6 Best Treats for Pet Rats

pet rat cookie

If you have a new pet rat, it is important that you know which foods to give it for treats.

There are lots of different options, and it’s a good idea to look into some of them. You don’t want to give your pet just anything, as some foods are toxic to them.

What Constitutes a Rat Treat?

A treat is any type of food that your rat enjoys eating but is not part of their everyday diet. These are special foods that you only give to your pet once in a while. It is therefore important that you choose foods that you know they love.

Why You Should Give Your Rat Treats

There are actually numerous reasons that you should give your rat the occasional treat. These special foods will serve to keep your pet happy, which in turn will contribute to their overall health. Your rat’s mental and emotional wellbeing is just as important as their physical wellbeing.

Treats can also be used when training a pet rat. Whether you are training your rat to use a litter box or stand up, these foods can be invaluable. They will provide the motivation required to learn whatever you are trying to teach them. When they do something right, always rewards them with a treat. This type of positive reinforcement has been proven to be very effective at training just about any animal.

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Certain treats offer a lot of health benefits to your rat, which is something else to consider. You should try to choose treats that are nutritious as a whole.

pet rat treats

Best Treats to give Your Pet Rat

1. Peas

Frozen peas make for an excellent treat to give your rat. This food is perfect for multiple reasons, including its small size. Your rat should have no problems eating or digesting peas.

Put some of these peas in a bowl with a couple inches of water in it. These rodents love dipping their little paws in and grapping the peas. This will serve as a nice treat and some fun playtime as well.

2. Bones

It is a good idea to give your pet rat the occasional bone. Rats gnaw on bones of dead animals in the wild, and they are packed with calcium. This will satisfy your pet’s natural instincts while providing them with an essential nutrient.

Make sure that you only give your rat bones from meat that has already been cooked. Raw bones can splinter and cut your pet’s mouth. There is also the potential for damage to their stomach, and they pose a choking hazard as well. You also don’t have to worry about making your pet fat if you give them too many.

3. Eggs

You can also feed your pet rat eggs, either hard boiled with the shell still on, or microwaved in liquid form. If you want to make this treat extra special for them, you can throw in pieces of frozen vegetables.

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4. Seeds

There is no question that rats love seeds, but you have to be careful about which ones you give your pet. Sunflower seeds and flaxseeds are good options for these animals. If you are going to train your rat to do something, you might want to use pumpkin seeds. This type of food is nutritious, but you don’t want to give it to them on a daily basis.

5. Nuts

Some of the best nuts to give your rat as a treat include walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts. It is important that you keep the shell on, as it will discourage them from eating too much too quickly.

The effort that your rat puts into getting through the shell will be good for its teeth. The last thing you want is for their teeth to get too long, as this can become very problematic.

Keep in mind that a lot of rats will reject softer nuts, as they aren’t quite as fun for them to eat. The harder the nut, the more enjoyment they will get from eating it.

6. Beans

There are many different types of beans that you can give your rat as a treat. Broad beans in particular are great for these animals, and they tend to love the taste.

You can give your rat dried beans as well, but you will have to soak and cook them first. It is never a good idea to give them dried beans in their raw form, as they are considered toxic.

pet rat eating treats

Tips for Giving Your Rat Treats

Some of the best tips to follow for giving your rat treats include:

  • Don’t make it an everyday thing: You should not give your rat treats every single day, as it will inevitably lead to excess weight gain. The more overweight your rat becomes, the more health problems they are likely to develop.
  • Keep a close eye on them: When you are giving your rat any food for the first time, you should keep a close eye on them. Look for any signs of a negative reaction.
  • Never use treats in place of regular food: It’s never a good idea to use any treat foods in place of your rat’s normal everyday food.
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  • A treat is any food that your rat enjoys and is not part of their regular everyday diet.
  • Giving your rat treats will actually serve to help maintain their mental/emotional health.
  • Certain nutritious treat foods can supplement your rat’s overall health as well.
  • Peas make for a great treat to give your rat, as they are the perfect size and quite nutritious.
  • Let your rat have the occasional cooked bone. This will help them maintain normal calcium levels.
  • Almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts are all great treats to give your rat.
  • Broad beans will be good for your pet, and they’ll most likely love the taste.
  • Never give your rat any amount of raw dried beans.
  • Hard boiled eggs with the shell still on also make for an excellent rat treat.
  • Only give your pet treats once in a while so they don’t put on any excess weight.
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