Grrr at pet shop

(7 Posts)
Kungfutea Thu 31-Jan-13 03:36:35

My kids have been asking for gerbils for ages so we went in to local pet shop to ask. The assistant made it all sound easy and straightforward and since all the equipment was within budget, we decided we'd get them.

So the kids start begging for more than two gerbils, which is what we originally decided, because they can't decide which ones and they were all so cute. I ask the assistant how many we can have in the 10 gallon tank he'd recommended and he says 4. So I (stupidly) figured why not if they're social animals (they're all make btw).

Anyway, got them on Sunday and I've been doing some more reading since then and it turns out that 10 gallon tank is only good for 2 gerbils. So now we have gerbils overcrowded in half the space that they're meant to have.

I thought about taking 2 back but the kids really love them! And they really are cute little guys! So now I either buy another 10 bloody gallon tank or get a 20 gallon one. Im furious with the pet shop. These are live animals and their supposedly trained staff are giving out wrong advice.

They also gave me a wheel with rungs which is apparently a no no for gerbils as well because their tails can get stuck.

Soooooo annoyed!

PariahHairy Thu 31-Jan-13 03:50:12

The people who make these recommendations on the internet are not experts either tbh, just because you hear it repeated several times doesn't make it any more valid than the advice the pet shop guy gave you.

Obviously he is trying to sell you stuff, which leads to biased advice, on the other hand you have people who devote their whole lives to their pet rodents and give out wildly unrealistic advice on the internet.

People take this as absolutely true (including me) when it's quite obviously an opinion oft repeated.

Just see how they go in the tank and with the wheel, they may be fine.

Kungfutea Thu 31-Jan-13 04:52:01

No, it was on legit sites on pet care. If it was a bit under, then ok but not half of what's considered minimum.

Also the guy in pet store was ignorant more than pushy. The gerbils themselves were only $1 each and I didn't buy any more gear than I would have for 2 based on his advice! I don't think he misled me for the sake of $2.

The gerbils do seem happy but I'd hate for them to fight or become stressed because of overcrowding.

glamourcats Fri 22-Feb-13 16:16:09

Why didn't you do your research BEFORE you got the gerbils? Then you would have had an idea of the space gerbils need.Seems like You made an impulse purchase because they were cheap without knowing how to properly care for them....

EauRouge Fri 22-Feb-13 16:37:55

I always get this problem with fish. There's no legal requirement for pet shop staff to know what they're talking about, they're probably just telling you what their boss told them to say. If you're lucky then you get one that knows what they are talking about but even then they have to say what they're trained to say. There's sod all consumer protection when it comes to buying small animals and fish, you have to do all your own research and 99% of the time ignore pretty much everything the shop tells you.

Animal shelters are much better at giving advice IME and you'd be rehoming an animal that really needed it. There are always gerbils at my local shelter.

Kungfutea Sat 23-Feb-13 03:08:44

Actually judgeypants glamourcats we did research and knew we wanted gerbils as opposed to hamsters, guinea pigs etc. We'd been thinking about it for over a year now. Maybe you should research before you jump to conclusions as to why we got gerbils!

The impulse was getting 4 rather than 2 as originally intended. I hadn't memorised the exact space requirements of the gerbils so when I asked the pet store clerk how many could go into a 10 gallon, I assumed he knew what he was talking about given that he is meant to be the professional.

As it happens, we went back and exchanged the 10 gallon for a 20 gallon with apologies from the manager for having given us poor advice so our gerbils now have plenty of space.

Anyway, things have got much worse since then because instead of giving us 4 males he gave us a mini harem of 3 females and a male. I suppose I should have learnt how to sex the gerbils myself?!

We did look at local shelters - Ive had 2 cats and 2 dogs at various points in my life and they were always rescue animals - but there were none in shelters near us. We're in the US and gerbils seem to be far less popular here than in the uk, in fact many Americans don't have a clue what gerbils are! What I do regret is buying from a pet store, I should have gone directly to a breeder - but now we have become breeders ourselves!

EauRouge Sat 23-Feb-13 09:25:47

Good on you for complaining, hopefully that means that the service will improve and they won't mis-sell the gerbils again. I don't know if you can complain about being mis-sold females as males, pet stores in the UK usually have a disclaimer up saying that they can't guarantee whether an animal is male or female.

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