Nowadays, keeping a domestic rat is becoming increasingly popular. This is due to the fact that these animals are very cute, charming and smart, and also do not require special care: they do not need to be walked like dogs, they do not need to be combed like long-haired cats. In general, keeping a rat at home is absolutely not difficult. The main thing is to know and follow certain simple recommendations. As for the rules for keeping a domestic rat, most of them are related to its nutrition, since otherwise these animals are quite unpretentious.
General recommendations for keeping a rat at home
Firstly, this pet needs a spacious cage, at least 60x60x60 cm in size. It is desirable that it has two floors. Housing for the animal must be purchased with it or even in advance. Some believe that the first time, before buying a cage, a rat can be put in an ordinary jar, but this cannot be done.
The cage must have a bedding. It can be used as shavings, pressed sawdust, chopped napkins or special filler from a pet store.
Since the rat is a very curious and intelligent animal, there should be many devices for games in the cage. It can be ladders, ropes, tunnels and so on. A wheel must be present, since rats need movement, otherwise they will suffer from diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
In addition, the rat’s dwelling must be equipped with a sleeping house. They are sold in pet stores, you can also make them yourself, for example, from a cardboard box. The cardboard house will have to be changed periodically, as the rat, most likely, will gnaw it. In the house it is desirable to place some soft ragsto keep the rat warm and cozy.
Also, a special drinker must be present in the cage, because if you put an ordinary bowl of water in the animal, it can turn it over. The water in the drinker must be changed regularly.
How to feed a domestic rat?
The first rule of feeding a pet concerns the amount of food: it should be moderate. It is not necessary to overfeed the rat, as it will be overweight. If an animal leaves malnutrition, then it needs give less food.
By nature, the rat is omnivorous, but this does not mean that absolutely everyone can feed it. This means that her menu should be varied and include products of both plant and animal origin.
You need to feed the rat regularly twice a day. More food to come give not in the morning, but in the eveningbecause it is a nocturnal animal.
It should also be noted that this animal definitely needs solid foods to grind down the teeth that grow in rodents throughout their lives. In order for the animal to gnaw something, you can even give it branches.
What foods should be given to a rat?
Lemmikkieläinten ruokavalio should include the following components:
- Vegetables, fruits, berries and herbs. This is a very important component of nutrition, as these products contain vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, which is necessary for normal digestion. Rat can be given vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, turnips, potatoes. It is desirable that they are not raw, but boiled. Almost any fruit can be given, but you must first remove the seeds from them. As for greens, the animal will be happy to eat lettuce, parsley, celery, dill, clover leaves, plantain and dandelion. Of the berries, raspberries and strawberries are especially useful.
- Meat and fish. The main mistake when keeping a rat at home is to feed it only plant foods. Meat and fish must be present in the diet of this animal. However, you need to include them in the menu 2-3 times a week. Meat and fish should be boiled, in no case raw or fried. You can also give offal, such as the heart or liver.
- Grains and nuts. Grains are the main source of carbohydrates. They can be given both in grains and in sprouted form. In the second case, they are even more useful, as they contain a lot of vitamin E, which is necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system. Rye, oats, barley, millet are suitable as feed. Nuts are a very important source of protein, but they should be given in small amounts in the animal’s diet, and almonds are best not given at all.
- Dried fruits. You can give your pet almost any of them: prunes, dried apricots, raisins.
- Dairy products and eggs. The rat can be given cheese, low-fat cottage cheese, skim milk, kefir and yogurt (without dyes). As for eggs, they should be hard-boiled and should not be given more than once a week.
- Other. As a top dressing, a pet can be given chalk, which contains calcium, as well as yeast, charcoal. In addition, in winter, when the animal’s immunity is lowered, it is advisable to purchase vitamins at a pet store.
Foods You Shouldn’t Feed Your Rat
It is forbidden to give your pet the following products:
- fatty meat (pork, etc.);
- fried and raw meat and fish;
- salty food;
- hiilihapotetut juomat;
- raw vegetables (especially potatoes, beans, cabbage, artichokes), raw carrots are allowed;
- green fruits (especially bananas and turnips);
- seeds of fruits such as plums, apples, peaches, apricots, cherries and some others, as they contain hydrocyanic acid, poisonous to rodents;
- leaves of indoor plants (most of them are poisonous to rats);
- rasvaiset maitotuotteet;
- leaves of tulip, narcissus, ivy, potato, cherry, tomato, tobacco, lily of the valley, fern.