Gerbils are small, furry creatures that love to run and play. These little guys can be a lot of fun for people who find them at the pet store or breeders, but their dietary needs can sometimes be hard to understand.
Can gerbils eat cashew nuts? The answer is yes, but only sparingly. Cashews are not poisonous to gerbils, but they are high in fat and carbohydrate content which can cause the little rodents some serious health problems if consumed regularly. Too many cashews can also cause diarrhea and lead to obesity.
Let’s take a look at what makes cashews so good for humans, why they aren’t as healthy for our rodent friends, and how much of this tasty nut your furry friend can safely munch on.
Gerbils have very specific nutritional requirements that you should know about before deciding if your gerbil will eat cashew nuts. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Nutritional Benefits Of Cashew Nuts:
Cashews contain a lot of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. They are much higher in fat content than most other nuts, but they also have a good amount of fiber which gives you energy while preventing the rapid blood sugar spikes that can lead to insulin resistance and obesity.
They are also loaded with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and heart-healthy minerals like copper, zinc, and magnesium. Cashew nuts are a good source of tryptophan which can help you sleep better at night.
Another great thing about cashews is that they are naturally caffeine-free. If you love drinking coffee, but can’t stand the lack of energy in the afternoon when your caffeine high wears off, cashews are a great way to keep yourself energized long after your morning cup of coffee.
On top of this, cashew nuts have zero sugar which means they won’t raise your blood sugar levels and add to the strain on your pancreas.
2. Things To Consider Before Feeding Cashew Nuts To Your Gerbil:
Can Gerbils Eat Cashew Nuts? Cashews have a lot going for them nutritionally, but that doesn’t mean you should feed them to your gerbil every day. They are smaller than most other nuts, but they pack a big punch when it comes to fat.
It’s good to eat some healthy fats every day, but not so much that you are adding more to your diet. Gerbils need their daily macronutrients, especially minerals like selenium and magnesium, but too much can lead to toxicity issues which will be discussed below.
Toxicity Issues In Gerbils Eating Cashew Nuts:
The biggest issue with a diet high in cashews for rodents is toxicity. Cashew nuts can be toxic to gerbils because of the natural toxins they contain. The two most common are urushiol and juglone, both of which can cause problems like edema (swelling), gastrointestinal distress, and liver damage.
If you do decide to give them some cashews, just keep an eye on how many they are eating. Too many can lead to diarrhea which is not only uncomfortable for your furry friend but can also lead to obesity.
They may love freedom and going nuts, but that doesn’t mean these treats should be a regular part of their diet.
3. How Many Cashew Nuts Can I Feed My Gerbil:
As mentioned earlier, gerbils can eat cashews once in a while, but not too many at a time. A good rule of thumb is to only feed them one or two nuts until you see how they react to it.
If they are still doing well the next day, you can feed them a little bit more cashews for their next snack. Just remember that too many can cause problems so don’t go overboard with it.
4. What Will Happen If Gerbil Eats Too Many Cashews?
If you give your gerbil too many cashews the first time, chances are they will be ok. However, eating too many can have some serious consequences for your gerbil’s health.
The natural chemicals in the nuts could cause edema (swelling) which is uncomfortable and can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal distress or liver damage. If you suspect your gerbil has eaten too many cashews, bring them to a vet as soon as possible.
5. What Else Can I Feed My Gerbil Instead Of Cashew Nuts?
Gerbils can eat an assortment of nuts and seeds in moderation, but they shouldn’t eat too much at once. If you want to give them a treat, go with the kind of nut that has good protein stats, but not as much fat. For example, sunflower seeds have just the right amount of protein and fat that making them a great healthy snack for your gerbil.
If you want to give cashews to your gerbils from time to time, keep in mind that moderation is key. One or two cashews now and then will be a welcomed delight for a gerbil on a diet.
Just make sure they don’t eat too many at once so they can enjoy their next few meals without any problems.
6. What Are The Benefits Of Cashew Nuts For Gerbils?
Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are great alternatives. If you want something to crunch on that has good protein stats, but not as much fat like cashews do.
7. Where Can I Buy Cashew Nuts For My Gerbil?
You will be able to find cashew nuts in most grocery stores or supermarkets. They may not be labeled “gourmet” so you might have to look around a little bit before finding them. Once you do it’s just a matter of paying and going home with your new gerbil treat.
8. Other Healthy Treats To Give Gerbils
9. Side Effects Of Eating Cashew nuts In Gerbils:
Although cashews can do a lot of good for your gerbil, there are some side effects to them as well. One such side effect is their high-fat content which can cause edema which can cause gastrointestinal distress and liver damage.
Eating too many nuts could also result in malnutrition due to the lack of other nutrients that they need to stay healthy so keep their diet balanced.
10. Can Gerbils Eat Stored Cashew Nuts? How to store them?
Cashews should be stored away from heat and direct light if they are not going to be eaten right away. If you want the freshest nut possible, store them in an air-tight container or sealable plastic bag with the air pushed out placing it into your pantry or refrigerator.
If you want to keep them fresher for longer, store the nuts in the freezer. Gerbils will love these crunchy treats all year long so stock up now and have a variety on hand whenever your gerbil is looking for a nibble.
Conclusion: Can Gerbils Eat Cashew Nuts?
Cashew nuts can be a good treat for your gerbil, but be careful how many you give them. Too much of anything is not good for gerbils so remember to keep their diet healthy with natural foods and snacks.
The key here is moderation so one or two cashews now and then will be just fine for your pet’s dietary needs. Have fun picking out the perfect snack for your gerbil and be sure to ask it how it likes its new treats.
If you want more information on what food is good for your pet, find out and click on the links we have given in this article to give you more information about gerbils’ diet.
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