As a fancy rat owner, you already know that your tiny pet can provide you with hours of endless entertainment. While training and loving on your precious little buddy--or buddies--is important, nutrition management is one of the best ways to keep rats healthy. Rats are prone to many different health conditions, mostly due to rampant over-breeding. Research has shown that certain foods may help to prevent these conditions, either directly or indirectly by providing vital nutrients and minerals for health. Feed these three healthy foods to help your little darling live long and prosper.
Fresh blueberries pack a healthful antioxidant punch and make an excellent snack for your pet rat. As rats are particularly prone to abscesses and cysts, antioxidants are very useful; they help to boost their immune system and fight off infection. Feed them plain and in moderation--one or two blueberries per rat, per day is plenty. Rats don't need sugar or syrups on their blueberries.
Breakfast cereals are not only a tasty treat for your rat; they also help to supplement a number of vitamins and minerals like iron, B vitamins, and vitamin D. However, it's important to choose a healthy, low-sugar cereal instead of sugary snack formulas. Puffed wheat, puffed rice, and plain toasted O's work well, as do wheat squares. Feed them plain as a treat or mix them in with a staple lab block.
Spinach contains antioxidants and iron, two vital nutrients for your rat's health. Iron helps your rat to produce red blood cells and also contributes to better energy metabolism. Furthermore, they are low-calorie enough that you can feed small leaves regularly without worrying about weight gain. Whenever possible, feed adult leaves rather than baby leaves, as younger spinach leaves contain more sugar.
This delicious superfood isn't just suitable for a salad; it's suitable for rats, too! In fact, a popular Molasses Mix recipe contains kale as one of its primary ingredients. This super-green superfood is packed with antioxidants, too. As with other healthy foods, feed it plain or add it to something like the Molasses Mix for best results. You can also mix kale and spinach leaves together with a little bit of chopped green olive (be sure to remove pits or pimentos first) for a healthy rat salad.
Research shows that garlic may help humans to fight infection, and this is true for rats, too. Unlike dogs and cats, rats can eat garlic in moderation safely. Some rats even like it plain and will chew on a full clove directly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If your rat balks at the idea of chewing on a garlic clove, it's fine to use the garlic in other foods to help mask its strong flavor. Try frying up a slice of firm tofu with the garlic for a healthy treat. Garlic helps to prevent infection, while research is showing that soy may prevent various cancers in rats.
Purple Grapes (Seedless)
Handing your rat a juicy grape is like handing them a delicious piece of candy. They're sweet and packed with cancer-preventing phytochemicals like resveratrol. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends them for humans, but the same theory applies to rats, too. To make it easier for your rat to enjoy grapes, slice them in half before you offer them. Always give seedless grapes, as seeds do contain a small amount of cyanide that may be harmful to your rat.
As a final note, balance is everything when it comes to feeding your furry little friend. If you notice diarrhea or loose stools after feeding leafy greens and vegetable matter, it may be that you're overfeeding. Pare back on these items for a few days and reintroduce them slowly once the issue has resolved. Remember, a single rat-sized serving is tiny--less than the size of your pinky fingernail is a good rule of thumb. For questions about your pet's nutrition or health concerns, schedule an appointment with your local vet clinic today.Share