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Dumbo rats are Sociable creatures We strongly recommend that rats are kept in same sex pairs or groups as they're very sociable and human contact alone is not enough. You should buy your rats at the same time as they'll already be friends, although new rats can sometimes be introduced later.
What sort of home do I need?
A large cage is important because rats need lots of exercise and stimulation and love to explore. There are many types of rodent cages available. However, it's essential that you buy a cage that is designed for rats and NOT for smaller rodents such as hamsters. Ideally, you should buy a large, wire multi-level cage as this will provide lots of interest and allow your rats to use the bars for climbing. Position their home away from radiators or windows to prevent sudden changes in temperature. Cover the base of the cage with a paper-based litter or other suitable litter. Provide your pets with a private space to sleep in filled with nesting material to keep them cosy.Avoid using straw as it's too sharp and may damage their eyes and mouths.
What do I eat?
Rats are scavengers in the wild and will eat a wide variety of foods. Pet rats should also be provided with a varied diet containing all the necessary food groups. Nugget diets prevent selective feeding. This is a common problem associated with muesli diets where your pets eat the bits they like and leave the rest, resulting in nutrient deficiencies although some rats manage perfectly well on this diet. You can feed your pets fresh food such as cooked egg, cooked chicken scraps and washed fruit and vegetables such as apples, carrots and sprouts to supplement their basic diet and provide different flavours for them to try. Hanging seed sticks or hiding treats or monkey nuts around their cage provides fun and tasty challenges as well as stimulating natural behaviour! When feeding your pets any of the additional foods mentioned here, you should do so in moderation to avoid stomach upsets and weight gain, restricting treats to one or two a day.A ceramic or metal food bowl is best for your pets they're gnaw-proof, hard to knock over and easily cleaned and disinfected. Remove left over food and wash their food bowl thoroughly everyday before re-filling it. Rats tend to drink more water than other rodents so a large water bottle is essential. Provide fresh water daily.
Rats need a stimulating environment whilst awake and love to play so should have lots of toys to keep them entertained. Rat, ferret and some large bird toys are great fun as well as tunnels and ropes. Avoid buying hamster toys as they're too small.Alarge rat ball or wheel is ideal for burning off energy. By simulating their natural environment, you can enrich your pets lives - keep a pair of rats or a group of them, hide food and treats around their cage and provide lots of different toys to climb on, hide in and chew.
When you take your rats home they should be left alone for the first day or two to allow them to get used to their new home. Let them sniff your hand so they get to know you and your smell. Gently stroke your pets to reassure them and once they're comfortable with this you can pick them up. A rat should be gently scooped up with both hands. Never pick your rats up by their tails. Once they're used to you they'll enjoy coming out to play. As rats like to chew, they should always be supervised when there out of their cage. Personal hygiene Clean their home thoroughly at least once a week using hot water and a pet-safe disinfectant. If your pets use one area of their cage as a toilet this will need to be cleaned daily - using a litter tray in this area will make cleaning easier.£8.00
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