Caring for Your Pet Rat

Care Tips for your Pet Rate by DeAnza Veterinary Clinic

Rats are intelligent, friendly, and make great pets. If you’re planning to bring one of these rodents into your family, then read to learn what your veterinarian in San Jose would want you to know about caring for your pet rat: pet - rat


Before you bring your new pet rat home, it’s important to acquire some essential pieces of equipment. When picking out an enclosure for your pet, you will probably see a variety of aquariums and cages available. For rats, wire cages that have solid bottoms are usually ideal. Also, be sure to choose an enclosure that has a secure top because rats are smart and can climb. You will also need bedding for your rat, so look for something corn or paper-based to use in his enclosure.


It’s important for your pet rat to get plenty of exercise and have the chance to explore. To provide him with a stimulating environment within his enclosure, offer your pet tubes, boxes, and ladders to play on. When looking for accessories for your rat’s environment, keep in mind that ferret and parrot toys often work excellently for rats, as well. Your pet rat may or may not enjoy running on an exercise wheel. If you decide to try this type of toy for your pet, be sure to pick up one that is large, made of plastic, and solidly built.


Your rat will need clean, fresh water available at all times, and the water bottles designed for rodents work well for this purpose. Also, rats require something to chew on to prevent their teeth from growing too long, so offer him parrot or dog chew toys. The bulk of your rat’s diet should come from a pet food that is formulated for rats. However, you can feed these rodents a wide selection of foods as treats, such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables. However, rats should not be fed alcoholic, carbonated, or caffeinated beverages. Finally, avoid feeding your rat junk food, sugary treats, green potato, raw beans, raw sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, or chocolate.