What Do Pet Rats Eat?

What Do Pet Rats Eat? - Veterinarians

Pet rats have moved to the forefront of the pet trade in recent years. Rats are smart, clean, social, and fairly easy to care for. Enclosures can be as simple or complex as the hobbyist prefers, and even fancy rats are affordable and plentiful in the pet trade.

If you’re thinking about trying a rat as a pet, you’ll want to do a bit of research on the types of enclosures they like, and what specific things you’ll need to buy in order to care for them properly. Most importantly, you’ll want to have a very good handle on what do pet rats eat?

Food Blocks

There are commercially-made rat blocks which can provide basic nutrition for your pet rat. These may sound boring, and they are, but food blocks are inexpensive and good at meeting your pet’s basic food requirements. Avoid using food formulated for other small animals. Most small rodent feed (for gerbils, hamsters, and the like) contains alfalfa, which rats cannot digest. Instead of buying pricey commercial rat treats, vets agree that it’s okay to feed rats small amounts of healthy, people food.

Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and veggies can be fed to rats in small amounts — roughly the size of a sugar cube or small dice. If pet rats eat too much complex sugar, it can cause dehydration, which is bad news. Cooked lean meats are okay in small amounts if you’re comfortable with that.

Other vet-approved rat treats include brown rice, plain yogurt, mealworms, small dog treats, or whole wheat bread or cooked pasta. Rats are somewhere between a dog and a person in terms of what they eat and what they should avoid.

Rats: Living Garbage Disposals

Like dogs, pet rats eat pretty much whatever humans will let them have. The question changes from “What do pet rats eat?” to “What won’t they eat”. Still, be a good human, and keep these danger foods away from your rats:

– Chocolate

– Raw beans or sweet potatoes

– Cabbage or brussel sprouts

– Anything carbonated or caffeinated

– Anything you would call “junk food”

Looking For a Vet?

You can always bring your rat to a vet if you are concerned about its diet or health. You likely have many vets to choose from in your area, some of which do not service rats. If you use TalkLocal, you can instantly weed out any vets that do not meet your needs so you can choose one that can help.

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