Last Updated on 11/17/2021 by Veronica Jones
Apples are clearly a very healthy snack for humans. It would make sense that they would also be healthy for other animals, right? This doesn’t always follow, so it’s important to make sure before feeding your pet a new food type. This is particularly important for small animals like gerbils. So, can gerbils eat apples? Let’s find out…
Can Gerbils Eat Apples?
The short answer is yes, gerbils can eat apples. Gerbils are omnivores and can safely consume apples and other fruits. It can be found anywhere and is packed with vitamins and minerals that is good for our gerbils’ health.
Continue reading for more detailed information on whether gerbils can eat apples.
How Much Apple Can Gerbils Eat?
All things should be taken in moderation. Gerbils can eat apples as an occasional treat. Apples are totally safe in small quantities but should not be a part of the natural diet of our gerbils.
Is Apple Bad for Gerbils?
Apples are rich in vitamin A, potassium, and other nutrients. Almost all apple parts will keep our pet gerbil healthy.
We must keep in mind that anything in excess is harmful, and the same goes for apples. Apples are high in water and sugar that can be harmful to gerbils when consumed excessively.
Will Apple Make My Gerbil Sick?
An apple slice already has 2.6 grams of sugar and gerbils have difficulty breaking it down. Eating too much could make gerbils sick, especially since wild gerbils do not naturally consume sugar. Gerbils that eat too many sweets will experience digestive issues and stomach pain.
As gerbil owners, it is our responsibility to monitor our pets’ water intake. Assuming that the gerbils are already drinking with their water bottle, frequent apple consumption could increase their liquid intake to high levels as the fruit is made up of 84% water.
Apples might not be as acidic as other fruits and vegetables, but it is already excessive for our gerbil. We could damage the mouth’s lining of our gerbils if we provide it to them. And worse, it could also cause mouth and stomach ulcers to our beloved gerbil.
Can Apples Kill Gerbils?
Most apple parts are safe for gerbil consumption. The skin and flesh are rich in vitamin A, fiber, magnesium and potassium and can help decrease the effects of seizures to our pet gerbil.
However, there is a specific apple part that we should keep away from gerbils. The pits contain amygdalin and cyanide that could kill gerbils even in small doses.
How Do I Prepare Apple for My Gerbil?
So, we know the answer to ‘can gerbils eat apples’ is, ‘yes’, but how should you feed it to them? There are several ways gerbils can enjoy eating apples. We should make sure that we are preparing the apple properly to avoid risking our pets. We can provide apples to gerbils as treats and below are some examples on how we can prepare the fruit.
We can give them a cooked apple or an apple puree. However, we should make sure that we made this food ourselves since the store-bought versions contain ingredients that are bad for our gerbils.
We can provide gerbils with dried apples. Similar to cooked and puree, it would be best to prepare the dried apples ourselves since the commercially-bought versions have artificial sweeteners.
We can make dehydrated apples by cutting them and baking them in the oven. We can be confident that the baked apples are free from additives. What makes the dehydrated version better is that it has the water removed.
The most obvious way gerbils eat apples is by chewing the fresh apple flesh. Wash the fruit to remove the chemicals surrounding the skin. The main issue with the fresh fruit is that it gets mushy and brownish easily. We can cut it off into slices and give it to our gerbil. They can eat apples easily when they are in gerbil-sized doses.
Can Gerbils Eat Apple Skin?
Yes, it is fine to give gerbils with apple skin and even humans eat the skin without thinking too much about it. Apple skin has more nutrients than fresh apple flesh as it is loaded with fiber.
A raw apple contains more vitamins versus its peeled version and has fifty percent more phytonutrients. Some of the minerals are almost non-existent in the flesh.
Before feeding the gerbil apples with the skin, we should make sure to rinse it thoroughly. The skin is usually contaminated with pesticides and chemicals that are harmful to our gerbils.
Can Gerbils Eat Apple Cores?
The apple core is one of the apple parts that we should keep away from our gerbils. It is the central part of the fruit that contains the seeds. The seeds from the fruit are harmful to gerbils because of the cyanide and other toxins it releases upon consumption.
The apple core is also the portion that usually remains once we are done consuming the apple. It is also tough and fibrous which is why many people avoid eating the core. Since many of us habitually prevent eating this part, the same thing can also apply to our gerbils.
We should core the fruits before feeding it to the gerbil as it is also harder when gerbils chew on them compared to the other parts of the apple. Our gerbil pet will not enjoy eating apple cores and we will also risk making them consume the poisonous seeds.
Can Gerbils Eat Apple Leaves?
It is safe for a gerbil to consume the leaves in small amounts but we should pick the leaves carefully. We should not sacrifice the quality when feeding them and avoid the ones the look damaged or misshapen. There are several leaves around so try to look for the good ones. Some apple leaves can be contaminated with chemicals so it would be best to choose the ones we have grown ourselves.
Can Gerbils Eat Apple Sauce?
We would not recommend feeding apple sauce to our gerbils as it has a high sugar content and lacks the nutrients found in fresh apples and other fruits and vegetables. Gerbil’s diet should aim for a balanced diet and have all the nutrients needed. Since apple puree contains too much sugar, it could lead to obesity.
If we insist on giving gerbils some apple puree, we could provide them the unsweetened version by using our leftover apple instead of the commercially produced apple puree. Even though our pet gerbils like apple puree, we should make sure that what we feed gerbils have health benefits.
Can Gerbils Eat Apple Seeds?
No, it is important to make sure that the seeds were removed and discarded before we feed fresh apples to our gerbils. Studies have shown that apple seeds contain a chemical known as amygdalin and it has a toxic effect.
Amygdalin is the last line of defense of the seeds and when gerbils chew on them, the seeds produce cyanide that is poisonous and lethal in high doses. Gerbils cannot remove the poison out of their bodies, and it is probable for them to suffer from the effects.
Aside from the seeds, the same situation is also applicable in other fresh fruit seeds like almonds, apricots, cherries, peaches, and other plants from the rose family. We should prevent our gerbil from consuming this type of seed.
Can Gerbils Eat Raw Apple?
Raw apples are perfectly okay for gerbils. The fresh apple is easier to chew and all the nutrients are preserved. and it does not matter whether our gerbils eat red or green apples. The red fruit has more sugar than the green apples. We can offer the two variations alternatively to find out which one the gerbil prefers.
Can Gerbils Eat Cooked Apples?
A cooked apple becomes perfectly safe only when we prepared them ourselves since we will have to make sure that there are no unnecessary ingredients like additives and sugar. If we are not careful in the preparation of cooked apples, we will feed gerbils with toxins.
Cooking apples also make them tarter than the fresh ones and they will not enjoy the bitter and sour taste. Aside from the taste, cooked apples are more acidic, and it will increase the risk of gerbils having stomach and digestive issues.
There are a few instances where we need to follow veterinary advice to feed them with cooked apples, such as when they are recovering from health problems.
What Can I Feed My Gerbil Instead of Apples?
Gerbils are great pets and the owners can feed them with a combination of food. It is best to not just stick to apples as the main diet. There is no best food for our pets. Everything should be balanced.
Most gerbils love fruits because of its sugar content but we should keep in mind to only feed it to them as treats. Some of the popular fruits good for gerbils are bananas, blueberries, cherries, kiwis and plums.
Vegetables can provide the essential nutrients to gerbils and some of the vegetables they could eat are bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, green beans and zucchini. These can maintain the health of the gerbils’ teeth.
Some gerbils love nuts and seeds. It’s fine to feed them but only on occasion as they are high in fat. Peanuts and pistachios are healthy when consumed in minimal amounts. Avoid packaged nuts sold in supermarkets since these contain ingredients unhealthy for gerbils.