The tomato is a fruit from the nightshade family native to South America, but it has become one of the most used food items around the globe. Despite botanically being a fruit, tomatoes are generally prepared and eaten like a vegetable.
Being so popular and widely available it is natural to think of it first when trying to feed your gerbils fruits and vegetables especially that tomatoes are a major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene and vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Can gerbils eat tomatoes? Unfortunately, gerbils can not eat tomatoes because they are a water-rich fruit with 95% water content, gerbils being desert species are not well adapted to consume foods with so much water content and can cause them diarrhea. So tomatoes are food that gerbils should avoid.
Looking for healthy fruits and vegetables to balance your gerbil’s diet is important but not as important as choosing healthy brands for his primary food which consists of seeds mix and pellets.
The gerbil food we recommend is the Oxbow Garden Select Fortified Food for Gerbils (check current price at Amazon) it’s made in the US and it consists of pellets which are much better than feeding your gerbils separate seeds since they tend to get picky and overeat some of the seeds and leave the rest.
Do gerbils eat tomatoes in the wild?
Gerbils are desert species, their natural habitat is the desert where water-rich fruits and vegetables can’t grow.
It is very rare that gerbils ever feed on a water-rich fruit in nature, most of their food consists of seeds some grasses, nuts, other dry plants, and occasionally insects.
Gerbils and other desert species have adapted to consuming very limited amounts of water and their systems can’t seem to handle water-rich foods very well.
The gerbil does not pee very often and its feces are very dry to make the most of the little water they get from their dry diet and that’s one reason they make good pets because unlike most rodents they do not smell.
Do gerbils like tomatoes?
Gerbils generally like the food they can gnaw on, so they like foods with a crunchy texture, but they have no issues with eating soft watery fruits like tomatoes.
Gerbils don’t particularly prefer tomatoes and would certainly not prefer it overs seeds but if offered tomatoes they’ll eat it.
You should be aware that each gerbil is different, some might like some foods while others don’t but there are some fatty seeds that all gerbils seem to agree on.
Are tomatoes safe for gerbils?
Ripe tomatoes are not particularly poisonous for gerbils, but their high water content which makes 95% of their composition is too high for gerbils to handle.
Consuming tomatoes will not kill your gerbil, but it could if eaten in large quantities cause diarrhea and disturb their sensitive digestive system.
However, tomatoes are on the Environmental Working Group “Dirty Dozen” list with data gathered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on a list of foods with the most pesticide residue levels, so cleaning tomatoes thoroughly before consumption is important.
Green tomatoes on the other hand are very poisonous to gerbils, they contain high levels of solanine and alpha tomatine, two poisonous compounds that are also present in nightshade plants like green potatoes and eggplant.
In general, any fruit or vegetable that does not grow in the natural habitat of the gerbils should be inspected before feeding it to them.
Can baby gerbils eat tomatoes?
From the age of 3 to 5 weeks, gerbil pups start to gnaw on solid food along with their mom’s milk and are fully weaned at the age of 5 weeks.
After they’re 5 weeks old baby gerbils can eat whatever adult gerbils are feeding on and are basically considered adults.
SO from 0 to 5 weeks baby gerbils are fragile and it’s better to avoid feeding them anything that could potentially harm them, stick to regular gerbil food and their mom’s milk.
Can gerbils eat tomatoes flesh?
Gerbils can eat tomato flesh but it’s very water-rich like we’ve explained so it would be best to avoid it anyway.
Surely tomato flesh is packed with good nutrients but eating it could cause your gerbils diarrhea and potentially weight loss.
tomato flesh would be appropriate for a dehydrated gerbil though, you can feed him a bite-size tomato portion to help him refresh and hydrate his body, but in general, tomatoes should be avoided.
Can gerbils eat tomatoes seeds?
Gerbils feed in nature on seeds and one would wonder if tomatoes seeds would be a good idea so can gerbils eat them?
Yes, they can eat dried tomato seeds, at harvest, seeds contain about 60% to 70% moisture and it reduces to 9% when dried.
Tomato seeds are full of good nutrients but are not easy to harvest, so one would ask if it’s worth the time and effort to dry them if you can have other easy to get alternatives.
Can gerbils eat tomatoes leaves?
Tomato leaves are poisonous to all pets, they contain very high levels of solanine and alpha tomatine, very poisonous even in small quantities to gerbils.
Gerbils should not have access to tomato leaves at all, a couple of leaves could be deadly to your gerbil or cause serious gastric issues.
Can gerbils eat tomatoes stem?
The stem and actually all the green parts of the tomato like roots leaves and even unripe green tomatoes are highly poisonous to gerbils.
When growing tomatoes in your home you should be very careful, your pets should not have access to those even large pets like dogs could end up dead if they consume enough of it.
Can gerbils eat cooked tomatoes and sauce?
Cooked tomatoes are even more water-rich than ripe tomatoes so gerbils should avoid them especially if cooked in spices.
Tomato sauce Is even worst than cooked tomato and it’s always full of spices and detrimental ingredients for your dog.
Are tomatoes good for gerbils?
Tomatoes as fruits are full of great nutrients they are a good source of the antioxidant lycopene, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
If consumed as a treat every few weeks tomatoes could actually be good for gerbils, but since there are plenty of other fruits with much less water content it is safe to avoid it.
Tomatoes nutrition facts
Tomatoes are made up almost entirely of water with 95% and the remaining 5% is full of carbs, vitamins minerals and other nutrients.Vitamins
|Folic acid||0.00 mcg|
|Pantothenic acid||0.186 mg|
|Vitamin A||1496.00 IU|
|Vitamin A, RAE||75.00 mcg|
|Vitamin B12||0.00 mcg|
|Vitamin B6||0.060 mg|
|Vitamin C||16.0 mg|
|Vitamin D||0.00 mcg|
|Saturated fatty acids||0.025 g|
|Butanoic acid||0.000 g|
|Decanoic acid||0.000 g|
|Dodecanoic acid||0.000 g|
|Hexadecanoic acid||0.019 g|
|Hexanoic acid||0.000 g|
|Octadecanoic acid||0.007 g|
|Octanoic acid||0.000 g|
|Tetradecanoic acid||0.000 g|
|Monounsaturated fatty acids||0.028 g|
|Docosenoic acid||0.000 g|
|Eicosenoic acid||0.000 g|
|Hexadecenoic acid||0.001 g|
|Octadecenoic acid||0.028 g|
|Polyunsaturated fatty acids||0.076 g|
|Eicosatetraenoic acid||0.000 g|
|Octadecadienoic acid||0.073 g|
|Octadecatetraenoic acid||0.000 g|
|Octadecatrienoic acid||0.003 g|
|Fatty acids, total trans||0.000 g|
|1.16 g||2 %|
|0.018 g||3 %|
|0.027 g||2 %|
|0.042 g||2 %|
|0.042 g||2 %|
|0.029 g||3 %|
|0.008 g||3 %|
|0.030 g||2 %|
|0.05 g||3 %|
|0.010 g||1 %|
How much tomatoes can gerbils eat?
I would say gerbils should not have tomatoes at all, but if there are no other options or for some reason you insist on feeding them tomatoes then a very small quantity is more than enough.
Dehydrated gerbils could have a small bite-size portion of tomato to hydrate their body and that’s it.
How often can gerbils eat tomatoes?
Again it is even better if you don’t feed you gerbils tomatoes but in case you don no more than once a month in a very small portion.
Feeding on water-rich fruits like tomatoes often causes diarrhea for gerbils and gastric disturbances, so it’s better avoided.
Conclusion: can gerbils eat tomatoes?
- Gerbils should not eat tomatoes because they are very rich in water that gerbils can’t handle.
- Green tomatoes, tomato stem, and leaves are poisonous to gerbils and should never have access to them.
- It is ok to feed a dehydrated gerbil a small portion of tomatoes.
- It is possible to feed gerbils dried tomato seeds but they are hard to harvest and there are other alternatives.
Other foods gerbils can eat
- Apples (without seeds)
- Almonds (not bitter almonds)
- Green beans