Introduction to Owning a Pet Rat

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Pet rats have a completely undeserved negative reputation. In fictional stories, rats are shown as being crafty, cruel and unhygienic. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Pet rats are clean, intelligent, social and affectionate. They have the ability to understand both simple and complicated commands, as well as do a variety of tricks. Owning a pet rat is a wonderful way to share companionship with one of the best types of small rodents.

Is a Pet Rat Right for Me?

While owning a pet rat can be an incredibly rewarding experience, pet rats aren’t for everyone. It’s extremely important that you are prepared for the responsibility of adopting a new member of your family. Rats are social, and will require time with you each day in order to be happy. Rats will also need constant stimulation from new toys, environments and concepts. If you have a busy schedule, or don’t think you can handle the responsibility of caring for a pet rat, you should consider other, less social types of pets.

Why Should I Own a Pet Rat?

Rats make wonderful pets, and one of the most popular types of small domesticated rodents. Some rat owners have even claimed that rats can match the intelligence of some dogs, especially in the area of complicated problem-solving. Another advantage of owning a pet rat is that they are extremely people-oriented, and love to be social. Unlike some other rodents (such as mice or hamsters), rats are curious about humans, instead of being afraid.

Are Pet Rats Good with Children?

When properly trained, pet rats can be a wonderful first pet for a child. However, as with any pet, it’s important to carefully supervise your child’s interaction with a pet rat. If you have children under 10 years of age, never allow them to play with a pet rat without an adult present.

Are Pet Rats Easy to Care For?

As far as food, water and bedding needs, pet rats are relatively low-maintenance. As far as social needs, however, you will need to play with your pet rat on a daily basis. This playtime helps strengthen your relationship with your pet rat, and also helps to provide for their need for companionship. Rats will need regular exercise, in order to prevent them from becoming overweight. An in-cage wheel, or an out-of-cage enclosed running ball are both great ways to give your pet rat some exercise. If you wish, there are also certain types of harnesses and leashes that are specially made to fit pet rats.

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