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Basic Rat Diet And Treats

Check out what makes a healthy diet for rats and what types of treats are good to offer.

By Audrey Pavia

Rats require a diet low in protein and fat, and high in carbohydrates. Commercial rat and mouse pellets are best for your rat.  Another food called lab blocks can also be fed to rats. It’s best to ask an experienced pet rat owner or your vet to recommend the most nutritionally formulated brands for your small pet.

Grain mixes and hamster seed mix are welcome additions to a rat’s diet. Be sure the mix comes in an airtight bag to ensure its freshness and there’s no hint of infestation. You may add a bit of dog food to the smorgasbord but this should not be more than a quarter of the meal. This balanced mix works well in keeping rats healthy, happy and fed.

You may add fruit and vegetables to your rat's diet as well.  Most importantly, all foods should be fresh to maximize necessary vitamins and minerals, and should be introduced slowly to avoid digestive upset. Broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts contain a chemical that may help with tumor prevention. Rats are particularly keen for broccoli, garbanzo beans, plain popcorn, oranges, grapes, tomatoes, white rice, pasta and peas. Orange pieces are good if you diligently wash off the oil after peeling the skin.
Rats love table scraps, but these tend to be too high in fat and protein. Fruits and veggies make the best treats. Avoid giving treats that contain sugar.

Posted: April 2, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

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Basic Rat Diet And Treats

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Reader Comments
great article and very helpful.
Hailey, Fruitland, IA
Posted: 11/7/2014 11:41:31 AM
my rats all have loved LM brand rat pellets, they have an added bonus of being soy based which helps prevent mammary tumors in females
breanna, International
Posted: 3/2/2013 11:05:03 PM
Oxbow is known to be the best food nutritionally, but i have heard that many rats don't like the taste XP
Asa, Wisconsin, WI
Posted: 4/25/2010 5:42:40 PM
I agree with Jules and Asa. Suebees is a good mix you can make at home.Also another good food you can get is called Regal rat and is made by Oxbow.
Maddi, HB, CA
Posted: 4/13/2010 8:08:44 PM
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