Now, who wants to spend a bunch of money on toys that the gerbils are just going to devour in a few days? I know my budget doesn't allow for that! Here's guide collected by members with their free or really cheap gerbil toys!
Last Edit: Oct 16, 2007 8:31:31 GMT -8 by RitzieAnn
Inexpensive Ideas for Critter Accessories! By: Andrea and Reese of SARSBC
Andrea: The dollar store is my best friend, there is always something fun I can pick up for my critters without having to spend a ton of money. Here are some helpful ideas to keep your critters amused while still having some extra cash in your pockets!
Dishes – Dishes in a pet store can cost up to $10, and the cost goes up with the size of the dish. You can pick up crock dishes one or a set of 3 at the dollar store for a buck! Also try tea light candle holders as dishes for your hamsters/mice/gerbils. Make sure all are ceramic and a good weight so they don’t tip over.
Little Critters that chew - Save toilet paper and paper towel rolls, your gerbil (and some hamsters) love to chew up the cardboard. Fill it with hay, maybe a treat or toilet paper and watch them go. Clean cardboard boxes make great chews and toys also. Dried natural apple tree branches can also be fun for many critters and helps keep their teeth healthy and trim.
Hide Away Homes – Nothings cheaper then a used glass jar. How about a clay or ceramic flowerpot? Some oil scents warmers also can be flipped over and used as a home for your small pet, and yes you can find them at the dollar store too!
Housing – Some people want their hamster/mice/gerbils to have the largest house they can fit, but buying that pet’s home can cost a fortune. To save money you can try buying clear storage bins they are about $7 at Walmart. All you have to do is make sure they are well ventilated. So buying some strong mesh and cutting the top from the lid and attaching the mesh can work well. This housing would not be suitable for aggressive chewers. Maybe you want an aquarium? A lot of fish people have leaky aquariums and have no clue what to do with them, post ads on Craig’s list or other free local classified asking for a cheap/free Aquarium (whatever size you are looking for) stating it DOESN’T need to hold water! Flea markets and Thrift stores sometimes also carry animal cages for reasonable prices.
Boxes – Many food products come in small boxes that are perfect nest boxes for small critters. Some of my hamsters’ favourites include Kleenex boxes (minus the plastic on top), Q-tip boxes, and the boxes that packaged teas come in.
Old dishes – I’ve recycled old unneeded dishes and kitchen utensils to become toys and furniture for our rats. Some creativity with wooden spoons can turn a corner of a cage into a jungle gym. Some of my hamsters have enjoyed playing in a big plastic cup turned on its side. They get inside and roll it along like a hamster ball!
Kool-Aid Boxes – I always check the Kool-Aid display to see if any of the boxes are empty or nearly empty. These boxes are PERFECT small animal homes as they’re sturdy and they have a pre-cut doorway. The dimensions are great for little critters too.
Other boxes – I always take a look at any of the employees’ trolleys that are piled with cardboard. Often there are smallish boxes that are great for critter hideouts.
Paper bags – Paper grocery bags are big fun for our critters to hide in when they’re out playing.
Plastic wrap rolls – Grocery stores use huge rolls of plastic wrap to keep skids full of boxes in place. The empty rolls are very thick, about a foot long, and are the perfect width for animals as big as degus and rats. They can be hung in cages with chain or twine, or put on the ground as hideouts. They’re very durable chew toys. When I walk past the stock room I stop and ask if maybe they’ve got an empty roll in their garbage can.
Label rolls - Stores that wrap their own meat and deli products often use big rolls of labels for their products. These rolls are usually the same width as the big plastic wrap rolls, but they aren’t as long so they fit in smaller cages. They’re the perfect size for hamsters and gerbils. I hang these rolls from the cage top to make “swings” and I use them as toys on the ground in the cage. My hamsters love to chew them and peel the cardboard for their nests!
*Note: always make sure your rodent will not CHEW plastic – if digested can cause intestinal blockages.
Here are a few pictures to give you some ideas....
Last Edit: Oct 17, 2007 9:34:27 GMT -8 by AndreaS15
A Pet is for Life... NOT just for Christmas
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Don't breed or buy while homeless pets die. Opt to adopt.
Post by ignorince1 on Mar 24, 2008 15:10:04 GMT -8
This is great! ;D I 've been looking for home-made toys for ages because right now my $ is like- -$30, so I can't afford anything. Don't get worried though, I have plenty of food and about 5 cubic feet of bedding. so i'm set on necessities, but I'm not even close to an entertained gerbil, other than Ginger who is happy running on her wheel and chewing on cardboard any day. Dolly and Molly are young, though and very curious so old stuff tires out after a while and then all they do is sleep.