How Much Does A Gerbil Cost?

Gerbils, with their playful nature and minimal care requirements, have become a popular choice for pet lovers around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or considering a gerbil for the first time, understanding the financial commitment involved is crucial.

In this article i will provide you a detailed overview of the initial and recurring costs associated with owning a gerbil, ensuring you’re fully prepared for this delightful responsibility.

Initial Costs of Owning a Gerbil

Purchase Price

The journey of gerbil ownership begins with the purchase. Prices can vary based on the source:

  • Pet Stores: A common choice for many, pet stores offer gerbils typically ranging from $10 to $20. The advantage here is the convenience and the opportunity to select your new pet in person.
  • Adoption: Adopting a gerbil from a shelter or rescue can cost anywhere between $5 and $50. This fee often contributes to the shelter’s operational costs and might include initial veterinary care.
  • Breeders: For those seeking specific breeds or characteristics, breeders are an option, with prices ranging from $10 to $100. Reputable breeders ensure healthy, well-socialized gerbils but come at a higher cost.


A suitable habitat is essential for your gerbil’s well-being:

  • Cages: The cost of a gerbilarium or cage can vary significantly, from $30 to over $100, depending on size and complexity. Glass aquariums with secure mesh tops are popular for their ease of cleaning and ability to hold bedding for burrowing.

Essential Supplies

Setting up your gerbil’s home requires several essentials:

  • Bedding: Expect to spend $5 to $20 monthly on safe, absorbent bedding material like paper or aspen shavings.
  • Water Bottles and Food Dishes: A one-time purchase, typically under $15 for both.
  • Exercise Wheel: A must-have for gerbil exercise, costing between $10 and $20.
  • Chew Toys: To keep your gerbil’s teeth healthy, allocate $5 to $10 for an initial assortment of chew toys.

Recurring Costs


Gerbils require a balanced diet consisting of pellets, seeds, and occasional fresh produce. Monthly food expenses can range from $10 to $20, depending on the quality and variety of the diet you choose.


Regular bedding changes are necessary to maintain a clean and odor-free environment, with monthly costs averaging $10 to $20. Opting for bulk purchases can offer savings in the long run.

Health Care

While gerbils are generally healthy, annual check-ups are recommended to prevent or address any health issues. Veterinary costs can vary, but budgeting $50 to $100 annually for health care is a prudent measure. This includes routine check-ups and any necessary treatments for common ailments.

Navigating the Additional and Hidden Costs of Gerbil Ownership

a close up of a gerbil

Additional Costs

Owning a gerbil involves more than just the initial setup and recurring food and bedding expenses. Here’s what else you need to consider:

  • Accessories and Toys: Gerbils are active and curious creatures that thrive in an environment filled with stimulation. Investing in a variety of toys and accessories, such as tunnels, platforms, and nesting materials, can enhance your gerbil’s quality of life. Expect to spend anywhere from $20 to $50 to create a dynamic habitat that caters to their natural behaviors.
  • Travel Expenses: If you plan on traveling with your gerbil or need to transport it for any reason, a secure travel cage or carrier is essential. Prices for portable and safe travel solutions range from $15 to $30.
  • Pet Insurance: While not as common for small pets as it is for cats and dogs, pet insurance for gerbils can offer peace of mind, especially for unexpected health issues. Annual premiums can vary, but budgeting around $20 to $40 could save you from unforeseen veterinary expenses.

Cost-Saving Tips

Owning a gerbil on a budget doesn’t mean compromising on care. Here are some effective ways to save money while ensuring your pet’s happiness and health:

  • DIY Toys and Accessories: Use household items to create engaging toys and play areas. Cardboard tubes, untreated wood pieces, and paper for burrowing are inexpensive and gerbil-approved.
  • Buying in Bulk: Purchase bedding and food in bulk to enjoy significant savings over time. Many pet supply stores offer discounts on larger quantities.
  • Adopting Instead of Buying: Consider adopting a gerbil from a shelter or rescue organization. Not only is this often more affordable, but it also gives a loving home to a pet in need.


What is the lifespan of a gerbil?

Gerbils typically enjoy a lifespan of 2 to 4 years. With proper care, including a nutritious diet, a clean habitat, and regular interaction, some gerbils can live slightly longer. Their relatively short lifespan makes them suitable pets for those looking for a shorter-term commitment.

Can gerbils live alone?

While gerbils can technically live alone, they are highly social creatures that prefer the company of their kind. Housing them in same-sex pairs or small groups can prevent loneliness and promote healthy social interaction, enhancing their overall well-being and happiness.

How much space does a gerbil need?

A pair of gerbils requires a minimum of a 10-gallon tank, but more space is always better to accommodate their active lifestyle. A larger enclosure allows for ample room for exercise, exploration, and the creation of complex burrow systems, mirroring their natural habitat and behaviors.

Are gerbils good pets for children?

Gerbils can be excellent pets for children, offering them a chance to learn about responsibility, empathy, and the basics of pet care. Due to their small size and relatively easy maintenance, they are a good choice for a child’s first pet, under adult supervision to ensure gentle handling.


Embracing gerbil ownership comes with its share of financial considerations beyond the basics of food and shelter. By being mindful of the additional and hidden costs, and employing cost-saving strategies, you can provide a fulfilling life for your gerbil without breaking the bank.

Remember, the companionship and joy these small pets offer are priceless, making every penny spent a worthwhile investment in their happiness and your shared bond.

Hi there! I'm Emily Watson, your go-to guide for all things gerbil care on Furry Pets Guide! With years of firsthand experience raising these furry critters, I'm here to share tips, tricks, and heartfelt stories to make your gerbil journey a breeze.

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