Buying a Gerbil from a Breeder
The advantages of buying directly from a breeder is that breeding has usually been carefully planned and thought through with regard to producing robust, healthy gerbils of good temperament. Many breeders will also offer some form of guarantee contracting to take the gerbil back if not suitable. Unfortunately the same cannot always be said for gerbils sold in pet shops where the history of the gerbils for sale is often unknown.
Some breeders of gerbils also show their gerbils and so breed towards producing a good healthy show gerbil with a view to keeping one or two themselves so quality and temperament is of vital importance when planning their breeding.
Although breeders of show gerbils have usually carefully planned the breeding of their gerbils, there are also owners who have bred their pet gerbils. These may be the result of a planned or unplanned pregnancy but the gerbils have usually been well cared for and handled.
Buying a gerbil direct from the breeder means that there is the opportunity to see the parents and know the date of birth of the gerbil(s) that it is intended to purchase.
Unfortunately not all private breeders are reputable - there are breeders who, whilst not "commercial" take on gerbil breeding as a financial hobby and as such their main aim is quantity rather than quality.
Buying a Gerbil from a Rescue Home
Another option when seeking a gerbil as a pet is to obtain a gerbil from a rescue home. Many gerbils, both young and old, unfortunately become abandoned or homeless through no fault of their own every year.
Rescue homes usually assess the gerbil's behaviour and health on arrival and ensure it receives any necessary veterinary treatment before offering for rehoming.
The background, exact age or breeding details of gerbisl in Rescue homes are often not know. However, unless the intention is to show or breed then rescue gerbils should be considered.
Depending on the rescue organisation they may require the completion of a series of forms, interviews or even a home visit to assess suitabilty as a potential gerbil owner. Their primary concern is to ensure the correct placement of the gerbils in their care with a suitable new owner.
Buying a Gerbil from a Pet Shop
Some pet shops offer gerbils for sale. These gerbils are unlikely to have come from a reputable show breeder and are most likely to have come from a pet owner with an unplanned pregnancy or from commercial gerbil breed facility. There is some risk as to whether these gerbils will be of good temperament or health as the parents cannot be seen and often little or no information can be given about their background or breeding.