As the popularity of keeping rats as pets continius to increase each year, we have noticed more and more people specifically reaching out to ask about feeding their pet rats a number of different food types.
Due to some foods that many people think are safe for rats actually being unsafe for them as well as so many people reaching out to ask about giving their rats these different food types, we have decided to publish our own article going over them.
Our hope is that we will be able to help our readers who do have a pet rat better understand the ins and outs of these different foods and if you should be using them for your pet rat or not.
As with most things, suitable foods are generally fine when ate in moderation but they should always be used as a part of a balanced diet.
Thats why we will be covering the food types that we often see people asking about using with their pet rats as if they were being used as a treat food to supplement a high quality rat food that is used as a main meal.
This should be able to ensure that you are delivering a nutritionally complete diet for your pet rat to ensure that it is able to live a long and healthy life.
Can Rats Eat Baby Food?
Most rats really enjoy having veggie baby food as a treat food with the fruit based recipes usually being the more preferred options over the vegitabl options.
Although a meat based baby food can be used in small amounts, it contains more than double the amount of protein your rat should have in a meal so it will need you to balance the protein content out with other food sources.
Can Rats Eat Dog Treats?
Most meat based dog treats are far too high in protein for a rat but you can sometimes find some options that fall within the acceptable range of 12%-20% protein that you can use with your pet rat.
Can Rats Eat Quinoa?
Quinoa can be an excellent rat treat with most rats really enjoying the taste of cooked white quinoa but less rats tend to enjoy red quinoa or uncooked quinoa.
The nutritional profile of quinoa is a little too high in sugar to be used as a staple food but it can be used as a treat on occasion.
Some rats love quinoa so much that they will actually wag their tail while the eat it with quinoa being one of the more reliable ways to get your rat to display this behavior and it is commonly being used for videos of rats wagging their tail for social media.
Can Rats Eat Jelly?
Rats can and will eat jelly with most rats really enjoying it but we would highly recommend that you use a sugar free jelly if possible.
Although rats will happily eat normal jelly, its sugard content is a little too high for them and they may end up having a little digestive upset. Sugar free jelly can still be very tasty with rats enjoying it without the risk of any issues due to the higher sugar in regular jelly.
Can Rats Eat Ferret Food?
Most rats should have a diet that is 12%-20% protein but most decent ferret foods are 30%-40% protein so you will have to supplement your pet rats diet with other food sources to reduce their over all protein intake for that day.
Very small amounts of ferret food can be fed to your pet rat in moderation though if it is all that you have available but its protein content is far too high to be the only food source for your rat for the day.
Can Rats Eat Oatmeal?
Both dry and wet oatmeal are generally find for rats when used in moderation but the oatmeal should be plain and free from any flavorings that add additional sugar to the oatmeal. Many of the flavored oatmeal on the market that has honey or syrup flavors are far too high in their sugar content for a rat and can cause health problems.
Too much oatmeal will usually result in weight gain in your pet rat and also lead to health issues to portion control is essential.
Can Rats Eat Salmon?
Salmon is safe for rats in both its cooked and raw forms with most rats tending to prefer cooked salmon over raw salmon.
If you do plan to offer your pet rat raw salmon then we would highly recommend that you freeze it before hand to deal with any harmful bacteria on the salmon prior to giving it to your rats.
Salmon is actually extremely nutritious and can be a quick and easy way to get a bunch of different vitamins and minerals in your pet rat with ease.
Can Rats Eat Arugula?
Arugula (sometimes called rocket) can be a great treat for rats as it is classed as a super food and is jam packed with various vitamins and minerals that can help to prevent various skin and bone problems in your rat as well as reduce the chance of cancer.
You should not offer your pet rat arugula on a regular basis though as rats are unable to digest the cellulose in arugula and it can lead to digestive upset if they eat too much of it.
Can Rats Eat Hot Dogs?
Although rats can eat hot dogs and will often enjoy them, they really should be used in moderation due to their extremely high salt content.
Many rat owners will feed their pet rats hot dogs on a regular basis but it does start to increase the chances of health issues developing.
A third of a standard sized hot dog every three to four days is usually considered to be fine though as most rats really do love eating hot dogs.
Can Rats Eat Mint?
Mint is nutritionally fine for a rat to eat but many rats tend to avoid eating it due to its strong scent and taste. A small number of rats will happily eat mint though and it can have a direct effect on the scent of your rat too if your rat eats mint leaves on a regular basis.
Can Rats Eat Alfalfa?
Rats can eat alfalfa and it can offer a quick and easy way to get some essential vitamins and minerals into your pet rat with ease as many rats will happily eat alfalfa.
The problem is that alfalfa does contain high amounts of cellulose that your pet rat is unable to digest so too much alfalfa can cause digestive upset if fed too often.
Most rats can happily eat small amounts of alfalfa though and as cellulose is a source of fiber, it can help them stay regular in their bowl movements when used in moderation.
Can Rats Eat Rosemary?
A number of studies have been done into the effects of feeding rats foods with rosemary on them and although no adverse effects or mortality was observed in the rats during the test period, it was reported that most rats seems to not like the taste of rosemary making it difficult to get the test subjects to eat it.
If you are sharing your own food that has been seasoned with rosemary with your pet rat then there should be no problems as rosemary is only used in small doses but don’t be surprised if your pet rat does not eat the food that you offer it.
Can Rats Eat Figs?
Rats can eat figs in moderation but they are far too high in sugar to be used as a rat treat on a regular basis.
A single fig broken up and spread throughout the week is generally find and a good option as rats do tent to really enjoy the taste of figs but a whole fig at once can spike their blood sugar and cause various issues.
Can Rats Eat Jalapenos?
Some rats really enjoy eating jalapenos but we would highly recommend that you take the time to remove the seeds and membrane as the heat can cause problems.
The issue is that this tends to increase the preparation time to make the jalapeno safe for your rat to eat. Bell peppers will often be a much quicker and easier option due to the lack of heat in them while still being a tasty rat treat.
Can Rats Eat Flowers?
Although rats will eat flowers, some flowers are toxic to rats and can actually kill them, even if ate in small amounts. It can be common for wild rats to be lured in by the scent of a flower to eat it only to discover that the flower is toxic to them later.
Some flowers are commonly fed to pet rats as a treat food though as many flowers are totally safe for rats to eat.
Can Rats Eat Dandelions?
Dandelions are one of the most common flowers for eats to eat and most rats will really enjoy to eat the actual flower of the dandelion. The leaves and stem are also edible but do contain a large amount of cellulose so they should only be used in moderation.
The roots of the dandelion plant are also edible to rats too but most rats tend to just ignore the roots and focus on eating the actual flower and petals.
Can Rats Eat Lavender?
Some people have reported using lavender as a rat food but we would recommend against using it as the strong scent of lavender is often used as a rat repellent.
We have also seen reports of people saying that they gave their pet rat lavnder to eat and it then developed respiratory issues. In our opinion, more research needs to be done but we see no reason to take the risk and feed your pet rat lavender.
Can Rats Eat Dragon Fruit?
Rats can eat the flesh of dragon fruit but you should never feed them the skin of the fruit.
There is actually published research that has shown a number of benefits for diabetic rats who are fed dragon fruit too but the majority of people will just be using dragon fruit as a regular treat for their pet rats.
It is a solid treat food option for your pet rats but dragon fruit should only be used as a part of a balanced diet.
Can Rats Eat Edamame?
Edamame is safe for rats to eat with some rats loving edamame as a treat food option but it can be difficult to find depending on the season.
It can be worth trying your rats with some esamame to see how they react to it because some rats tend to love it where as others are totally indifferent to it that they may not even try to eat it.
If you do have pet rats that like to eat edamame then it can be a quick, easy, and cheap treat food for your rats to eat.
Can Rats Eat Oregano?
We would not recommend that your feed your pet rats oregano as we have seen reports of rats having respiritary problems after eating oregano.
In addition to this, oregano is also a common rat repellant too and there is simply not enough research into the effects of oregano on rats to safely recommend it even though we do often see people asking about feeding it to their pet rats.
Can Rats Eat Tofu?
Tofu is controversial amongst the rat community with some rat owners giving it to their pet rats in very small amounts while others refuse to use it.
This is usually due to the salt content of the tofu as well as many tofu options coming with flavorings that present a potential risk to your pet rat too.
Some people do feed their pet rats tofu but there are plenty of other safe options that are also vegan/vegetarian friendly that you can use for your rats.
Can Rats Eat Lentils?
Although lentils are safe for rats to eat, most rats are totally indifferent to them and although some rats will eat them, it is usually only if there is no other food sources available.
Feel free to try lentils as a treat food for your rats but if you are trying to spoil your rats or find a high value treat for a reward for training your rats then there are definitely other options that rats will actively work for as a reward food.
Can Rats Eat Lima Beans?
Lima beans can be problematic in rats if they are not cooked perfectly so we usually just recommend against even trying to use them as a rat food supplement.
There are just too many alternative foods that you are able to use as a rat treat that are safer and require less preparation prior to use.
That brings our article going over our thoughts on the more common rat treat foods that we see people asking about. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the foods that you should and shouldn’t be offering your pet rat as a treat as well as how frequently you should be giving them to your rat too. Thankfully, there are a huge number of excellent options to supplement rat food and to help you keep your pet rats diet as interesting as possible.