My family and i had ribs for dinner a few nights ago and I thoroughly cleaned one of the bones. It is about four inches big and is scrubbed thoroughly with water and a sponge.(no soap) My gerbil is running out of chew toys and i thought he might like something new, as he is an avid chewer. I was wondering if the bone would be a nice chew toy or if it might be harmful to him. Should i let him have it?
Last Edit: May 17, 2012 12:49:16 GMT -8 by emilyr252
Post by MoonstoneGerbils on May 15, 2012 20:00:58 GMT -8
Raw uncooked bone is ok.
Do not give bones that have been cooked, boiled, or otherwise heated to gerbils or other animals. Bone becomes fragile when heated and will splinter. the bones are brittle.
You can buy treated bones and antlers that are meant as dog toys. Even some of the heftier sea shells are appropriate. The shells would need to be strong and you should not be able to break or chip them with your hands. Also make sure they were not steamed or baked.
I buy raw marrow bones for my dog. After he finishes with them. I leave them out in the yard. The ants will finish cleaning the meat off. After a week or two I bring them in and rinse them off in hot water. I usually take a hammer and break the bone into smaller pieces.
The bone is hard and i can't break it with my hands, however, this bone originally came from ribs, and the ribs were cooked. As for the cardboard, i give him the tubes, but he finishes them of in minutes. Before, he chewed on a hard plastic gerbil "potty" and it is now nearly gone. He seems to prefer hard things like plastic. He doesn't eat the plastic, but rather leaves it there and the pieces scatter around the tank. Even though the bone was cooked with the meat, (the meat is long gone) can he still use it?
Last Edit: May 16, 2012 16:13:15 GMT -8 by emilyr252
I would not use cooked bone. Raw bone is one thing and normal in the diet to an extent. Cooked bone is like turning the stuff in to concrete. It does not digest. Not even dog stomach acid which is much stronger can digest rib bones and my dog required a $2000 surgery for getting in to some. If they get any pieces off it will not digest unless it is raw bone.
The deer antlers might be a good option. All natural with nothing on them or cooked in anyway unlike some of those greasy bones they sell wrapped up in petstores.
I believe I said " The deer antlers might be a good option. All natural with nothing on them or cooked in anyway unlike some of those greasy bones they sell wrapped up in petstores."
What happens the one time he does decide to swallow something and dies? Every time you let him chew something that can't be digested you are risking his life because this single time he might decide to swallow that piece. A bone also isn't plastic. What if he decides bone should be swallowed even though plastic shouldn't? The deer antlers are as hard as bone but digestible. You can find them in most pet stores these days.
Post by Shooting Star on May 17, 2012 14:35:19 GMT -8
Antlers sold as dog chews are also ridiculously expensive. It would be worth finding out if you have any family or friends that hunt deer. Lots of hunted deer have racks that aren't impressive enough to be made into trophies-- but they'd be more than enough for a gerbil, or even a dog. My uncle turned out to have a ton of broken antlers just sitting around at the camp where he hunts. I figure if they're going to kill (or have already killed) the deer anyway, there's no point in wasting the antlers!
If you want to stick with bone, you can get "soup bones" or "marrow bones" raw at the grocery store for pretty cheap. If you don't have a dog, though, I'm not sure how you'd go about getting all the meat off... I guess you could cut/scrape most of it off, then toss it in the yard for the ants. You'd need to tie it to a tree or something, so it doesn't get carried off.
I got my marrow bones from the grocery store and gave them to the dogs raw. A good year or two later, they looked like this:
Post by Shooting Star on May 17, 2012 16:09:34 GMT -8
Eh, I'm just saying you can get them cheap/free if you've got connections. My dogs went through an antler piece each in under a month, but then again, I switched them off the marrow bones because they were chewing so hard they chipped their teeth... so perhaps that's not indicative of how long antlers usually last.
I've never given antler to gerbils before, so I don't know how it would hold up. Being more spongy than bone, I suspect you might have to throw it away due to the smell of absorbed urine before they'd completely destroy it. But that's just a theory.
I do not have any family members that hunt. (We're too geeky) Where else could i get a small piece of antler? Can you see my pic. or is it not working? If antler is too spoungy, then why not use harder bone? Your dogs seem to like the bones, but would gerbils?
Once again read my posts " You can find them in most pet stores these days." You can also find them all over the internet. Some places in bulk small pieces.
The porous part of a bone or antler is actually the good part. The marrow. It has useful nutrients, is safer and better for chewing, and more attractive to the animal. The outer part of the bone can break teeth like mentioned if they get over zealous and serves little nutritional benefit as well being unsafe when cooked.