If you wish to care for sweet, smart, and adorable pets, we got a recommendation for you: rats. Yes, you read that right. The reason we’re suggesting these creatures is that they are not just easy to maintain, they are also very cuddly and soft. Aside from that, they do know how to perform tricks that will truly delight you and your entire family.
Over the years, rats have acquired a negative reputation. While some believe it is because of their tails, others think it is because of their history in which they are commonly used as objects of horror and revulsion. But then again, we want to clean up their name. Those rats that scare the hell out of us are the wild rats, which usually come in dark colors. The rats that make great pets are those that are sold in pet stores as they are already domesticated.
So if you are planning to get pet rats for your household or you already have one, we suggest you follow the tips presented below to make sure that they live happily and healthily.
Be Wary of Possible Health Problems
The most effective way to ensure that your pet rats live longer is to always take preventive health care measures. As early as possible, take your little critters to the nearest animal hospital for a health examination.
The medical team who will be checking on your pets knows what to do. First, they will their bodies to check whether there are any possible internal parasites that can cause health issues. And then, they will test them for diseases that are common among their species. Lastly, they will give you advice about choosing the right diet and rat cages that suit them best.
Treat Any Respiratory Illnesses Right Away
Sad to say, some of the rats sold at pet stores are exposed to a deadly respiratory disease called Mycoplasma. Whenever your pet shows symptoms like heavy breathing, sneezing, rough hair coat, and squinting, make sure you bring them to the vet for an exam. Once the reason is identified, they will be given adequate treatment. Although respiratory diseases among rats are really dangerous, if checked early, it can be easily treated with proper diet and medication.
Feed Them Right
Like humans, rats are omnivores. They feed on almost anything they see, such as seeds, roots, fruits, insects, and leaves. Even so, you must not let them eat anything you want. As much as possible, feed them with excellent-quality pellets as these contain all the essential vitamins and minerals their body needs.
After that, it would be best if you can supplement their diet with fresh produce like fruits and vegetables. And again, on top of their diet should be access to fresh and clean water. To make sure the water does not get dirty, it is better if you use a water bottle with a sipper tube. And every day, make sure you refill it with clean water.
Provide Them with a Happy Home
Of course, you need to make your pets feel at home. But how do you do that? Well, you can begin by putting them inside the right rat cage.
According to experts, it is best that you purchase a cage made of strong material so that your rats won’t chew on the bars. Avoid using closed cages, such as glass aquariums as these enclosures do not allow air to properly flow. When it is too warm, your pets might become too stressed and you don’t want that to happen.
When choosing a rat cage, make sure it is wide enough for a mature rat. As a general rule, it must have a floor space of at least 40 square inches. Also, its height must be 7 inches more than the height of the rat.
To ensure comfort, it is best that you cover the floor with a bedding material like shredded newspaper or cotton. Since rats like to dig and hide, using such materials for the bedding would be a wise decision as they are soft and comfy. But then again, you have to make sure all these are clean and are free from toxins.
Spend Time with Them
Although most rodents do not like to be handled or played with, others take pleasure in spending time with their human friends. In fact, some of them prefer to hide in pockets or nap on the lap of their human owner.
For those rats that have already been tamed, they can be taught to perform simple treats using some treats. And because they are curious and active, it is very important that you give them something to do when you aren’t with them. For instance, you can purchase rat equipment like tunnels and wheels for them to have a venue for exercise.
To sum it all up, rats are indeed ideal pets for almost everyone. And taking care of them and making them happy would be easier and fun if only you are equipped with the right knowledge.