Having pet gerbils is a lot of fun and watching them eat is always entertaining that’s why most gerbil owners are always looking for new food items to test for their little furry friends.
Watching your gerbils try new foods is always great but making sure the food they get is safe for them should be the number one priority of any responsible gerbil parent.
Most commonly gerbil parents will look at the foods and plants they have at home first to feed their gerbils, and lavender will certainly make the top of the list as one of the most popular plants grown and used around the world.
So, can gerbils eat lavender?
Lavender is not toxic or poisonous to gerbils, so theoretically gerbils can eat lavender, but due to its strong taste and scent, it is one of the herbs gerbils tend to avoid especially that there are other plants and foods much more appealing to gerbils.
Looking for new and healthy snacks for your gerbil is important to balance his diet and provide for him the nutrients his body needs, but not as important as choosing the best brand for his main food.
We recommend the Oxbow Garden Select Gerbil Food (Check the current price at Amazon), it’s made of natural ingredients and it’s in the form of pellets which is what we strongly advise for gerbils because they tend to get picky with their food when served seeds.
Do gerbils eat lavender in the wild?
Gerbils are desert species, hint the surname desert rats, and although lavender is one of the best-adapted plants for arid landscapes, however, it’s not a typical desert plant, its native environment from the coastal to inland hillsides along the Mediterranean is different from the gerbil’s natural habitat.
So gerbils do not eat lavender in the wild, but they do consume similar plants, and herbs, that’s why they can eat lavender.
Gerbils are adapted to consume very little water and they can get digestive problems if they eat water-rich plants, but the water content in lavender is not so high that’s why it’s safe for gerbils.
Can baby gerbils eat lavender?
Baby gerbils from birth to the age of three weeks feed exclusively on their mom’s milk their teeth are not fully grown and their eyes remain closed so they can’t eat any solid food.
Between the ages of three to five weeks newborn gerbils start to mouth and gnaw on solid food and explore their surroundings, but still lavender is to strong for them to eat and may cause them diarrhea.
At the age of five weeks, gerbils can eat adult food and try new treats like fruits, vegetables, and new seeds, they can eat lavender at this age.
Eight weeks old gerbils are considered adults and they can eat whatever you can give them as long as it’s not toxic.
Is lavender good for gerbils?
When we generally think about lavender we think of it as a fragrant flower, used for essential oils, perfumes, and other cosmetic uses, but it’s an edible plant for both humans and pets.
Lavender could be very healthy for your gerbils, if they can tolerate the strong taste, it’s very low in fat so you don’t have to worry about your gerbils getting overweight.
It is also a good source of vitamin A, which is good for the gerbil’s eyes and general health, it also has a good amount of calcium that is essential for strong bones.
Lavender is also an excellent source of iron and antioxidants for your gerbils, very important for a healthy and strong immune system.
Is lavender safe for gerbils?
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is toxic to some pets like dogs, cats, and horses, but not to gerbils.
Lavender or Lavendula Angustifolia by scientific names is not poisonous to gerbils and contains no toxic substances that could harm them.
So it’s safe for gerbils to consume lavender and there are no eventual health risks as long as it’s not eaten in large quantities since it has a calming effect that could cause drowsiness in large quantities.
Do gerbils like lavender?
Lavender is mostly grown for the production of its essential oil and is widely used in perfumes for its strong and unique scent.
That’s why gerbils are not all fans of lavender, some can get over the strong taste and scent and do actually like it, while others would not eat it unless they have no other alternative.
The best way to test food that gerbils like is to serve different foods and see what they’ll pick first and what they’ll leave as a last resort.
According to these simple tests, lavender does not make the list of the foods gerbils like and would prefer to other fruits or seeds, however, they’ll eat it if offered some.
How much lavender can gerbils eat?
Lavender is reputed for its calming effects, but consuming too much can cause drowsiness in gerbils, that’s why they should only consume small amounts.
Lavender can not be used as a primary source of nutrition for gerbils but rather as a supplement to diversify their diet and provide healthy nutrients.
That’s why a small bite-size portion is more than enough and will provide all the benefits and nutrients your gerbil needs.
How often can gerbils eat lavender?
Lavender is a very low-calorie plant, so consuming often will not make your gerbils overweight and will help balance their diet.
The only word of caution about lavender is not to eat too much of it at one sitting or use it as a primary diet.
feeding your gerbils lavender once or twice a week is a good supplement to their diet and safe for them.
Ways gerbils can eat lavender
Lavender is used mostly in baking, vinegar, or tea, but of course, none of these are possible for gerbils.
Gerbils should consume raw natural lavender flowers, not cooked and not in any other form especially the essential oil which is too concentrated and very toxic to all pets and not only gerbils.
So, just choose some fresh lavender flowers and serve them to your gerbils, and voila! bon appétit.
Lavender nutrient profile
Lavender has only a few calories and is free of fat and cholesterol which makes it great for overweight gerbils.
Lavender is also a good source of vitamin a, Iron, antioxidants, and calcium, all great for a healthy diet.
Conclusion: can gerbils eat lavender?
- Gerbils can eat lavender as a supplement to their diet.
- Lavender has a strong scent and taste and most gerbils don’t like it as much as other fruits and plants.
- Lavender is safe for gerbils if consumed in reasonable quantities.
- Lavender can provide good nutrients if eaten once or twice a week.
- Lavender is not toxic or poisonous to gerbils.
- Gerbils should consume natural lavender flowers.
- Lavender essential oil is toxic to gerbils and most pets.
Other foods gerbils can eat
- Apples (without seeds)
- Almonds (not bitter almonds)
- Green beans