If you’ve wondered about how you should go about buying a pet rat then you’re not alone.
From bad breeders, to questionable pet shops, there’s a lot of places to buy rats that aren’t going to give you the kind of rat you’re looking for.
Not only do rats from bad conditions suffer much worse with their health, but depending on their age they can be permanently affected socially too…
This was the case with one of our own rats that we bought from a pet store, she was a beautiful and kind rat, but she never really took to handling very well and preferred to be left alone and just observe. As you may know as an experienced rat owner, this isn’t how rats are meant to be.
How To Buy A Rat Properly:
If you agree with us that it’s important to buy a rat from a reputable breeder then there’s a few things you should know.
Ask For Referrals
One of the best ways to find a reputable rat breeder is to talk to people who have rats of their own.
If you don’t know any in real life then local facebook groups can be a great way to interact with other rat owners and discuss reputable breeders.
See If They Have A Website
A lot of the most reputable breeders have their own websites, looking at the quality of information and content can be a good indicator of how experienced they are and how well the care for their rats.
Look out for:
Any of the above things is good to look out for as it will give you a good idea of whether or not they take care of their rats well.
Get In Touch
If everything is acceptable on their website it’s worth getting in touch with them, if they don’t have a website you can get in touch and ask for pictures and general information anyway.
Ask if you would be able to visit their rattery, if they don’t have a good reason for why you can’t, this could be a warning sign, even if you don’t plan on actually visiting it’s good to know that you could!
Don't Mix Genders
Female Rats can get pregnant from around 5 weeks old, so if you’re going to pick out more than one rat then make sure you’re picking the same sex.
If you want to buy a female and a male, make sure you keep them separated until the male can be neutered, or until the female rat has reached full maturity as pregnancy from a young age can cause fatal complications.When buying a rat from a breeder, make sure they haven’t kept the boys and girls together past this age, especially if you’re buying a girl.
Ask lots of questions to the breeder, good questions include asking how often they handle the rats.
You can also ask questions such as ‘What are they fed on?’ And ‘What bedding do you use?’ These are good questions to ask because a reputable and knowledgeable breeder should be using the correct food and bedding. Unsuitable bedding would be sawdust as it’s not good for the rats respiratory system.
Basic Health Check
When you pick up your rat for the first time, it’s a good idea to give them a once over to see if they are in good health.
If the rat has signs of porphyrin, a dull coat, crackly or squeaky breathing / any other signs of illness in rats then it might mean that they’re not being taken care of properly.
Not buying an unhealthy rat isn’t just about punishing the breeder by not supporting their business, but it’s also saving yourself complications further down the line as rat farms often don’t breed healthy rats due to genetic issues and poor living conditions from birth.
We have given you an actionable list of items to go out there and get in touch with reputable breeders so you can buy your rat the right way.
If you have any more questions about buying rats, or anything related to this topic, then let us know in the comments and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.