As keeping rats as pets continue to increase in popularity with each year that goes by, the number of questions from the rat keeping community that we see each month also increases too. These questions range form how to offer your pet rat the best care to the various types of food that you are able to feed your pet rat as a treat with more and more random foods being asked about each month.
For today’s article, we are going to be focusing on if rats can eat shrimp or not due to so many people reaching out and asking about giving their pet rats shrimp as a treat food. Due to many humans having allergies to shrimp protein, it is only logical that a large number of pet owners will be worried about giving their pets shrimp too incase it causes allergies to flare up in them.
Although rats do have some food allergies, they have no where near as many allergies as humans or other pets such as dogs usually making feeding your pet rat treats much easier. We will be covering three main areas of feeding your pet rat shrimp in this article and we have added a table of contents below to make it as quick and easy as possible to skip to specific sections with ease.
Can Rats Eat Shrimp?
The vast majority of rats can eat shrimp without issue with many rats loving all types of shrimp ranging from regular shrimp to shrimp tails with some rats heaven eating shrimp shell in some situations. The majority of people stick to just regular shrimp as a treat food for their rats every now and then though.
If you do feed your pet rats shrimp on a regular basis then there is a chance that your pet rat will get so excited that it will actually wag its tail in anticipation of being given the shrimp. Although it is very rare for rats to wag or shake their tail due to being excited, shrimp are one of the few foods that rats seem to enjoy enough to get excited about enough to shake their little tails.
A properly repaired shrimp presents minimal risk to your pet rat too due to the meat being so soft and easy to eat with most rats absolutely devouring their shrimp within seconds of getting it. Keep in mind though, there is always a small chance of allergies to the shrimp protein so if this is the first time feeding your rat shrimp, we would highly recommend that you only try them with a small amount of shrimp at first and then closely observe them for a day or two. Most allergy flare-ups in rats are actually delayed so it may take a day or two to start showing up and for your rat to show symptoms.
Nutritional Benefits Of Shrimp For Rats!
Shrimp is an excellent source of protein for your pet rat while also being a good source of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B12, B6 and niacin too. Due to prawns being so high in protein, it is generally not recommended that you give your pet rat many prawns as a rats total calorie intake for the day should be 16% with prawns being able to push their protein intake much higher than that.
This is why you should strictly restrict the number of shrimp that your pet rats are able to eat with a single shrimp every few days usually being recommended. You are able to alternate your rate treats between shrimp and something like pumpkin seeds and nutritionally complete rat treats to help keep the diet of your pet rat as balanced as possible.
You should always be using a high-quality, suitable primary rat food as the main staple of their diet anyway as this forms a great base to add various types of treats to. You really can branch out with a wide range of different treat options for your pet rat such as shrimp once you have a solid basis of their diet set.
Should You Feed Your Pet Rat Shrimp?
Most rats seem to absolutely love eating shrimp so we would highly recommend that you at least try giving your pet rat shrimp at least once to see how it reacts. If your rat enjoys the shrimp then you can try to add a single shrimp to their diet two to three times per week but any more may end up putting to much protein into their diet and potentially result in kidney and liver issues.
As we touched on above, you can rotate treat foods for your rats each day to help keep their diet as interesting as possible if you wish too and this is becoming a more and more common method of feeding rats. Our article going over 23 unique rat treat foods should be enough to give you all the ideas you could ever want when it comes to treat foods for your rats.
You are also able to integrate the more common rat treats such as peas that rats usually love too. This should allow you to easily keep the diet of your rat as interesting as possible while also being as nutritionally complete as possible with many of the treat foods you give your rat such as peas or pawns being human foods that you may have in your home anyway due to eating them yourself.
That concludes our article going over if rats can eat shrimp and we hope that we have been able to help you decide if you want to give your pet rat some shrimp to try. In our opinion, you should at least try shimp as a treat for your rats once as they really do seem to love the food. It offers some great vitamin and mineral exposure too but is too high in protein to be used as a staple or regular treat as we covered earlier in the article.