The Best Food For Healthy Pet Rats

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 2, 2013 in Rat News | Subscribe

Every rat owner feeds their rodent differently, and since they are omnivores, they easily thrive on a wildly varied diet. The trick is figuring out how to ensure that your fancy friend gets all of the nutrition that it needs to live a healthy and happy life. Even if our pretty little rat pals bless our lives for an average of two years, any pet owner worth their saltlick will do their best to make their rats as comfortable, fit and happy as possible. I’ve gathered a few choice ideas for a well-rounded rat’s menu below- Bon Appetite!

Let’s start with a bag of kibble-type food: It’s a common staple of many domesticated rodent diets, and nothing beats the convenience of filling a bowl of scientifically formulated and vitamin fortified dry food once a day. Bagged dry rat food is a great starting point for the animal’s diet, and it should always be available for snack time as needed. However, you can easily do your rats a favor by comparing brands to pick out the variety with the lowest fat content and a fairly high level of animal-based protein. Rats don’t survive in the wild on seeds alone, and rodent mixes that are mostly or completely seed based are generally low in nutritional value. Plus, you’ll realize on your own that you’ve wasted your money when your rat picks out the “best” pieces out, while leaving the “icky” leftovers. Personally, I’ve found the Regal Rat food from Oxbow and LM’s Vita-Vittles to have a great nutritional balance.


If man can’t survive on bread alone, the same can be said about rats and bags of rat chow! Supplementing standard food with healthy fiber, protein and vitamin filled foods, along with the occasional treat makes for a well-balanced and enriched rat. Some foods that work wonders to round out a rat’s meals include dog biscuits for more good protein, fruits and veggies such as strawberries, apples, broccoli, carrots and corn, as well as the occasional bit of rice or hardboiled egg. Nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, yogurt drops and even a small bit of cheese once in a while are excellent treats for a fit rat.

 A good protein staple in a rat's dietA good protein staple in a rat’s diet

Don’t forget to give your squeakers something to wash all of this good food down! Always provide a fresh water source for your rats in either a plastic or glass drip bottle or a tough-to-flip bowl, and be sure to scrub the container every few days. Never give your rats anything to drink other than water. Some rats are lactose intolerant, making milk a bad choice. Also, between the potential for cavities as well as the fact that rats are unable to burp, soda and other carbonated drinks are a no-no. Stick with clean, clear water and your rodent’s thirst will always be quenched!

 (Photo by ressaure /Creative Commons via Flickr)(Photo by ressaure /Creative Commons via Flickr)

Take care of your rat by being the best rodent chef that you can be, and they will reward you with years of cuddles, squeaks and love! Only the best for your little buddies, right?

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