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Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Gerbils?

If you’re deciding whether to paint your gerbil cage, or put a painted object in their cage, it is extremely important to understand if the paint you use is safe. To be a responsible pet owner, you need to know what you are putting near your gerbil before making any decisions.

So, is acrylic paint safe for gerbils? Yes, but you shouldn’t allow your gerbil to chew on acrylic painted toys. While acrylic paint is water-based, non-toxic, and considered to be safe for pets, it isn’t recommended to put anything painted in your gerbil cage. Gerbils are rodents, so they enjoy chewing on everything they can. You can however paint their cage with acrylic paint.

While acrylic paint might be the easiest option, you shouldn’t use it on any part of the cage that your gerbil can chew on. Painting the outside of the cage is completely fine, but you should not paint the bars of the cage or any toys that they might chew on. In this article we go over how to properly paint your gerbil cage and much more! Let’s read on.

Is Paint Toxic to Gerbils?

Paint is not considered to be toxic to gerbils, but it can irritate them if you aren’t careful. Gerbils are incredibly tiny with very small respiratory systems. If they breathe in paint fumes while the paint is wet or drying, it can have a few mild health issues.

My favorite and top pick is always Arteza Acrylic Paints. They have so many different colors, and the quality is amazing! I usually use Arteza Paints for all my projects.

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Your gerbil might get an upset stomach if they inhale paint fumes or ingest paint. This will usually only happen when large amounts are taken into the body, but large amounts to gerbils is different than a large amount to humans. This means it will take less for them to be bothered by it.

In most cases, your gerbil will just have an upset stomach. In severe cases, your gerbil might start to vomit. It is best to avoid painting near your gerbil and only introduce them back to a painted room or cage after it has had enough time to dry completely.

Paint fumes can also cause lung inflammation, the largest danger when it comes to small gerbils. If a gerbil inhales paint fumes, it can quickly irritate their respiratory system. This will cause them to hack and cough, which might eventually lead to pneumonia. 

To keep your gerbil as safe as possible, keep them in a separate room for a few days. This will give the paint plenty of time to cure and dry before reintroducing your gerbil to the room. If you are painting their cage, you will need a spare cage for them to live in for a few days.

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If you do want to paint something to put in your gerbil cage, your best option is going to be making your own paint. You can do this by using fruits and vegetables or food coloring. These are all options that your gerbil can safely chew on without any damage.

Tempera paint is also a great option for gerbil toys. This paint is made for kids, meaning it’s non-toxic. Since kids put everything in their mouth, including paint, tempera is safe to use around gerbils. It won’t likely do much harm if your gerbil is around the paint when it is drying or dry, but it is still best to take precautions and keep the gerbil away.

Is Dried Acrylic Paint Safe for Gerbils?

Once acrylic paint is completely dry, your gerbil can be around it without any issues. However, they are known to chew on just about everything. If your gerbil was to chew on something with acrylic paint, it can get in their digestive system and be harmful.

Although acrylic paint is water-based and non-toxic, there are still ingredients in the paint that can be very harmful to the digestive system, especially one that is as small as a gerbil has. With the tiny size of gerbils, it is easier for their stomachs to be irritated by dried paint.

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Dried acrylic paint should not be put inside your gerbil cage under any circumstance. It is not considered safe should they eat some of it. Make sure if you are going to paint their cage, you only paint the outside where they can’t get their teeth on the paint.

How to Seal Acrylic Paint on Gerbil Cage

When choosing a sealant for the acrylic paint on your gerbil cage, it is extremely important to choose one that is safe for your pet to be around. One product that you can use to seal your gerbil cage is Mod Podge. Like acrylic paint, it is non-toxic and water based. 

I highly recommend this Mod Podge Sealer Spray. It’s safe for pets, and protects your paint against chipping and flaking. It’s also waterproof, so if you need to wipe down or clean a painted area, it won’t damage the paint.

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Mod Podge is safe to be used with kids, so it will be safe for gerbils. If your gerbil is a chewer, it is best to apply the Mod Podge to the outside of the cage only. If you don’t want to use Mod Podge, there are several pet-safe sealants that you can buy.

When sealing your gerbil cage, you will first need to wait for the acrylic paint to dry completely. As soon as the acrylic paint is dry, you can start applying the sealant. It is best to apply two coats of sealant to the cage, letting the first layer dry before adding a second.

After you finish applying the sealant, you will need to wait for it to completely dry before you can put your gerbil back in the cage. To be completely safe, it is recommended to wait a day or two after the sealant has completely dried before putting the gerbil back.

Final Thoughts

You might think it is a great idea to paint something for your gerbil to have in their cage. Unfortunately, this is not a great idea. Gerbils are chewers, and it is extremely likely that they will chew on the painted object. If dry acrylic paint gets into the gerbil’s stomach, it can make them very sick.

If you want to paint your gerbil cage with acrylic paint, you can. It is just recommended to only paint the outside of the cage or any part that your gerbil won’t be able to chew on. Seal the paint with Mod Podge or another animal-safe sealer. 

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products so your gerbils are safe around acrylic paint, and your painted cage is gerbil friendly as well. Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

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