Choosing Your New Pet Rats

Picking out your new pets can be very exciting but don’t rush out and buy the first rats that you see.  Think about whether you want males or females.  I am using plurals because you should not keep a single rat as rats are very social animals.  Do you want older rescue rats or baby rats?  You can find some great older rats at an animal shelter.  If you decide on purchasing your rats as babies you are better off getting them from a good breeder.  Good breeders spend time with the baby rats getting them used to people.  You will also see the parents of the baby rats.  Rats purchased from a breeder may cost a little more than rats from a pet store but it is probably worth the extra cost.  Rats kept at a pet store are usually not as socialized.

When you do decide where to get your rats, check out where the rats are kept.  The cages shouldn’t be crowded nor should they be dirty.

Make sure that the rats that interest you are friendly.  Your prospective pet rat should let you handle it.  Even better if it comes over to you.  All of my friendliest rats loved being handled from day one.  Check to be sure that any rats you choose have clear eyes.  They should be free of any breathing problems as well.  Be sure they have no lumps are any lesions on their skin.  Follow these steps and you should be off to a good start.

Thinking About Getting a Pet Rat?

  1. Here are some things to consider:
  2. Rats are nocturnal, but tame rats will happily come out to spend time with you in the daytime.
  3. Rats are very intelligent animals.
  4. Males vs. Females?  Males are larger and have a coarser coat.  They also tend to be less active.  Females are smaller and a bit more active.  They also have a softer coat.  In my opinion both sexes make excellent pets.
  5. Unfortunately, rats only live about 2-3 years.  They sometimes live longer, but that is rare.  You should be prepared to bring them to a veterinarian if they need one, since they can be prone to respiratory illnesses.  They can also get tumors. Some people spay or neuter their rats as well.
  6. You really should get at least two rats since rats that are kept as singles can get very lonely.
  7. Rats can become very attached to their owners and need plenty of attention.  Some people train their rats to do tricks.  I have had rats that would follow me around, even following me up stairs or climb up on furniture to hang out with me.

Some Quick Info About Dwarf Rats

Pet dwarf rats have not been around as long as other types of pet rats.

Dwarf rats are about 1/3 the size of standard rats.

Dwarf rats live just as long as standard rats.  Some say that dwarf rats are more resistant to some types of cancer.

Dwarf rats tend to be more active than standard size rats, at least until they are about 9 months old.

You should wait until your baby dwarf rats are at least 6 or 7 weeks old until you  bring them home.



Meet My Pet Dwarf Rats

100_3950At the present present time I own two dwarf rats.  I purchased Barney and Fred from a breeder over two years ago when they were about 10 weeks old.  Although they would be considered elderly by now,  they are still quite active.  These guys are very sweet and friendly.  Of the many rats I have owned over the years, these guys are among my favorites.