What Should I Feed My Pet Rat?

A healthy diet is very important to keep rats healthy and that they would have a long satisfying life.

A good diet for rats should include both quality dry food and healthy fresh food.

Lets talk about dry food first.

Pet shops usually carry a selection of rodent foods. It is best to choose a product meant specifically for rats, so that our pets will receive all the nutrients they will need from it. Another option is to make the dry mix yourself, but I would suggest to do a thorough research before, so that the rats nutritional needs would be met with the dry mix. I the dry food mix doesn´t contain all the necessary ingredients, the rat will miss some nutrients from the diet and that will influence rats overall health and lifespan. A good guide for creating your dry food mix for rats can be found here.

Dry food should be kept in the cage all the time. Rats should have have constant access to dry food and water.

And now get to fresh food.

Rat should have a good selection of fresh and healthy food. It is best if the fresh food selection would wary from day to day.

Rats benefit from eating a variety of fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables.

Here is a list of foods suitable to give to a rat:

  • cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • carrots
  • pumpkin
  • tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • banana
  • apples
  • cantaloupe
  • watermelon
  • bell peppers
  • meat, sausages
  • cheese
  • cereal
  • rice
  • pasta and bread
  • melons
  • zucchini
  • turnips
  • peas
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • mango
  • mushrooms
  • radish
  • raisins
  • kidney beans, green beans (cooked only)
  • lettuce, kale
  • avocado (flesh only, no skin or stone)
  • raspberries
  • blackcurrants
  • bean sprouts
  • beetroot
  • celery
  • and more…

If you are in doubt, whether some foods and suitable or not to give to your rat, please do some research. there are many resources online where information about rats diet can be found. Although rats can eat the majority of foods, there are some harmful foods they shouldn´t get. Here is a list of foods that are either harmful of not recommended for rats (for different reasons).

Some pet owners prefer to give fresh food to their rats once a day, other twice or even three time a day. Feeding your rat fresh food twice a day would be good.