To Give a Gerbil a Bath

shivering gerbil

I didn’t know a wet gerbil would cause me to laugh hysterically. He looks so…cold. Or is he just shivering because he can’t remember his letters?

Who does such a thing, bathing gerbils like babies? Was this really out of concern for gerbil hygiene, or a chance to play parent, or just something fun to pass the time? I do like to think the best, I’ll go for hygiene.

little L and gerbil

In this boy’s defense, he was simply aiding his big sister, owner of the gerbil pair. It does take two or three extra hands to give a gerbil a proper bath, what with all the squeaking and squirming attempts at freedom. But of course, what little boy can resist a flurry of animal activity?

JJ bathing gerbilsI was actually shocked at how dirty the water was. Truth be told, this was the rodents’ first bath, so we witnessed about a year’s worth of dirt, oils, bedding, and WHO knows what being washed away.

And another truth be told, I’m pretty sure I saw a smile flit across the whiskers of Mika and Merlin. These gerbils have a good life here in our schoolroom, sitting quietly (save for the incessant turning and grating of the wheel) while the kids learn sounds and signs and names and places. If a bit of freedom meant also getting soaked to the skin, what’s that to a desert rat? Especially considering the last time they roamed free, one skinny tail got stepped on and lost. Yes, this bath was a good thing.

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4 Responses to To Give a Gerbil a Bath

  1. Gina says:

    I cannot stop looking and laughing at that little guy! What a great way to end my Friday. Thank you friend for a good chuckle!

  2. Jen says:

    Hi Gina! Glad you also got a laugh. If I’d taken the time, I would have also posted the follow-up photos of my kids carting the Very Clean Gerbils around in little train cars and wagons.

  3. Madi says:

    Never ever give a gerbil a bath. Sand baths with chinchilla sand only. Being wet will cause a sickness called wet tail and can kill them.

  4. Jen says:

    Thank you, Madi, I’ve since learned this is true: NEVER give a gerbil a bath!! Only a sand bath with chinchilla sand, thank you for the info. Just so you know, these gerbils did not get sick from this bath and have led a long and productive life.

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