Considering bringing pet rats into your home can be complex in how much you have to consider and learn about, and you want to, most importantly, know are pet rats safe to bring home in the first place before diving into it all.
Some topics can be concerning for future rat owners or current rat owners, such as the thoughts of pet rat mites and biting.
Whether you have kids at home, you are concerned for other pets, or you want to know if there are risks and what risks are involved in having pet rats, it’s understandable to be worried about topics like these.
Here’s some information to give you the answer to are pet rats safe including info on pet rats mites and pet rats biting.
Pet rat mites
Mites are a common parasite in rats. In fact, they’re usually the only parasite that pet rats happen to come in contact with or have and are more likely for rats than fleas or lice. A pet rat with mites can be scary to handle, but you can easily detect them, and there are ways to treat mites. You cannot see pet rat’s mites, but you can see the damage they deal with your pet.
Look out for heavy itching and even scabbing or open wounds on spots mites are most often active such as the back of your rats’ necks. It’s best to treat your rats for mites immediately when bringing them home to give you the best odds of avoiding having them, but if you notice signs, you should definitely treat them for mites.
You can find small animal mite treatments online and at some veterinary clinics, be sure they have ivermectin or ivermectin in the ingredients. This is what treats the mites. Treatments vary in process, so read your treatment’s directions and follow them. While pet rat mites are a risk, they are also treatable.
But you can get bitten by mites sometimes, and they could also spread to other animals in close contact with your rats in some cases. Pet rats mites are a risk factor in are pet rats safe, alongside others.
Diseases in pet rats are less common than in wild rats, but they are a risk and safety factor to consider when owning any pet, let alone a rat. It’s generally recommended rats aren’t handled or owned by those that are immune-compromised in the case of the possibility of your rat carrying a disease.
When rats carry diseases, they can be spread through saliva and urine, or feces. The saliva and/or urine drying can also release these diseases into the air. It’s important to know where your pet rat came from, as well as to keep an eye out for ill or unusual acting rats, ideally before you purchase one to avoid this issue and be sure to care for them well.
You can run a low risk of transmitting diseases from rats if you wash your hands before and after handling them and keep their cages well cleaned.
Pet rats biting
Pet rats do have a common cause of fear for many individuals in the idea of pet rats biting since pet rats mites are not usually thought about much by inexperienced people thinking about rats. Most pet rats nibble as a form of playing but will not bite hard when doing so. Biting becomes a concern when rats are stressed, not well handled, not used to people, ill, or upset.
When your pet rat is in distress, pet rat biting will become a concern because biting is a defense mechanism for a threatened or unwell rat. You can usually avoid any major bites from your pet rat if you are slow and patient with bonding with them and if you get a rat that has been socialized with people before it is sold.
Most rats show visible signs of distress or try to cower away before they would try to bite you, so if you see those signs, don’t keep pushing to hold them or do whatever you’re trying to do. Pet rats biting isn’t something out of meanness; it’s a fear instinct.
While it can make the answer to “Are pet rats safe?”, somewhere in a gray zone, it’s a similar factor as dogs or cats biting. Yes, there is a common risk of pet rats biting you as well as pet rats mites and other incidents, but pet rats biting is mostly preventable if you do your research and you’re careful.
Most other worries having to do with the question, “Are pet rats safe?” are usually misconceptions or thoughts involving wild rats. Pet rats are not as destructive as wild rats. They are considered unsafe for small children because younger children could frighten or stress out a small animal easily and are at risk immune system-wise regarding pet rats carrying a disease.
It’s a matter of perception.
The other factors in answering the question “Are pet rats safe?” vary in degree, but these main ones are the most severe worries. Other than the risks of pet rats biting you and the factor of pet rats mites, are pet rats safe is mostly a question similar to are dogs safe when it comes to pets. It’s all comes down to being a matter of perception, household, and specific animals case by case.
Now that you know the major factors that have to be considered in answering pet rats safely, you can better determine if these are the best choice for your household with their dynamics, occupants, or risks.
Owning a pet rat has many aspects to it, including costs of keeping pet rats, the risks of pet rat mites, what factors can cause pet rats to bite, training them, upkeep, veterinary care, and so much more.
Luckily you can find a bunch of information on them before you actually purchase a pet rat to add to your family so that you can make the most informed decision possible.
Hopefully, this can answer your question of are pet rats safe as well as give you solid information on the risks of pet rats mites and pet rats biting.