A number of photographs and videos have gone viral on social media recently leading to a sudden spike in the popularity of keeping rats as pets. This has resulted in a large number of questions from people new to keeping rats on what they should and shouldn’t be feeding their pet rat. Although it may seem a little random compared to some of the other rat food questionsthat we see people asking, we have noticed people specifically asking if rats eat worms recently.
Due to seeing so many people asking if rats can eat worms recently, we wanted to publish a dedicated article covering the topic. Now, to be clear, we are talking about larger worms such as earthworms as a part of the diet of your rat rather than the smaller parasitic worms that can cause rats problems.
From what we can tell from the people reaching out about feeding their rats worms, the questions have arrisen from people walking their pet rat on a rat walking harness and their rat foraging and finding an earthworm to eat. Some of the rat owners have been worried about the fact that their rat has ate an earthworm so we hope that our article is able to put your mind at ease.
Do Rats Eat Worms?
Rats are omnivores and can eat both plant and animal based foods including earthworms and a range of other type of worm too. Worms and other insects make up a surprisingly large amount of a wild rats diet than most people initially realise so an earthworm or two should not cause your pet rat any major problems.
If you do let your rat out of the house one a rat walking harness for some exercise then it will be common for your rat to forage under plants looking for insects and it will usually try to eat anything it finds. In some rare situations, rats may dig in the dirt and eat any worms that they find too with some rats getting very excited when they find a worm while others can appear to get confused if they have never seen a worm before.
Earthworms and other types of worm that your pet rat may find while foraging can add some variety to its diet from its normal foods and help to keep its diet interesting. That said though, most rat owners will usually integrate some type of rat treat food into their rats diet anyway.
The Nutritional Values Of Worms For Rats!
Earthworms are an excellent source of protein while also having high mounts of iron and amino acids with decent levels of copper, manganese, and zinc too. They are low in carbohydrates and fats though so provide little energy meaning they should only be used as a treat food or if your rat finds a worm while foraging.
On a macronutrient basis, earthworms do tend to be too high in protein as a primary food source but as a small part of a well balanced rat diet, they will generally fit in without issue. With many rat foods actually being deficient in amino acids, an earthworm or two per week can be a good way to top up the amino acid intake of your pet rat.
Most earthworms are around three percent essential vitamins and minerals giving them a higher than average vitamin content than most natural foods. That said though, earthworms are not nutritionally complete for your pet rat when it comes to vitamins and minerals so you should never rely on them making up a large part of your rats diet.
Should You Feed Your Rat Worms?
You can feed your rat worms as a treat food or leave your rat to find any earthworms that it may find when playing but there is usually no real need to go out of your way to find worms for your rat to eat. There are usually better treat food options available that your rat is able to eat that serve the same purpose as worms while also helping to increase the vitamin and mineral intake of your rat too.
For example, feeding your rat peas is a quick, easy, and cheap way to increase the nutritional value in your rats diet. Another great option is rat treats but most people tend to have some type of rat treat in their rats diet anyway with various other kitchen scraps being great options for your pet rat too.
As with most things when it comes to food, moderation really is key and the more variety in your rats diet the better. Most high-quality rat foods are well balanced and contain a wide range of suitable food sources prior to being mixed together helping to offer your pet rat a range of essential vitamins and minerals.
That brings our article going over if rats eat worms or not to an end. We hope that you have found our article helpful and that we have been able to help you better understand how earthworms and various other types of worms will generally be fine for your pet rat to eat and will rarely cause any issues. Worms tend to make up a part of the diet of a wild rat along with other bugs and insects so pet rats are usually able to digest them without problem.