Pet rat care is a wonderful hobby for those looking for a manageable pet. However, just because they are small creatures, it should not be assumed that pet rat care is easy. As with care for any other pet, pet rat care also requires a bit of learning and practice to ensure that your rats are healthy, clean and fun.

Pet rat care begins with picking the right rat out of a cage that has many young ones. Buying them from a good or renowned breeder is recommended at all times. Baby rats, or kittens, bought from a pet shop can be quite a gamble as you never know how the animal has been treated. Most stores have people who know the right pet rat care techniques and love these animals but you may also come across others, where they have not received proper care.

Pet rat care also requires you to slowly get your pet rat accustomed to you. This means, whispering while talking to it, hanging around them to get them accustomed to your smell and picking them up whether they want you to or not. Such attention at a young age ensures that they are accustomed to your voice and touch by the time they grow up.

Pet rat care involves letting the rats out for a run every now and then. Remember to rat-proof your home because nothing is safe from their sharp teeth. They can knock things over and slip through tiny holes and under doors so these need to be blocked out before you let them out of their cages.

Ventilation is extremely important in pet rat care, as is cleanliness. Rat droppings can cause respiratory problems in your pet rats and it is vital to clean the cage. The frequency of cleaning depends on the size of the cage and the smaller the cage, the more frequent the cleaning sessions must be. However, it is always advisable to leave a bit of litter behind as that ensures that the rats always feel at home. Wire cages are the best option and need to be lined with wood shavings, which act as litter, and bedding, for which shredded paper is perfectly fine.

Pet rat care‘s next most important element is the food and while you can feed your pet rat anything, it is best to either stick to processed food available in the market or buy natural wholesome food such as brown rice, vegetables, grains or even bread. For ideal pet rat care, keep fresh water in the cage at all times.

Pet rat care is also extended during the time when the rat may be unwell. Remember to choose a vet who is accustomed to treating pet rats and has prior experience. Proper pet rat care means that you need to see a vet as soon as your rat seems unwell. Rats might be strong creatures but they can rapidly decline if their condition is serious.

Although tine, pet rats can be quite a handful especially if you have a few. These social creatures need plenty of exercise and other similar creatures around them if they are to live a happy and healthy life. Knowing the best ways to keep them healthy is the first step to proper pet rat care.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.