If you’re going to be away for some time, you may want to consider bringing your gerbil along. But gerbils are so delicate that it feels like they aren’t cut for trips, especially long ones. How long can gerbils travel comfortably?
Gerbils can travel for as long as you can in the right temperature conditions with a constant supply of food and water. To avoid stressing them out, however, it’s recommended to only travel for a couple of hours at a time. If that won’t be possible, you can find someone to help sit your gerbil.
This article is a comprehensive guide for gerbil owners that are undecided as to what to do with their gerbils during a trip. Here, you’ll learn how long your gerbil can travel conveniently and if you need to travel with your gerbil in the first place.
Can Gerbils Go on Long Car Rides?
There is almost no way to answer this question definitively, as everyone’s concept of a long car ride differs. Generally, your gerbil should be fine on a car ride as long as you can travel in one go without a pause.
To keep your gerbil comfortable on a lengthy car ride, however, you must keep their cage as close to its natural state as possible. This should be down to minute details such as the nature of their food, and if possible, slightly used bedding.
You should only use a travel carrier for your gerbil if their cage won’t be large enough to fit in your car. However you end up carrying them, you’ll learn the best ways to treat a gerbil in transit in the next few sections.
How Long Can Gerbils Travel?
As with most other questions related to this, the answer depends on the specific conditions of the travel. If you can keep everything as natural as possible, gerbils don’t mind traveling in a car their entire lives.
However, it’s important to note that keeping these conditions can be quite demanding. You must maintain the optimum temperature of 65 to 75 degrees, which happens to be perfect temperatures for humans too.
You must also ensure an adequate supply of food and water throughout the trip. It’s also important to avoid driving too roughly, as it can jerk the gerbils suddenly, causing shock and travel stress.
If you can’t meet the optimum conditions for traveling with your gerbil, it’s recommended to only spend a couple of hours on the road. While there are anecdotal accounts of gerbils faring well for up to six hours in subpar conditions, you should try keeping them for not more than four hours at a time.
Do You Need to Travel with Your Gerbil?
If you’re only traveling for a very short time, you may wonder if it’s even worth it to bring your gerbil along on a trip. After all, you’ve heard accounts of people traveling without their gerbils without any problems.
You can generally travel safely without your gerbil, although that can only happen after you’ve made provisions ahead of time. Also, you shouldn’t be traveling for so long if you don’t want to return to a dead gerbil.
Generally, gerbils can survive for 4 to 7 days without any water, but you shouldn’t leave them without it for more than 3 days. Since most of their water comes from the food they consume, they can also survive without any food for around that time.
You must also keep the temperature of the house constantly between 65 and 75 degrees. That will make the optimum temperature for your gerbil to survive comfortably.
Lastly, you should consider installing a pet monitor. You can use an old smartphone if that’s available, but a cheap low-resolution camera will also work fine. The only must-have feature for the camera is a constant remote live stream to your phone.
With all of this setup, you can leave your gerbil alone for up to a week without worrying about their health. If anything appears to go wrong, you can ask a friend to drop in at your apartment to set things right.
If you lack the time or money for this complex automatic gerbil care setup, you can try any of the other options below.
- Finding a sitter.
Frankly, it’s pretty difficult to find a pet sitter that takes gerbils. While gerbils are relatively easy to care for, they’re still exotic pets, and not many pet sitters have the experience and resources to care for exotic pets nowadays.
If you’re lucky enough to find one within a reasonable distance for your gerbil, you can pay them to help out for as long as you’ll be away. This way, you won’t have to worry about your gerbil’s wellbeing for the entirety of your vacation.
- Ask a friend to help out.
If you can’t find a pet sitter for your gerbil, you can ask your friend to help out. If your friend has little or no experience with gerbils, you can teach them the basics of caring for one, as it’s generally very easy.
The gerbil can stay in your home while your friend only drops in occasionally to change its food and water. If your friend keeps gerbils as pets, that’s even better because you can move yours and theirs together.
As long as they have a large enough cage, your gerbil can stay with theirs. Just ensure you compensate them fairly as soon as you get back from your trip or vacation, even if they don’t want it.
How Long Can Gerbils Go without Food or Water?
If you’re planning to leave your gerbil at home for quite some time, you should know the most they can go without a constant supply of food and water.
While gerbils won’t die from one day of starvation, they aren’t the kind of animals that goes for weeks without food or water. If you’re not supplying your gerbil with food or water, they can still survive for about 4 to 7 days.
However, leaving your gerbil for that long without either of these is unthinkable. Since you can also live for up to seven days without food or water, how happy would you be if you had to do that?
You don’t have to leave your gerbil unattended. Before traveling with your gerbil, ensure you leave enough food and water to last them through the entire period. Also, you can ask a friend to come to check on your pets frequently to ensure they’re accessing their supplies.