Can Gerbils Eat Strawberries? Weighing the Risks and Benefits

Last updated:
Sep 15, 2023

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When you’re enjoying the sweet taste of a strawberry, you might wonder if you can share your treat with your gerbils. After all, gerbils are omnivores who can enjoy the occasional small piece of fruit, so why not give them a bite of strawberry? But should gerbils really eat strawberries? 

The truth is, strawberries and other sweet fruits can be an excellent way to pique your gerbils’ interest and expand their culinary horizons. However, some gerbil owners feel that feeding gerbil strawberries comes with more risks than benefits. 

This article will provide you with all of the details you need to make an educated decision about what’s best for your pets when it comes to feeding gerbils strawberries.

Can You Feed Your Gerbils Strawberries? 

Yes, you can feed gerbils small amounts of strawberry as a rare and special treat.

When feeding a gerbil any type of new fruit or vegetable, you should carefully monitor their reaction to the food and check that their droppings and behavior remain normal. 

As a very occasional treat, in very small amounts, strawberries are harmless for gerbils. In fact, they may even have some benefits for your gerbils. 

Unfortunately, feeding your gerbils strawberries does have some potential drawbacks, too. We’ll cover both the risks and the benefits of feeding gerbils strawberries below.

Potential Risks

While strawberries may not be toxic to gerbils, they come with certain risks that pet owners should be aware of. 

One of the main concerns is the lack of essential nutrients such as sodium chloride, B vitamins, and magnesium, which are crucial for gerbil brain health. This means that strawberries and other sweet fruits are essentially empty calories for gerbils.

Moreover, strawberries have a high water content that, when consumed in excess, can lead to gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea in gerbils. 

Additionally, strawberries are relatively high in natural sugars, which can be detrimental to your gerbil’s health if fed in large quantities.

Learn more: Diabetes in Small Pets: Know the Risks and the Signs

Potential Benefits

Despite the risks, there are some potential benefits to feeding gerbils strawberries in moderation. Strawberries contain vitamin C, although gerbils do not have a specific dietary requirement for this nutrient. 

The natural sweetness and water content in strawberries may appeal to gerbils’ instinctual preferences for high-calorie and water-rich foods. As a result, strawberries can be offered as occasional snacks, adding variety to their diet.

Do Gerbils Like Strawberries?

Gerbils are naturally attracted to the sugary taste of strawberries, making them likely to enjoy these fruits as part of their diet. 

As animals that have evolved to seek out sweet and calorie-dense foods, gerbils find strawberries appealing.

How to Feed Your Gerbils Strawberries

When offering strawberries to your gerbils, it’s essential to do so in a controlled manner to prevent potential health issues. Providing small quantities of strawberries, either cut into slices or cubes, helps avoid overconsumption. 

Limit strawberry intake to once or twice a week as a treat rather than a regular part of their diet. This approach ensures that gerbils receive a balanced diet without compromising their health.

Can Gerbils Eat Frozen Strawberries?

Frozen strawberries have a nutritional content similar to that of fresh strawberries, making them generally safe for gerbil consumption. 

However, feeding frozen strawberries to gerbils can lead to temperature-related problems, significantly reducing their body temperature. 

Can Gerbils Eat Freeze-Dried Strawberries?

Freeze-dried strawberries offer a viable alternative to fresh or frozen strawberries for gerbils. Retaining their nutritional value, freeze-dried strawberries can be a safe treat option when given in moderation. 

Pet owners should be cautious not to overfeed these treats to prevent potential digestive issues.

Can Gerbils Eat Wild Strawberries?

Gerbils can consume wild strawberries just like their store-bought counterparts. However, introducing wild foods to pet gerbils comes with certain risks. 

To reduce the likelihood of parasites or contaminants, it is essential to wash wild strawberries thoroughly before offering them to your pets.

Can Gerbils Eat Strawberry Leaves?

Strawberry leaves are safe for gerbils to consume and provide a source of fiber that aids in their digestion. When offering strawberry leaves, ensure they are clean and free from pesticides.

Can Gerbils Eat Strawberry-Flavored Treats?

Avoid giving gerbils strawberry-flavored treats, as these may contain artificial flavors and sugars that can be harmful to their health. 

Opt for natural treats and snacks to ensure the well-being of your pet gerbils.

Alternatives Treats for Gerbils

While gerbils can enjoy strawberries as occasional treats, it’s essential to provide them with a balanced diet that meets all their nutritional needs. A combination of pellets and seed mix offers the optimal combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to support their overall health. 

In addition to strawberries, you can offer other nutritious treats like nuts and seeds, as well as green vegetables, which provide a wider range of essential nutrients.

Learn more: What Can Gerbils Eat as Treats? Healthy Treats for Gerbils

Summing Up

This is a common question for a reason: strawberries are many people’s favorite fruit, and many people enjoy sharing a favorite snack with those they love, including pets. 

Ultimately, the decision to feed strawberries to your gerbils should be based on your understanding of the potential risks and benefits. By taking a mindful and informed approach to their diet, you can ensure that your gerbils lead healthy and happy lives as part of your family.


  1. “What Food Can Gerbils Eat?” Burgess Pet Care.
  2. Cartwright, Louise. “Is It Safe for Gerbils To Eat Strawberries?” Gerbil Welfare.

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