Your gerbil can drink water from a dish or a water bottle, but a water bottle is usually the best choice. A dish can get dumped over, filled with bedding by an industrious pet or otherwise cause trouble in the cage. A properly constructed bottle holds the water until it’s needed and releases just what your gerbil asks for. Water bottles are readily available at the pet store or you can make your own.
Remove the lid from a clean, dry jar that holds 8 ounces or more. Use a jar with a metal lid for best results. Set the jar aside.
Drill through the center of the lid, making a hole the same size as the spout. Since spouts may be different sizes, it’s best to use the smallest bit you think will work and enlarge the hole if necessary.
File around the hole to remove any sharp edges. Wipe off any filings with a damp paper towel and dry the lid.
Remove the drinking spout from a rubber stopper watering assembly and set the tube aside.
Caulk the bottom side of the stopper. Make sure to cover the entire area.
Place the caulked side of the rubber stopper against the inside of the lid. Line up the holes on the two parts. Allow the silicone to cure for about 48 hours.
Push the drinking spout up into the rubber stopper, starting from the outside and passing it through the lid first.
Fill the bottle with water and screw the lid on. The stopper will be on the inside, in the water, and the spout will protrude from the lid.
Wrap a loop of wire around the water bottle. If the bottle is large or oddly shaped you may need to use two loops. Bend the wire so that it hangs securely on the gerbil’s cage. Cut off any excess wire.
- If you have several gerbils in one cage, choose the bottle size accordingly so your gerbils won’t always be running out of water.
- Recycle an old rubber stopper and drinking spout if you have one. Just be sure it’s clean and dry before using it to make a new bottle.
- A bit of thought can spare you some extra work later when attaching your gerbil’s new water bottle to his cage. Make sure your gerbil can comfortably reach the bottle. If the end is too high to reach, your pet may end up very thirsty and even dehydrated. Ensure the end of the tube doesn’t touch anything inside the cage, since that can trigger leaks and make a real mess.
- Gerbils are great chewers, so it’s essential that you only use materials that your pet can’t reach or damage. A glass jar makes an excellent water bottle. If a gerbil gets his teeth on plastic, the water bottle won’t last for long. A bottle protector made of hardware cloth or purchased at the pet store will keep your gerbil far enough away from the bottle that he won’t be able to chew on it.
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