moderation.
Do gerbils eat grapes in the wild?
In the wild gerbils feed on seeds herbs leaves grasses and some insects, most of these are not water-rich since the gerbils’ natural habitat is the desert.
Grapes are rich in water and do not grow in desert areas of the world, so in most cases, grapes are not part of the gerbil’s natural seeds diet.
However, in captivity gerbils need fruits and vegetables to supplement their seeds diet to make it more balanced.
Most pet parents focus on the supplements and forget that a quality seeds mix preferably pellets are essential before you consider what fruits and vegetables to feed your gerbils.
The gerbil food we strongly recommend is the Oxbow Garden Select Fortified Food for Gerbils (check the current price at Amazon), it’s good quality and it’s made of pellets which are better for gerbils that tend to get picky when given seeds.
Do gerbils like grapes?
Gerbils usually prefer foods they can gnaw on with a crunchy solid texture but they seem to like the sweetness of the grapes.
We’ve made a couple of tests offering gerbils a choice with multiple fruits and surprisingly grapes are one the favorites.
The fact that gerbils like grapes is good enough reason not to give them too much due to the water content, and because when food as abundant gerbils tend to get picky and they’ll eat too much of their favorite food.
Do gerbils like raisins?
Just like grapes gerbils seem to enjoy the tasty sweetness of raisins and they do like it over other fruits and vegetables.
raisins are highly nutritious compared to grapes, of course, this is due to the drying process which reduces the water content leaving more nutrients concentration on a weight level.
Are grapes and raisins safe for gerbils?
Once again we must emphasize the fact that grapes and raisins in moderate quantities are perfectly safe for gerbils.
All of the information around grapes being poisonous is only cautionary arguments based on the fact that it is poisonous to some pets like dogs.
There are no studies or that shown for a fact any side effects of feeding grapes to gerbils or rodents in general for that matter.
Furthermore, some of the very known pet food companies that are authorized to sell pet food in the US and Europe do use raisins as part of their gerbil food ingredients.
One of the most reputable and well-known brands in the US that use raisins in their gerbil food products is KAYTEE and it’s a brand that has been around for over 100 years so one would think that if there was any risk they would not be using it or at least there would have been cases where side effects were linked to their gerbil food.
Here is a direct link to the product on Amazon if you would like to check the ingredients yourself as presented by KAYTEE.
we can with confidence say that most of the gerbil owners that are opposed to feeding gerbils grapes and raisins have been feeding their pets raisins without knowing it for years.
Are grapes and raisins good for gerbils?
All fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that are good for gerbils even the ones they should not eat, but let us explore the benefits of grapes and raisins for gerbils.
Grapes are an excellent source of vitamins K and C, they are also packed with antioxidants that help gerbils on a cellular level one of which is resveratrol.
Numerous studies have been performed on rodents have shown that resveratrol is extremely healthy for gerbils and rodents in general.
grapes are also a good source of minerals like potassium and although they contain sugar, they have a low glycemic index.
Raisins contain almost the same nutritious value although the vitamin C and vitamin K content is significantly reduced from the fresh varieties when the grapes are dried.
How many grapes can gerbils eat?
When it comes to grapes it is easy to remember all it takes is one grape, it’s more than enough for your gerbil and it contains all the nutrients he needs.
More than one grapes are too much water for your gerbil, and when fed to gerbil no other water-rich fruits should be given to them.
Gerbils are desert species and they are not used to eat many water-based fruits, so their digestive system is not well adapted to these sorts of fruits, but it’s nothing to be afraid of the worst that can happen is diarrhea.
Raisins are highly nutritious considering their weight so feeding your gerbil one raisin is equivalent to one grape.
How often can gerbils eat grapes?
Gerbils should not be fed grapes very often, and that has nothing to do with them being poisonous or not it’s the water content in them.
Generally, a grape per week or two weeks is good enough to balance your gerbil’s diet along with other fruits and vegetables.
Feeding gerbils grapes and raisins every day is not recommended and can cause diarrhea, that’s why keeping it as a snack from time to time is better, although it’s hard to resist watching a gerbil gnaw on a grape that he holds with his tiny little hands.
Here is a cute video of a gerbil eating a grape:
Ways gerbils can eat grapes
Gerbils can eat grapes either fresh or dried as raisins, fresh grapes do contain more water but also more nutrients and they are easy to handle for gerbils.
Dried raisins have a better texture for gerbils but they are highly nutritious for their weight but they lose some vitamins and minerals in the drying process.
There are also frozen grapes but we advise against feeding gerbils any sort of frozen fruits or vegetables.
Can gerbils eat other grape parts?
Grapes are made of flesh, seeds, skin, and leaves so which parts can gerbils eat?
this is the obvious part that the gerbil would feed on it contains the most water but also a fair amount of nutrients.
The flesh itself is generally safe when it comes to pesticides and other toxic residues.
Gerbils feed essentially on seeds both in captivity and in the wild so one would ask if they can eat grape seeds especially that they do contain some good nutrients.
yes, gerbils can eat grape seeds, they are not toxic and contain a lot of nutrients, you don’t have to remove the seeds before feeding a grape to your gerbils but there is no point in giving them just the seeds since there are better alternatives that gerbils prefer.
grape skin is totally edible and gerbils can eat too, the only risk would be the pesticide residues so washing the grape thoroughly before feeding it to your gerbil would be a good idea.
In fact, grape skins are full of nutrients and some more than the flesh itself, so you don’t have to peel the grape off before feeding it to your gerbil.
Vine leaves are edible we use them for cooking and they are great, gerbils can eat them too since they do feed on some grasses and plants in nature, but better alternatives such as hay are available.
Grapes and raisins nutrient facts
Grapes are a good source of fiber, potassium, and a range of vitamins and other minerals, the Resveratrol is a key nutrient in grapes that may offer health benefits.
here is the list of nutrients found in grapes:
|Amount Per 1 grape (2.4 g)1 cup (92 g)100 grams100 grams|
|Total Fat||0.4 g|
|Saturated fat||0.1 g|
|Polyunsaturated fat||0.1 g|
|Monounsaturated fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||17 g|
|Dietary fiber||0.9 g|
|Vitamin A||2%||Vitamin C||6%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||5%|
Raisins vs Sultanas vs Currants
Raisins, sultanas, and currants have a similar nutrient profile, as all are high in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. On the downside, they are high in sugar and have a lower vitamin C and K content than fresh grapes.Healthline
|Carbs||22 grams||22 grams||21 grams|
|Protein||1 grams||1 grams||1 grams|
|Fat||0 grams||0 grams||0 grams|
|Fiber||1 grams||2 grams||2 grams|
|Sugar||17 grams||21 grams||19 grams|
|Potassium||6% of the RDI||8% of the RDI||7% of the RDI|
|Vitamin C||1% of the RDI||1% of the RDI||2% of the RDI|
|Vitamin K||1% of the RDI||1% of the RDI||1% of the RDI|
Conclusion: can gerbils eat grapes and raisins
there is a lot of misinformation about whether gerbils can or can not eat grapes and raisins out there and none are based upon some scientific evidence.
However, the lack of clear studies that pinpoint grapes as being poisonous to gerbils and with many of the gerbil parents actually feeding their pets grapes for years without any side effects and the fact that most gerbil food brands include raisins in their mix we can assume that :
- Gerbils can eat grapes and raisins, and they are not poisonous to them and rodents in general.
- Gerbils should not be fed too many grapes or too often because their water content is high although not poisonous.
- The gerbils can eat the whole grape with the skin and the seeds.
- Grapes are full of good nutrients that will make the gerbil’s diet balanced and complete.
- Raisins contain more nutritious elements in comparison to their weight but fewer vitamins than the grape.
- Raisins vs Sultanas vs Currants have a similar nutritious profile and can all be fed to gerbils.
For more on the subject, you can watch this video made by the ASPCA about pet toxins, and although it includes grapes, they clearly state that it concerns dogs and cats only.
Other foods gerbils can eat
- Apples (without seeds)
- Almonds (not bitter almonds)
- Green beans