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A gerbil is a small, furry rodent that is frequently kept as a pet. It is not uncommon for people who own two gerbils to find out by accident that they have both a male and a female, when the pair produces a litter of young. To prevent these and other potential disasters, it can be a good idea to purchase a gerbil from a reputable breeder. It is best to choose gerbil breeders that have been raising the animals long enough to have gained some experience. They should be knowledgeable about gerbils and be a solid resource for new owners, ready and willing to provide you with whatever information you need.
When searching for good gerbil breeders, it can be helpful to start with an organization that provides education to the public. These groups can be found worldwide, including the American Gerbil Society (AGS) in the US, the National Gerbil Society in the UK, the Swedish Gerbil Society, and more. Member breeders typically have pledged to uphold certain standards of quality, selling only gerbils that conform to those standards. These gerbil breeders generally register their babies and provide buyers with both a pedigree and registration papers for each animal.
Whether or not a breeder belongs to any kind of an organization, one of the best things you can do that will help you to choose the best gerbil breeders is to ask for references. Get the names of several people that have purchased from the breeder and contact them to ask about their experiences before committing to buy from that breeder yourself. Ask each person not only about the buying experience, but the health of the gerbil in the weeks following the purchase and whether or not he or she went back to the breeder with questions after the sale. Find out if previous buyers would buy from this breeder again.
In addition to checking references, look at the animals kept by the gerbil breeders. Determine if the gerbils are healthy, with clear eyes and no nasal discharge. Watch to see if they are active, and avoid breeders who have gerbils that seem lethargic or that appear ill with dull coats and discharge from the eyes and nose. Dirty cages are another warning sign. The best gerbil breeders will take pride in keeping their pets in a clean environment, and the cages should look clean and not have a foul odor.