Gerbils are fussy little critters and it’s tricky finding them the best gerbil food that provides them with everything they need to stay fit – while also pleasing their taste buds. That’s why I love Science Selective Gerbil Food as it’s a dry pellet formulated specifically for gerbils.
As a long-time gerbil enthusiast and owner, I know it can be tricky when you want to give your gerbils the very best but don’t know where to start. With so many options out there and every gerbil having a different temperament, I know how overwhelming it is to decide on what’s best for your own gerbils.
This is why I prefer Science Selective Gerbil Food above every other brand tested. It’s the only option on the list that is made just for gerbils and not inclusive of other small animals. I found this reassuring – your gerbil won’t be eating any unnecessary filler because it’s better for a hamster diet.
While my favorite is the Science Selective Gerbil Food, every gerbil is different and some hate pellet foods. That’s why I’ve also included mixed blends on this list and like the Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend that’s a mix of seeds, nuts, and fruits for a moreish meal and happy gerbils.
Read our reviews of our favorite picks along with our handy guide on what to look out for and delight your gerbils with a nutritious and delicious feast!
- The Best Gerbil Food
- Science Selective Gerbil Food – Best Gerbil Specific Food
- Kaytee Field + Forest Hamster & Gerbil Food – Best Premium Choice
- Oxbow Essentials Hamster & Gerbil Food – Best Budget Pellets
- Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Gerbil Food – Best Mixed Food
- Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Hamster & Gerbil Food – Best Value
- Delicious Extras: Treats and Toppers
- Guide to Choosing the Best Gerbil Food
- Gerbil Food – Frequently Asked Questions
- What Should I Do Next? Choosing the Best Gerbil Food
The Best Gerbil Food
Starting us off is our favorite Science Selective, but you’ll also find the best budget, value, and premium pick! I’ve even listed a couple of treats at the end that are sure to brighten your gerbil’s day.
Science Selective Gerbil Food – Best Gerbil Specific Food
Science Selective is a highly regarded brand that specializes in specific feeds for each type of pet. I had a rabbit who thrived on Selective food when other brands caused her tummy troubles, so I know first-hand what a difference it can make when an animal’s specific make-up informs what goes into the food.
Made with 17% protein, this is ideal for juvies and younger adults. The formulation contains all the vitamins and minerals your gerbil needs as well as linseed for those all-important fatty acids. Added prebiotics also support digestive wellbeing, keeping your gerbils tummy ticking along nicely.
The only downside here is that the pellets might not appeal to some gerbils, as with any reformed pellets. Consider livening up mealtimes with a treat or two and watch your gerbils thrive on Science Selective.
- Award-winning pellet food – ideal for fussy eaters
- Formulated for gerbils’ exact protein requirements
- Added prebiotics, linseed, and calcium-phosphorus for full-body health
- Might not appeal to picky eaters
- Some dust build-up in the bottom of the bag
Kaytee Field + Forest Hamster & Gerbil Food – Best Premium Choice
Unlike other pellets on the list, Kaytee’s Field + Forest pellets take pride in including no timothy hay, promising only premium food products that will benefit your gerbils inside and out.
We loved the mix of grains and vegetables that you don’t find in cheaper brands’ pellets, such as sweet potato. This is for owners looking for a one-and-done deal that will please their gerbils’ bellies and tastebuds. There’s no need to worry about finding extra supplements as everything is right here in one handy bag.
Field + Forest is low in fat too, meaning you can treat your gerbils with tasty toppers guilt-free. You can rest assured that every single bite will be doing your gerbil a ton of good.
- Premium grains and vegetables
- No filler content
- No added sugar
- More expensive than some pellets
Oxbow Essentials Hamster & Gerbil Food – Best Budget Pellets
Oxbow Essentials is a pellet food designed to mimic a gerbil’s natural diet and is free from any artificial additives including colors or preservatives.
Containing 15% protein, and 100% of your gerbils’ recommended vitamins and minerals, this ticks the box for great nutrition as well as great value for money. The fiber content is higher than average, as this feed contains a blend of timothy hay, barley, and oats. Timothy hay isn’t necessary for a gerbil’s diet so counteract this by adding some fresh fruit and veggies for a yummy treat that staves off boredom.
We loved the excellent value you get with Oxbow Essentials and that gerbils can’t pick out their favorite bits and leave the rest. However, the amount of hay content is a downside when more premium brands don’t contain this filler food.
- Great value for money
- Pellet formula prevents selective feeding
- No hidden nasties
- Unnecessary hay content
- Gerbils could get bored
Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Gerbil Food – Best Mixed Food
If your gerbils simply refuse to eat pellets, try Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend for a mixed food packed with all kinds of tasty morsels. Containing seeds, nuts, fruits, legumes, and grains, this food is a feast for any gerbil! Dried apples, pumpkin seeds, cashews, peanuts, and pineapple are just some of the top ingredients included. (Almost sounds good enough for humans too, doesn’t it?)
The variety of this blend is its standout feature, along with its inclusion of probiotics and DHA Omega-3 to promote a healthy immune system. Keep your gerbils in prime condition with a host of other added vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids without any artificial additives or preservatives.
As with all mixed blends, selective feeding can be an issue, so keep an eye on your gerbils’ eating habits. Some gerbils might see high-sugar fruits as high-value and shun the less exciting legumes and seeds. Consider mixing with pellets or saving for treat days if they are sneaky when it comes to snacking.
- The largest variety of ingredients
- Added vitamins and minerals for boosted health benefits
- Resealable packaging
- Can encourage selective feeding
- Higher sugar content than some alternatives
Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Hamster & Gerbil Food – Best Value
Kaytee’s Forti-Diet Hamster and Gerbil Food is our best value pick. With over 150 years of pet dietary experience, the Forti Diet Pro ensures your gerbil is provided with the best nutrients. It’s packed with probiotics and prebiotics to keep your gerbil’s tummy healthy. Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids are also added to this mix to keep your furry friend’s eyes, heart, and brain in tip-top condition.
The crunchy bit of pellets helps maintain your pet’s dental health by naturally chewing on each bit, and it comes in resealable packaging, ensuring your gerbils’ food stays fresher for longer.
While we love these added extras, we are less thrilled by the artificial colors added to make the pellets more appealing. In our opinion, this is unnecessary and is a downside to what is otherwise a fantastic, cost-effective product.
Bear in mind your gerbils might pick and choose their favorite tidbits out of this mix so keep an eye out for fussy foraging.
- Added probiotics and prebiotics for healthy digestion
- Omega fatty acids promote healthy organs
- Super value
- Unnecessary added colors
- Can promote selective eating
Delicious Extras: Treats and Toppers
Kaytee Timothy Baked Apple Biscuits
This product may not be suitable for your pet’s daily meal, but it’s perfect as a treat! All animals love a delicious treat, and these high-fiber timothy hay-baked biscuits are the perfect choice for small animals. This is a crispy hay treat with your choice of either apples or carrots. The great thing about these hay biscuits is that it doesn’t make a huge mess.
These delicious and nutritious treats contain no artificial colors or flavors and are made to help encourage dental health and your gerbil’s chewing needs. However, make sure not to overfeed your pet with these, as they’re usually high in fat and sugar, which can negatively affect your gerbil’s health.
- Offer a healthy serving of fiber
- Great for out of the cage playtime and bonding with your pet
- High in fat and sugar, so must be used sparingly
Wild Harvest Natural Treat Mix – Best Mixed Topper
A topper is an extra treat that, when sprinkled sparingly on top of food, will brighten up boring mealtimes and please picky pets.
Wild Harvest’s Natural Treat Mix contains a selection of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts and is a great way of livening up pellet feeding for fussy eaters. If you want to introduce pellets into your gerbils’ diet, a topper is a cunning way of disguising them while your gerbils get used to the consistency.
If you have food at home that your gerbils aren’t leaping for at mealtimes, save waste and encourage feeding by adding this to the mix. It’s also ideal if you have a sensitive gerbil who isn’t keen on their special food – this can help coax their dinner down.
Be mindful that this is not a complete feed, with not enough protein and too much fat to use exclusively. Use to compliment a pellet or mixed blend food as a topper or occasional treat.
- Colorful variety of fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts
- Livens up boring mealtimes
- Not suitable as a complete feed
- High fat – give sparingly!
Kaytee Krunch-a-Rounds Sesame Covered Peanut Treats – Best Playtime Treat
Training and playtime are always more fun when you include snacks. Our favorite occasional treat is the Krunch-a-Rounds Peanut Treats from Kaytee. The size of this treat is what makes Krunch-a-Rounds stand out from the crowd. Large enough for both gerbil and human-sized fingers to grasp, enjoy quality time with your gerbils by hand-feeding these tasty treats.
A solid peanut rolled in a crispy rice coating and then covered in sesame seeds, Krunch-a-Rounds have a combination of exciting smells, tastes, and textures for your gerbils to enjoy. Use sparingly to reward your gerbils’ best behavior and watch them go wild!
Another treat, rather than complete feed, do not exceed more than 20% of your gerbils’ daily food intake with treats and reduce further if your gerbils show signs of weight gain. Krunch-a-Rounds also won’t encourage your gerbils to eat less enticing food if used as a topper – your gerbils can just pick up their treasure and abandon their pellets.
- Large enough for hand-feeding
- Perfect training reward
- Exciting layered combination of tastes and textures
- Only suitable as a treat
Guide to Choosing the Best Gerbil Food
Go into any pet food store and you will see countless small animal foods, some aimed at one particular animal and some marketed at a group of small animals.
Each of these foods will meet your gerbils’ basic needs, containing a combination of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. The percentage of these will vary between formulas so doing your homework before buying guarantees a meal that not only tastes great but is doing your gerbils good on the inside too.
Different Types of Gerbil Food
Gerbil food falls into two main types and both have their pros and cons:
- Pellet foods combine all the key ingredients for a healthy gerbil diet and reform them into bite-size pellet-shaped morsels. Pellet food is great for ensuring that your gerbils are getting all the vitamins and minerals needed in every mouthful. The downside is that, because gerbils are natural foragers and love variety, they can tire of every bite being identical.
- Mixed blends contain a selection of different vegetables, fruits, seeds and/or nuts that combine to make an exciting and varied mealtime for your gerbil. Gerbils enjoy the chance to forage, dig and sift through a mix of ingredients but this can lead to selective eating. Keep an eye out for your gerbils picking out the tastiest treats and discarding the boring bits. If this happens, switch to a pellet to guarantee a healthy balanced diet.
Get the best of both worlds by feeding a combination of both pellets and mixes to stop your gerbils from getting bored. That way you’ll indulge their foraging streak while keeping mealtimes ultra-healthy too! And if you want to take it a step further, include both crunchy and chewy textures to keep their dental health in check.
Gerbil Food – Frequently Asked Questions
What Should Gerbil Food Contain?
Gerbils are omnivores and, as such, get most of their nutrients from seeds, grains, fruit, and vegetables. In the wild, they eat insects, eggs, roots, and grasses too. Manufactured foods aim to mimic a gerbil’s natural diet by providing the right levels of protein, fiber, and fats to keep them healthy inside and out.
Check the nutritional make-up on your bag of gerbil food and aim for the following:
|Nutritional Content||Ideal Composition|
Remember that your gerbils’ dietary needs change slightly as they age, too. Older gerbils need a little less protein in their diet than juvies, so aim towards the 15% mark as they start to grow older.
If your gerbils’ preferred food is lower in protein or higher in fat, supplement their dry food diet with fresh fruit and vegetable treats to balance things out.
Is There Anything I Should Avoid?
Check the ingredients list and avoid any brands that contain added colors and sugars. Gerbil foods that contain fruit will have a naturally higher sugar content but beware of foods with extra additives.
Eating too much sugar can cause your pet’s heart to race, restlessness or panting, and even liver problems. And food that’s packed with artificial ingredients may help with your pet’s growth temporarily, but in the long run, might cause various health problems in your pet.
What About Treats?
Treats, in moderation, are a great reward for your gerbils and can liven up mealtimes, especially if you’re feeding a pellet food. Just use sparingly as treats are often higher in sugars or fats than complete food mixes.
Can Gerbils Eat Human Foods?
Some of you, especially new owners, may be wondering if they can feed their gerbils with human food. Yes, you can actually feed them with certain human foods as treats. Since gerbils are omnivorous, their diet isn’t only limited to fruit and vegetables.
Here are some human foods that they can eat in small quantities:
- Cooked or unseasoned turkey, chicken, or fish
- Cooked egg
Like most pets, avoid feeding them with chocolates as it can be fatal to them.
Gerbils also enjoy fresh fruit and veg but don’t rely on these as their main food supply. Remember they love to hoard and fresh fruit can go mushy and smelly when squirreled away under their bedding.
What Should I Do Next? Choosing the Best Gerbil Food
Hopefully, our review and guide to gerbil food will have given you a good idea of what to look out for when choosing your gerbils’ next meal, as well as some top brand suggestions.
Our overall winner is the Science Selective Gerbil Food. It’s the only food we found specifically formulated to meet your gerbils’ needs and not a combination of various small animals. We love that Science Selective understands each animal’s unique needs and creates food to match.
If your gerbils hate pellets with a passion, Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend is our favorite mixed blend, guaranteed to keep your gerbils coming back every mealtime.
If value for money is your thing, try Oxbow Essentials Hamster & Gerbil Food for a nutritionally complete pellet that will work for tighter budgets while still keeping your gerbils healthy.