Learn what kind of food, diet, cages, bedding, and toys are good for your little pet rats!
Pet Rats - Top 8 Mistakes New Pet Rat Owners Make!
Before You Get Pet Rats
Being a dedicated rat owner can be very rewarding. However, if you're getting ready to get your very first pet rats, there are some pitfalls that you should be aware of beforehand. Here are 8 of the most common mistakes that first-time rat owners make:
1. Getting only one rat. A person might think that getting two rats is too much extra work...or that a pet rat will bond with a human owner more readily if there is no other rat around to become friends with. The truth is that rats are highly social creatures. They need to have other rat-friends to play with and to "talk" to. Furthermore, taking care of two rats is not much more work than caring for one.
2. Getting the wrong kind of bedding. Sometimes a rat owner will want to cut corners and use newspaper or cheap bedding. Rats are very sensitive to the chemicals in the ink and cheap bedding can often have dusty particles that will irritate their lungs. If you see a red discharge coming from their noses, chances are, there is an irritant present in the air. Pine wood chips are not safe! Read about Unsafe Bedding and Litter for Pet Rats
3. Feeding the rats an imbalanced diet. No, it's not cute how your furry friends can eat almost as much pizza as you. Look, there's no excuse. Fruits and veggies are not expensive items to buy; also, be sure they get their share of lab blocks, seeds, and a daily dab of a vitamin supplement.
4. Not giving them enough toys. If you bore your rats, they will become boring. Rats not only love to play, explore and solve problems, but they actually need to be constantly stimulated by a challenging learning environment. Provide them with a variety of toys and games and switch things around constantly. They'll love you for it!
5. Not taking them out to play often enough. Rats will eventually get depressed if they remain cooped up inside their limited cage environment. If you make play time fun and challenging, you will be looking forward to the bonding time as well!
6. Not cleaning the cage often or thoroughly enough. Their urine will decompose and produce ammonia. This, along with the decomposing bedding can irritate their lungs. Yes, it's a pain to do. But putting up with the unpleasant aspects will only help you to appreciate them more. Clean and disinfect with bleach-water once a week, or up to two weeks, maximum.
7. Deciding to breed for the wrong reasons. Breeding responsibly is not a lucrative or easy hobby to get into, especially at the beginning. Don't get stuck with a litter of rats that wind up becoming snake-food at a pet store. Instead, try investing some time volunteering for or starting an apprenticeship with a breeder.
8. Procrastinating on researching a qualified vet for small animals. The moment one of your rats becomes ill, you will want to have the phone number of a good vet handy. Not all vets will treat small animals or rats. Do the searching beforehand and spare yourself the frustration and desperation an emergency situation can sometimes bring about.
FancyPetRats.com last updated 8 Feb, 2017