~ Disclaimer: I am not a vet, nor have I ever claimed to be one. I have worked in pet stores, rescues and vet clinics before and know a lot of information on rodents and small animals, but I am not an expert. This food mix I give my rats is just something I have found that the rats enjoy and give them the nutrients and variety they deserve. Again, I am not a vet and am not claiming this is the best diet for your pet rat, this is just what I feed mine. ~
Everybody who owns a rat has a different perspective on what to feed them. According to the vet we talked to, you’re only supposed to give them the classic “rat block”, which is basically an all in one nutrient dense food that rats eat to stay healthy. Different experts, and non experts, will tell you different things about what the best thing for a rat to eat is, however, this is what I feed my girls, as well as my furry friends of the past.
Dog food – dog food is a staple in the diet of any pet rat of mine. Why, you ask? Protein. Protein is essential for a healthy body. Healthy body = happy rats. I don’t really have a specific brand I feed them, however I don’t feed them the low-end stuff. This particular food is just a mix of different samples of dog food I have received. If I receive a cat food sample, I will mix it in there as well.
My Mix – I have not come up with a name for this yet, but this mix consists of high quality rat block, middle grade rat formulated seed mix, and unsalted sunflower seeds. This is what my rats get the most of.
Dried Oats – Oats are an amazing source of fiber and even help reduce cholesterol in humans. The same goes for rats. When I put the food dish in they cage, the oats are the first things to vanish. Just be sure not to give them a ton– as they will expand in their bellies!
Banana and Dried Fruit Chips – who doesn’t enjoy a sweet treat? Dried fruits are a great way to give your rat a little treat without giving them junk food. Just the right amount of sweet and nutrients to make your rat happy grind!
Trail Mix – now, this one can get really tricky. When picking out a trial mix, it must be just nuts, seeds and fruit – no chocolate, no junk. Also, you need to make sure that your trail mix is unsalted.
Treats – as far as what I give my rats as treats, that varies. I avoid hot spicy food, anything with caffeine and carbonation. The main thing they get as treats are what are these wonderful little yogurt drops called Yogis. They are formulated for your rats and come in a convenient small size. I know lots of people who make yogurt drops for their rats. The one thing to keep in mind when picking out treats for your rats is be mindful rats cannot burp or fart, so try to stay away from gaseous foods. Mine also get a few small pieces of human food every now and then, we don’t give them much cause we don’t want them to get spoiled on the human food and stop eating their mix.
So, there you go – that is what I feed my rats. They get a big, heaping bowl of that mix every other day, and all of my rats have lived happy, healthy lives. They also get treats 3-5 times a week.