Gerbils are relatively docile creatures, and may be cupped in the hands. Scruff individuals to provide manual restraint. Never pick a gerbil up by its tail as the skin may slough off. Children should always have adult supervision while handling gerbils.
Gerbils are omnivores. In the wild the diet consists of grasses and seeds with small amounts of insects. A captive diet consists of a high-quality pellet supplemented with small amounts of fruits and vegetables. Gerbils should be offered fresh filtered water via a water bottle at all times. Clean bottle regularly.
Gerbils produce very dry feces and small amounts of highly concentrated urine.
Some gerbils can have spontaneous seizures, ovarian cysts, tumors, and squamous cell carcinomas. Your gerbil should be seen twice a year by your veterinarian or anytime you have concerns for their health.