When we first got rats we wanted to figure out how we could ensure that they lived the longest, happiest life possible.
One of the ways to do that is make sure your rats are as healthy as possible, and there are 5 common things that you can do that make the most difference to ensure it.
5. Use Nutritionally Complete Food
Nutritionally complete foods means food that is bought from specialized sellers that focus on rats.
Such foods include Harlan Teklad among others.
These foods tend to come in blocks or pellets and they're formulated down to the micro-gram to ensure your rats get all the right minerals, macro-nutrients and so on.
We did a review on these types of foods that you can see here.
4. Introduce Exercise Playtimes
We all know that it's important to get rats out to play and socialize.
One very good way to ensure they're healthy is to alternate what they're doing during their 'out of cage' time.
We took our inspiration from some of those amazingly talented folks who train their clever ratties to do tricks.
So recently we've taken to creating fun little games for our boys, that involve varying degrees of difficulty to complete. You can use everything from cat platforms for climbing to your own creations!
The point is that exercise is a wonderful way to keep your rats healthy, when a body gets used to something it goes into a state called homeostasis, which is why as humans our workouts always need to get harder!
The same is true of your rats, so mix it up!
3. Supplement Their Diet With Vegetables
While the staple diet of a rat should be nutritionally complete food (see point 5), the second part of the picture is feeding them healthy foods full of anti-oxidants.
There's no better option than fruits & vegetables!
We actually spent hours researching fruits and vegetables that have the best vitamins and so on for rats, and made a superfood list for rats.
2. Buy A Bigger Cage
The main benefit of having a bigger cage, even if you have one that's big enough is that more room never hurt any rat!
Rats in the wild have huge territories that they roam over, and having lots of room makes your rats happier.
If you've ever had a rat that's all on their own, you'll know they can get depressed, so there's certainly anecdotal proof to show that rats can be depressed.
One thing that depresses rats is not having enough room or stimulation.
Depression is linked to many diseases and health issues, so keeping your rat healthy is also a question of keeping them happy!
We compared the biggest rat cages available for easy ordering through amazon, see the best rat cages compared & reviewed.
1. Avoid Common Mistakes
One of the quickest ways to make your rats health suffer is by falling for common mistakes.
One such mistake that most regular readers of our site know about is using sawdust as bedding.
While I won't go into massive detail about every mistake here, you can read our post 11 Common Rat Care Mistakes To Avoid.
We write this blog so we can help you keep your rats happy and healthy, and without a doubt the common mistakes we see time and again are the ones that cause the most problems to a rats health!
These five things are definitely the differentiation between healthy and unhealthy rats.
While you can make 1 or 2 mistakes once in a while, like we all do, it's when the majority of these things aren't adhered to at the same time that our rats can get unwell.
So definitely take this article and keep it in mind, even if it's as a point of reference later because this is exactly how we've kept our rats living to 3 years time and again.