Rat Nutrition Basics

Learn the basics of rat nutrition.

Learn the basics of rat nutrition.

A good rat diet consists of 80 percent of a commercial pelleted rat diet, plus a wide variety of other foods, heavy on the fruits and vegetables, making up the other 20 percent, according to Debbie Ducommun of The Rat Fan Club in Chico, California. 

Foods such a pasta, bread, cereal, grains, fruits and vegetables are all appropriate for pet rats, said Byron de la Navarre, DVM, of Animal House of Chicago, but he cautioned that they should not be fed any chocolate and minimal amounts of avocado.

A pelleted mix diet might cause problems for rats if they pick out only the tastier seeds and nuts, and avoid eating the rest of the mix, according to Kerry Kraemer, DVM, of Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago. These tasty seeds and nuts are high in fat and could cause obesity in excessive amounts. “Rat/lab blocks are best, and many people supplement this diet with a homemade mix of other healthy foods,” Kraemer said. Consult with your rat’s veterinarian to determine the best diet for your pet. 

Also, fresh water should be provided in a sipper bottle that is checked and cleaned daily.

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