Pet rats’ diet includes vegetables, cereals, fruits and seeds – although they are no tvegetarians, as they also enjoy insects. Their ideal food is a mixture of dried fodder rich in vegetables and cereals.
A word of caution
A healthy, balanced diet is important for the health and long life of the pet rat. Rat owners must inform themselves in detail about the optimal nutrition of their pets. Quantity, frequency and preparation of the feed components must be understood - even healthy ingredients such as fruits can become intolerable if they are offered in too large a quantity:
- Potatoes have toxic components which must be removed before they are offered to the pet rats, and the potatoes must always be cooked.
- Pumpkin is generally a suitable food for rats with the exception of the ornamental pumpkin which contains dangerous bitter substances.
- Apples may only be offered without their seeds, as these contain prussic acid.
- Caution is also advised if you want to collect herbs for your pet rats yourself. There are some dangerous herbs which appear very similar to the healthy herb, but with a potentially fatal effect.
Good literature and explanations by nutritionists will help you put together the ideal healthy rat diet!
- Vegetables: swede and turnip, artichoke, sweetcorn, courgette, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, lamb's lettuce, endive, chard, broccoli, chicory, fennel, parsnip, paprika, beetroot, celery
- Cereals: millet, buckwheat, barley, rye, oats, wheat
- Fruit: apples (without seeds), bananas, grapes, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, currants, blackberries), melons (watermelons, sugar melons), stone fruit (Mirabelles, peaches, plums)
- Herbs: dill, sunflower petals, basil, broad plantain, yarrow, nettle, echinacea, daisy, chamomile, sage, yarrow
- Nuts: walnuts, ground nuts, hazelnuts
- Branches: apple and pear tree, hazelnut bush, poplar, lime, quince
- Seeds: grass seeds, dandelion, parsley, fennel, hemp, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds
- Animal protein: hard-boiled eggs (with shell), dairy products (skimmed curd cheese, skimmed milk yoghurt, cheese), mealworms, crickets, prawns, shrimps
- Additional: noodles, muesli, cornflakes, corn grains