How Do I Get My Gerbil To Stop Chewing On Plastic?

If you are thinking of adopting a gerbil, you should know the pet likes to chew on things.

The pets do not understand that some of the things they chew on can be dangerous. 

How do I get my gerbil to stop chewing on plastic?

You can get your gerbil to stop chewing on plastic by having less plastic in their cages. In addition, consider buying chew toys to keep your pet engaged. 

Gerbil pet owners need to understand why their pets chew on plastic. In addition, learn how to prevent your pet from chewing on plastic. 

How to Stop Gerbils from Chewing on Plastic

It can be extremely difficult to stop your pet from chewing on plastic, especially if parts of its cage are made of the material. However, you can take steps to prevent your pet from chewing on plastic all the time. 

Limit your pet’s exposure to plastic in its environment. Make sure there is less plastic for your gerbil to chew on. Secondly, provide your pet with chew options or alternatives to file their teeth. 

Provide your pet with a wide range of chew toys; they will gladly chew on anything that they can fit in their mouth, including plastic and wood.

The aim is to switch plastic for less harmful alternatives. You will find it practical to replace many of the items in your pet’s cage with wooden and other safe alternatives. 

Consider replacing plastic litter boxes, food bowls, and cages if you notice signs of chewing. Many pet owners buy plastic cages and food bowls because they are affordable and accessible. However, it is advisable to get wooden or ceramic alternatives if you notice signs on chewing.

Feeding habits are crucial. Let me explain how often and how much should you feed a gerbil right now in this article. 

Why Gerbils Chew on Plastic

Gerbils like to chew on plastic because of an instinctual habit to chew on things in its environment. Plastic is flexible and chewable, making it an easy target for gerbils. 

Although it may seem destructive, gerbils like to chew on things to keep their teeth from becoming excessively long. Plastic is hard enough to keep their teeth from growing too long and soft enough so that they do not get hurt while biting it. 

Fortunately, gerbils only chew on plastic and do not usually swallow it. It is unusual to find gerbils intentionally swallowing plastic because they understand it is not food.

However, this does not necessarily mean they cannot swallow plastic accidentally. 

The plastic in some gerbil cages may not be rodent friendly and may contain chemicals, which may be harmful to your pet once it mixes with saliva.

If you do not take steps to prevent your pet from chewing on plastic, the habit may end up shortening its life. Therefore, make sure the plastic parts in your pet’s cage are rodent friendly. 

Safer Alternatives


Gerbil teeth keep continually growing, which is why they often need something to chew on. Once they get something to chew on, their teeth will not become excessively long or wear down. Fortunately, gerbils can chew on many things apart from plastic. 

Without chew toys, gerbils’ ability to eat becomes impaired, which may lead to starvation. Therefore, pet owners should ensure gerbils have something safe to chew on. Just make sure the chew toys you provide to your pet are not made of plastic. 

One of the favorite chew toys for gerbils is a toilet paper roll. Gerbils find toilet rolls easy to chew on and fun to run through its tubes.

Toilet paper rolls make great toys for gerbils because many people have a steady supply of this item in their homes. 

Another excellent toy alternative for gerbils is a small cardboard box. However, make sure the cardboard box does not contain dye. 

Cardboard boxes make excellent toys for gerbils because they are relatively harder than toilet rolls, which makes them great for their teeth. In addition, cardboard boxes provide them with hiding places. 

A more lasting chew toy is wood, including wooden sticks and barks. Whichever option you decide to use, make sure it is rodent friendly. 

What about hay? I purposely made a special article on it right here. 

Foods That Gerbils Can Chew On

Gerbil food is specially formulated to meet the pet’s nutritional needs. On the upside, the foods are also perfect for chewing on. Gerbil food mixes contain:

  • Seeds
  • Hay pellets
  • Fibrous materials
  • Nuts

Some gerbil mixes contain fruits and vegetables that gerbils can gnaw on. Some gerbil foods such as fresh carrots and pumpkin make excellent foods for chewing on.

The foods contain a soft inner part and a harder skin making them excellent for gnawing. 

You do not need to make drastic changes to your pet’s diet to provide them with something to chew on. Gerbil food mixes contain various ingredients ideal for chewing or gnawing. 

Gerbils Chewing on their Food Bowls

Although it is advisable to scatter gerbil food, many pet owners still put their food in bowls. Your pet will probably chew on the food bowl if it is made of plastic. This behavior can go unnoticed because many pet owners confuse it with eating food. 

Avoid allowing your pet gerbil to chew on plastic because it cannot be digested. It is almost impossible for rodents and other animals to absorb plastic through the gut.

If your pet must use a food bowl, make sure it is made of ceramic or glass. It is almost impossible for gerbils to chew glass and ceramic. 

Wood that Gerbils Can Chew On

Unlike plastic, wood is neither too hard nor too soft. Therefore, it is incapable of breaking your pet’s teeth; instead, it can only wear down your pet’s teeth. Because wood is moderately tough, it can only sharpen your pet’s teeth. 

It is essential to know the type of wood that your pet can chew on. Some wood types are toxic, so you should confirm the safe kind of wood to give to your pet. 

Avoid giving your pet wood that has been processed or treated in any way. Some of the chemicals that are used to process or treat wood may be toxic to your pet.

In addition, treated or processed wood may contain nails or screws, which could hurt your pet. 

Avoid gerbil toys that are made of pine or cedar because they contain aromatic oils that may be toxic when ingested in significant amounts. The aromatic oils are not only poisonous to gerbils, but they can also be toxic to humans and other pets. 

Popsicle Sticks

Some Popsicle sticks are designed for gerbils to chew on. However, it is essential to consider various factors when buying chewable Popsicle sticks for your pet. 

Popsicle chew toys are often made from birch, which is safe for gerbils to chew on. This is an important consideration when buying Popsicle chew sticks for your pet.

In addition, some popsicle chew sticks may contain sticky residue on them. Be sure to wash popsicle chew toys before offering them to your pet. 

Some popsicle chew sticks can splinter, which makes them unsafe for pets. Some of the fragments can be quite sharp. Avoid letting your pet chew on the popsicle sticks for a prolonged period as it could hurt its gums. 

Apart from the fact that popsicle sticks sometimes splinter, they are considered generally safe for gerbils to chew on. Alternatively, use unused coffee stirrers because they are less likely to splinter and hurt your pet. 

Branch and Stick Chew Toys for Gerbils

Branches and sticks make some of the best chew toys for gerbils. Wild gerbils usually chew on any kind of wood they can find in their habitats. 

Take steps to ensure your domesticated gerbil does not chew on poisonous branches and sticks. Some branches may contain toxic lichen, bacteria, fungi, and other parasites. 

To avoid exposing your pet to pathogens, bake branch and stick chew toys in the oven at medium heat. This will kill pathogens on the chew toys.

Alternatively, freeze the branch and stick chew toys to rid them of pathogens.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.