Veterinarian holding pet rat.

People have lived in close proximity to rodents for millennia. As soon as our ancestors learned how to grow and store food, all sorts of small animals followed. It was only a matter of time until rats became one of humanity’s favorite pets. 

Without a  doubt, rats have endearing personalities. They are smart, curious and highly social animals, rivalling cats and dogs in popularity. What’s more, owning a pet rat can be one of life’s greatest experiences.

Charming Little Squeakers

Start-up costs may be high at first as you collect the necessary supplies, like their enclosure, food, enrichment/toys, and bedding. In addition to the adoption fee, owners are responsible for providing their rat with important medical care. 

Despite the fact that rats are relatively easy to care for, they benefit from routine veterinary care to prevent common illnesses and behavioral problems. The lifespan of a pet rat is about two years, so it’s important to give them the best possible care.

Only Just Begun

Rats enjoy engaging with people and they like to play, explore, problem-solve, and exercise. Being nocturnal, they can be a bit noisy at night. However, with the right toys in an enriching environment they’ll stay happily busy. 

During their waking hours, it’s a good idea to challenge them with problem-solving games or puzzle toys. They are also capable of learning and demonstrating mastery of tricks. With dextrous hands and incredible agility, your pet rat is sure to entertain and astound you.

Parts and Pieces

Contrary to popular belief, rats are actually clean creatures. They like to keep themselves looking tidy, and they tend to their homes with meticulous attention. Known to be easily trainable to use a litter pan, rats tend to keep their waste separate from their living areas. You might also observe your pet rat organizing their food into piles, and moving items in their enclosure to their liking.

Considerations for Your Pet Rat

Once you find the right place in your home, you can invest in the right housing option for your pet rat. There are many to choose from, but the more varied their environment, the better. Choose a cage that has more than one level, offers privacy, and comes with at least one exercise component. 

Low-dust bedding will result in less eye and/or skin irritation. They like to forage and enjoy being able to easily move their bedding around. 

Delicious Food

We are happy to help you find the right food for your pet rat. They benefit from a species-specific diet that meets their various nutritional needs. Proper food will contain a mix of essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.  

Occasional treats of fresh fruits and/or vegetables will make your pet rat very happy. Bananas, apples, carrots, cashews, and almonds are great options but should be given sparingly to keep them at a healthy weight.

Clean, freshwater should always be available to your pet rat.

Friends Forever

You will likely find that your pet rat is incredibly attached to you or another family member. They can be empathetic, making the bond with their owner even stronger. A pet rat can be a great source of comfort and support. 
If you have questions or concerns about providing for a pet rat, please give us a call at (260) 637-7676. Our team of veterinarians and staff members are always here for you at Dupont Veterinary Clinic at Coldwater.