Gerbils are small rodents. As closely related as mice and gerbils are, they are clearly different to look at. Gerbils have bodies that are shorter and stockier. They are also a different color – while mice tend to be a dark shade of gray, gerbils are colored a much lighter gray or brown. Unlike mice, gerbils have furry tails, too. Their fur cover helps them protect against sunburn. Gerbils can make excellent pets for young children. They are friendly, docile and interesting. If you’re planning on getting a small pet for the family that everyone can have fun with, gerbils are perfect. Here’s how gerbils score as family pets.
1. Your family will be safe with gerbils as pets
Unlike other pets, gerbils groom themselves obsessively. They tend to be clean and to present little risk of infection. Gerbils are very predictable – far more so than dogs. While millions of children end up in the emergency room after being bitten by the family dog each year, gerbils are completely safe. No matter how they are handled or how frightened they may get, they don’t bite or scratch. This does make them vulnerable. Since gerbils are very small, they tend to be delicate. Their tails, especially, can be fragile. Children must not pick a gerbil up by the tail.