If you have a gerbil, you probably have heard that gerbils and water are a no-no.
So what happens when a gerbil gets wet? And what should you do if they get wet?
We have the answers to these questions when it comes to gerbils and getting wet.
Table of Contents
What Happens When Gerbils Get Wet?
When gerbils get wet, their body temperature drops quickly because they are very sensitive to temperature changes and their fur will not provide enough insulation.
Wet gerbils tend to be more inclined to develop a series of health problems due to getting wet such as developing hypothermia which affects the function of internal organs.
This also puts gerbils at risk of developing fungal infections, because their natural oils have been stripped from their bodies, and they are no longer able to protect themselves from mites and other invasive parasites.
A wet gerbil will also become very agitated and may bite you because they are naturally not fond of water and being in that situation is unsettling for them.
Although water might be a natural cleanliness source for other animals and rodents, it is not for gerbils.
Submerging gerbils in water can affect their health and remove the natural protective oils and moisture from their skin.
This is an important fact that needs to be taken seriously for the health and overall well-being of gerbils. Therefore do not bathe your gerbil with water. They will never need a water bath.
Is Water Bad For Gerbils?
Water is not bad for gerbils but they are not water friendly. In fact, gerbils do not like water at all. When gerbils get ready to bathe, they take sand baths by rolling in the sand and groom themselves.
This is particularly true of gerbils as desert animals. Gerbils roll around in dry substances to remove oil, dirt, and debris from their fur.
This is not usual behavior, because chickens do the same thing by removing parasites from their bodies.
Why Do Gerbils Avoid Getting Wet?
By nature, gerbils are not natural-born swimmers. In fact, the only way that gerbils are exposed to water in the wild is if they are swept away in a flood.
Then, only will they reluctantly swim their way to safety. For the gerbils, it is all about survival.
Another interesting fact about gerbils is that they only need about one teaspoon of water per day to survive. Therefore, putting an ample amount of water in the presence of gerbils is not recommended.
Other Interesting Facts to Know About What Happens When Gerbils Get Wet
Gerbils are sensitive creatures, and any changes to their physical environment can make their natural habitat chaotic and uncomfortable.
Wet gerbils are stressed gerbils. Their bodies react to stress by attacking their immune systems, which in turn lowers their body’s defenses.
This also opens the door for gerbils to catch a cold and even pneumonia.
What to do if your gerbil got wet
In case your gerbil accidentally gets wet, make sure to dry them thoroughly and gently. Use a soft towel to soak up the water from their fur.
Return them to their cage to calm down and also ensure the room temperature is optimal between 65 and 75 degrees farenheight to help them warm up.
Do not use a heater, a blow dryer, or any direct heat on your gerbil in an attempt to warm them up.
These sources of heat will make them too hot and also the sound from a blow dryer will scare them and cause stress.
To prevent them from getting wet, fix their leaking water bottle, ensure that their bedding is always dry, and do not handle them near a water source in case they fall into it.
You would think that all animals like to play in a nice cool splash of water, especially during the hot summer months. While this might be true for some pets, this is not the case with gerbils.
A gerbil in water causes more harm than good therefore never attempt to place a gerbil in water, thinking it is the best way to get your gerbil clean.
Your gerbil only needs a little dust, and enough room to roam and feel safe. You shall get to know the habits of your gerbil so that you can better take care of it.
If you have concerns about the behavior of your gerbil after it is exposed to wet baths or water splashes do not worry because you can dry him up quickly to calm them from the stress of being wet and prevent hypothermia.
Remember your gerbil is not an active swimmer or interested in being in the water.