How to Take Care of a Pet Rat
Having a pet rat basically requires the same type of caring as in the case of owning other pets, as they are all feeling beings with similar basic needs.
Everything must start with the word RESPONSIBILITY. As any other pet, a rat requires time and full commitment. You are not allowed to neglect it, to hurt it or to abandon it. Remember that they cost you money for buying them the basics, they may get sick and need extra care, they require almost constant company so you should always consider buying two instead of one, they do not really like cats (in case that you also own a pet cat) and may not live harmoniously with them and it can be hard to find someone to care for them while you are on vacation. Generally, make sure that you know what caring for a rat involves, considering that there are things about it that some other people find unpleasant.
Ask yourself if you can really afford a pet rat and, if you are ready to deal with any challenge that may occur, buy your rats from a rescuer or a trustworthy breeder.
You will also need several objects for them:
? A large cage, with flooring, ramps and levels or maybe a rat complex, formed by many interconnected units, which will be very attractive for your pets.
? Special bowls for food and water. You will have to check them every day, as your pets may knock them down. You can also opt for sipper bottles.
? Rat food that you can supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables, or a little treat now and then, such as chocolate. However, do not exaggerate with fat food and sweets, as rats can become obese.
? Bedding, made of soft, absorbent material (wood-shaving, cellulose or recycled newspaper beddings are the most popular)
? A nest, or a sleeping area, which can be found in any pet store
? A rat toilet will be very appreciated by your pets and they will instinctively learn to use it, because they too like to keep their eating and sleeping place clean
? A little scoop, for cleaning soiled bedding. The cage must be cleaned daily and once a week it is required a complete cleaning, for the good health of your pets.
? Toys. Rats love to play and will be entertained by everything, though be sure that you offer them some safe options, not too little to be swallowed and with no strings that may choke them
Rats must live in a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They must be spayed/ neutered, they need periodic check-ups at the vet and they need entertainment. Rats are intelligent creatures, they learn tricks and solve problems. They also enjoy being outdoors, so take them out (in harness) anytime you can.
A happy and healthy rat is a lovely and sweet companion; gently handle your pets every day as this is a pleasant experience for them.