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How to Care for Your Rats

Before you get too far into this part of my site, let me tell you that I am not a veterinarian, and I do not have any formal veterinary training. If you have any questions at all regarding the care of your pet rats, go ahead and send them to me to collect more opinions, but also check with your vet. He or she went to school for this stuff. What I know comes from experience and learning from other “rat people,” not from formal training.
I cannot stress this enough: if you have a question,

CHECK WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN!
As you surf for information on caring for your pet rats, you will find a page like mine on just about every rat site you visit. Before you take any of the information you find as gospel, find out the author’s credentials. Many will not tell you that they are not really qualified to present their information as fact. Also keep in mind that even if you do find a real DVM giving out free advice (like that’ll happen!?) on the net about how to care for your beloved pets, a second opinion might still be in order. After all, you and your vet know your pets best.
Do the vet shopping before you get your pet rats. It can sometimes be difficult to find a vet who is qualified and willing to take rats as patients. You’ll want to find a vet for your rats in your area before you have an emergency.

When looking for a new rat, check around for a rat breeder in your area. Tell them about yourself and your pets, ask about their rats, how they care for theirs, etc. You need to find a rat breeder you feel comfortable with because you and that person will be working together for a long time. They need to know how your pet rats are doing, and you will be contacting them when you have questions. At the rattery, look for an animal that is curious and friendly; energetic (but not too); has clear eyes and nose; a smooth, clean coat; not too thin or too fat and that doesn’t make noises when it breathes. You will want a rat that is in overall good health and that wants to be with you. Very often, your pet rat will choose you.
Use the links below for my pages on rat care to learn more about what to look for. They are very basic, but include links to other sites with much more detailed and scientific information on various subjects related to pet rats.