Fresh food is very important for rats. But when feeding untreated food you have to consider a lot. We will show you how you can provide your rats with fresh food in a healthy, varied, and absolutely safe way.
Your rats will only feel really comfortable with you if they are fed a varied diet. That’s why your rats absolutely need fresh fruit and vegetables – in addition to grains and the like. Pet rats are omnivores, but that doesn’t mean that they can eat everything. On the contrary – there are a few things to consider when feeding a rat appropriate to the species. Especially when feeding raw food, keep your eyes open: A lot can go wrong here!
Fresh fruit for rats
To keep the rats healthy and fit, you need to offer them fresh fruit. Apple slices, chopped bananas, pears, and melons are particularly suitable. Rats also tolerate kiwis. However, you should absolutely avoid stone fruit: it contains a lot of sugar and, in combination with water, can lead to diarrhea in your rats.
Your rat must not eat fruit and berries with the high acid content of citrus fruits. The acid it contains irritates your rat’s mucous membranes and acidifies the urine.
Rats need fresh vegetables
Only those who give their rats fresh vegetables to eat every day feed them healthily. Here, too, you cannot offer the rats every type of vegetable indiscriminately: the oxalic acid contained in many types of vegetables is too hot for rats – you should therefore under no circumstances feed your rats leeks and onions, pepperoni, and radishes.
However, corn, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes (without greens) are harmless and tasty for pet rats. Peas, broccoli, and cauliflower can also be tasty—although these vegetables should only be cooked (and chilled!) to the rats and not served too frequently.
Caution! These vegetables are absolutely unsuitable for your rats:
- raw potatoes
- Onions (chives, leeks, garlic, and onions)
Tasty berries for your rats
Berries can be a delicious treat for your rats. You can easily feed them fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, and grapes (without seeds). But keep your hands off berries that contain a lot of fruit acid: the acid not only irritates the mucous membranes of the rat but also acidifies their urine.
Other fresh food that the rat likes
In addition to fruit, vegetables, and berries, there is more than your pet rat can eat. Lettuce varieties such as chicory, iceberg lettuce, and lamb’s lettuce are a good change from conventional feeding. The endive also provides your rat with many minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.
With fennel, both bulbs and greens can be fed – here the rats benefit particularly from the high mineral and vitamin content. You can also provide your rats with all types of pumpkins that are also suitable for humans. Ornamental gourds stay away from the rat cage. Celery – preferably peeled – can also be fed to your rats with its leaves. Rats also enjoy dandelions, complete and with flowers.
This is how you make your rat happy
Aside from the right food, your rat needs a well-appointed cage that provides plenty of exercises. So here’s what makes your rat happy:
General rules for fresh food for rats
You should observe these rules when giving your rats fresh food:
When is fresh food available?
Feeding rats with grains is far from enough. You must ensure that your rats are provided with fresh fruits and vegetables every day. This is the only way for a rat to be fed healthy and appropriate to the species.
The quantity matters
When feeding raw foods, be careful not to give your rats too much of it. Rats like to hoard – leftover food will be hidden in small cracks or corners. It can quickly happen that the fruit rots there. In addition, your rats can only tolerate a certain amount of fresh food – too many fresh treats can lead to diarrhea and flatulence.
Avoid food jealousy between rats
So that not only the strongest get some of the delicious food, you should only serve it in small pieces and distribute it throughout the cage.
Fresh feed quality is important
Your rats should only be fed fruits and vegetables that have been thoroughly washed to minimize exposure to pesticides. Fresh organic food is best.