What to Feed Your Pet Rat

What to Feed Your Pet Rat
What to feed your pet rat.

When considering and preparing for pet rats, you need to know and obtain the proper food for a pet rat. Rats have nutritional needs that have to be met through what you give them, and they also can be given additions to their normal food that can help improve their health.

Understanding your pet rat’s needs in food and having some information on what they can and can’t eat for human foods is an excellent way to properly prepare for having a pet rat or improve your current pet rat’s lifestyle.

Here’s everything you need to know about what to feed your pet rat.

The basics

Pet rats should be given a diet that includes plant and meat-based options and some variety to include proper nutrients and vitamins. They should have the main food source in pellet or block form and specifically made for rats. This ensures that picky rats get the basic nutrients they need and is the best way to deliver their protein and fat source needs.

Pet rats generally need pellet food with a minimum of 16% protein and fat content of 4-5%. This is then supplemented with fruits and veggies as well as other foods to add needed nutrients.

Pellet options

When finding food for pet rats, you need to do a little research and also read labels. You don’t want a diet that is full of preservative ingredients or non-natural food sources. As mentioned earlier, the protein should be higher than or equal to 16%, and the fat in their food should be 4% or 5%. You can research to find good brand options that make the best pellet foods for rats. We use Oxbrow Essentials for our pet rats.

Additional foods

Alongside pellet food, your pet rat will need some human foods daily as well. They should have some fruits and veggies daily that are safe for them, especially dark leafy greens, as those are most rich in nutrients.

You can give your rat small portions of allowed foods here and there, in the beginning, to figure out what they like and will eat, as some rats are picky eaters. You can also feed natural baby foods to your rat to give them veggies in a different format.

No matter what you give them, rats should have some form of fruits and/or veggies in their food every day.

What pet rats can have

To supplement your rat with the best food for a pet rat, you’ll need to know what they can have alongside pellet foods. Good options include apples, berries, pears, cabbage (except red cabbage), broccoli, bananas, small amounts of corn, parsley, celery, and more. Your pet rat can also have whole grain sources like cooked rice or pasta, bread, and low sugar cereals, but foods should less frequently eat and more considered treats to feed less often because they can increase your rat’s weight too much and too quickly.

Avoid these foods

Now that you know the nutritional needs of your pet rat and what foods to include in their diet, you should know the food for pet rat that should not be a part of their meals. Seed mix food for rats should not be fed to them. They’re usually prone to allowing malnutrition because of rats picking through it for their favorite parts, and can be too much fat and sugar for your rat. Some of the foods to avoid also include: raw peanuts, dry beans, juices, sugary foods, peanut butter, dried fruit, raw sweet potato, green bananas, mango, and some others too.

Final Tips

To wrap up this information on what to feed your pet rat and food for a pet rat, here are some extra tips and things to keep in mind. Be sure to do your research or a quick search before offering your rat any human food to ensure that it’s safe for them or figure out how to best prepare it. Always be gradual when introducing new foods or when you begin feeding your new pet rat at home to avoid internal issues such as indigestion.

It’s also important to monitor their eating and bathroom habits at the beginning of any nutritional change to make sure the process is okay. While there are more to add, these are the most important and good reminders.

As mentioned earlier, information and considerations on food for pet rat can help you a lot with improving and maintaining proper rat health for your pet. But you can also use this info when considering obtaining pet rats to gauge what you will need and if you’re prepared to handle the dietary needs and routine of having a pet rat.

There are many different ways to approach and obtain food for pet rat that can differently be useful for your budgeting or time and your own preferences in feeding your pet, as long as you maintain proper nutritional needs within your rat’s diet.

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Emily Sanders

I'm Emily Sanders, an avid lover of pet rats and small household pets. Most of all, I adore my fancy pet rats and love sharing insightful and helpful information with others willing to learn about rats. If you're new to the world of pet rats, you'll find many of my pet rat guides of great use for getting acquainted. I hope to help you become an avid pet rat lover too.

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