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.