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Pet Rat Food

 Submitted by Nic on April 23, 2012

Feeding your pet rat is never a problem. Resilient creatures that they are, rats are rarely fussy eaters and being omnivorous, they enjoy both plant and animal food in their diet. What is most important however is that they receive the correct nutrients and are fed a healthy balanced diet.

Some owners may prefer to feed their pet rats an exclusive diet of homemade pet rat food while others resort to commercial feed. Ideally, a combination of the two would be your best option for a healthy diet.

If you buy commercially prepared food or treats make sure you look for diets specifically created for pet rats.

Buying pet rat food in pellet or block form is preferable as compared to loose mixes or feeds. This ensures that your pet does not pick and choose what he eats but consumes a complete balanced meal.

Your pet rat will benefit greatly from a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and other foods. A rat barely needs a serving size larger than a teaspoon to be satisfied so make sure you do not overfeed. This can lead to stomach problems such as diarrhea or constipation. For optimum health try and include the following foods in your pet rat’s diet:

• Fruits such as apples, grapes, berries, melons, and plums
• Vegetables such as carrot, peas, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, and squash
• Cooked lean meats
• Cooked beans
• Yogurt
• Soy milk
• Breakfast cereals, but make sure that these are unsweetened
• Brown rice
• Tofu
• Clean drinking water that is non-chlorinated or fluorinated

There are several websites and blogs dedicated to publishing diet tips and pet rat food recipes. A homemade diet may be more time consuming but provides the correct amount of nutrients and calories required.

Leftovers from your meals are fine once in a while but avoid feeding your pet scraps of foods that are high in fats and sugars. In addition to this, avoid feeding your pet rat the following:

• Chocolate
• Raw beans, potatoes, cabbages, or sprouts
• Junk food
• Drinks such as coffee, sodas, and alcohol
• Blue cheese
• Insects
• Spoiled food or produce

If you wonder what treats to offer your pet rat, your best bet would be whole nuts or sunflower seeds. However, be careful with these and offer them only occasionally as they are high in fat and can lead to obesity. Store bought pet rat food treats such as food sticks or yoghurt drops are high in sugar and should be avoided. Apart from this, store bought pet rat food prices tend to be higher as well. Healthier treat options include popcorn, cooked beef or chicken bones, and chew biscuits such as small dog biscuits.
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