How to Use Fabric Bedding for Pet Rats

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Fabric is an economical, clean option for pet rat bedding, especially if you own “sphinx” or hairless rats. Fabric bedding has a number of benefits over traditional bedding materials such as woodchips and recycled paper bedding … Read More

Tips to Find a Lost Hamster, Gerbil or Other Small Pets

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It’s not uncommon for a small pet to get lost inside your home. Finding a lost hamster, gerbil, rat or another small animal can be rather difficult, especially if you have other animals inside the home. … Read More

Reasons to Avoid Bathing Your Rat in the Sink

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When bathing your rat or another small animal, including rabbits, gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs, it’s important to avoid sticking the pet under running water of a faucet or shower spigot. There are several dangers associated … Read More

Safety Tips for Small Animals Who Live With Cats and Dogs

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Many animal lovers have different types of pets, but there are inherent risks if you own small pets like hamsters, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits, along with larger predatory animals like cats and dogs. I literally … Read More

How to Care for a Hairless Rat

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Hairless rats, also known as Sphinx rats, are very unique in appearance. They are virtually hairless (virtually, as most have varying degrees of hair on their nose, tail and so forth,) with extremely soft, sensitive skin. … Read More

Rat Bedding Choices

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As a rat owner of over three years now, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy searching for the perfect bedding. It doesn’t seem to exist just yet, but I’ve found some bedding products that … Read More

Compounding Rat Medications At Home

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Have you ever struggled to get your rat to take his or her medicine? Pre-mixed medications for rats are often flavored to be appealing to cats or dogs or birds or hamsters, but leave rats wholly unimpressed. … Read More

Hamster Illness: Wet Tail

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Wet tail is one of the most common and most deadly hamster illnesses. It is caused by the bacterium Lawsonia intracellularis, and is more accurately described as regional enteritis or proliferative ileitis. Wet tail is common … Read More

Best Pet Rat Cage Choices

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Pet rat cages are sold in most pet stores and online. Unfortunately, many cages marketed for pet rats are wholly inadequate for the needs of even one rat. Take into account the fact that one should … Read More

Should Rats Be Free-Fed or Calorie Restricted?

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As any rat owner knows, rats are prone to obesity, particularly older male rats. However, being omnivores and foragers, they seem most content with free access to as much food as they like. It’s hard to … Read More

Hairless Rat Care

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Hairless rats are among the most unique pets a person can have. They look like little alien lifeforms, feel like warm raw chicken when held, and are certain to start a conversation with any houseguest brave … Read More

Rat Relationships: More Complex Than You Might Think

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If you’ve never been fortunate enough to interact with a large group of domestic rats over an extended period of time, you may not know that rats are very similar to humans in terms of social … Read More

Feeding Aging Rats

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As rats age, they may become either obese or thin. If your rat has a health problem, please consult your veterinarian about feeding and nutrition. However, if your rat is aging normally, you may be able … Read More

Should I Get Mice or Rats?

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Many people who wish to keep small pets narrow things down to mice and rats for their intelligence, friendly personalities, and general appearance, but then have trouble deciding between the two. If you’re currently wondering if … Read More

HR 669 and How It Might Affect You and Your Pets

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Regular readers know that I tend to avoid political topics in this blog. They’re too contentious, and there are many sides to every issue. However, there is a bill currently being considered by the United States … Read More

Including Pets in Your Wedding

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Once upon a time, including pets in a wedding would have been a massive social blunder frowned upon by the majority of guests. Now, many pet lovers can’t imagine marrying without their pets present. It makes … Read More

How to Cope with An Accidental Rat Pregnancy

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A friend wrote to me a few days ago asking for advice. She owns several female rats, and no males. Inexplicably, one of her females is pregnant. The only possible exposure to a male occurred when … Read More

Setting Up A Rat Maternity Cage

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There are as many ways to set up a cage for a rat to deliver a litter as there are rat breeders. Everyone has a personal preference. I’ve incorporated advice from several breeders in creating my current … Read More

Feeding a Pregnant Rat

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I’m hoping that my TEK Artemis is currently pregnant by SGR Fortissimo, so I’ve been feeding her some extra high-fat, high-protein, nutrition-packed snacks to help her grow a batch of healthy pups. This will be my … Read More

How to Tell If Your Rat Is Pregnant

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So maybe your rat escaped and went canoodling in the bucks’ cage, or maybe you picked a suspiciously round female out from a feeder tank, or perhaps you’re breeding rats intentionally (if so, I hope you’re … Read More

How to Take Pictures of Rats

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Rats, like most small wiggly animals, are notoriously difficult to photograph well. Many a rat owner has snapped what should have been the perfect shot– until the rat moved at the last second, and it ended … Read More

Traveling with Rats: By Plane (Part Two)

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In my first blog about flying with rats, we discussed choosing an airline and making a reservation. However, once your ticket is booked, there’s still much more to be done before embarking on your flight. Today, … Read More

Traveling with Rats: By Plane (Part One)

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Yes, it’s possible to fly with rats, but it takes a little more planning and finesse than traveling with rats by car, and it’s not feasible at all times. Some airlines won’t carry rats. During very cold … Read More

Traveling with Rats: By Car

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Responsible, reputable rat breeders don’t exist in every area. Plus, families sometimes must move long distances with pets, or take lengthy vacations while bringing rats along. Traveling with rats is often necessary, but in some ways trickier … Read More

Why Won't My Rat Run on a Wheel, or in an Exercise Ball?

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New rat owners often purchase exercise balls and wheels and are disappointed when their rats will not use them. Sometimes, rats are even brought to veterinarians by well-meaning owners concerned about their health because they don’t … Read More

Dealing with Biting in Pet Rats

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Most pet rats don’t bite. I’ll say that again for emphasis: Most pet rats do not bite. The vast majority of domestic Norwegian rats are far less likely to bite than hamsters, mice, or gerbils. Rats are … Read More

Incompatible Pets

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I love my many pets, and they all get along fairly well, even the cat and rats. Interactions between pets of different species can be fascinating and humorous. However, there are certain common pets that simply … Read More

Male Rats or Female Rats?

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Male rats and female rats have many similarities, but also several distinct differences. It’s best to keep only one gender at a time, or to keep a mixed sex colony with all rats of one or … Read More

When Is It Time To Take Your Small Animal To The Vet?

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Every pet owner should maintain a good working relationship with a veterinarian. Owners of multiple types of pets, particularly exotic or unusual pets, may need several veterinarians. However, sometimes the decision to take a pet, particularly … Read More

Bathing Your Rat

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  Rats are naturally very tidy animals, generally needing baths only once or twice a year unless a medical condition or an owner’s allergies necessitate more frequent bathing. Some male rats require more frequent baths due to … Read More

One Rat or Two?

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“Should I get one rat, or two?” That’s a question I hear asked very often, and, unlike most pet questions, it’s got an easy answer. Get two! Or, better yet, three, or as many rats as … Read More

Changes Afoot at Petco

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Let me begin by saying that, as a pet rat owner and fancier, I detest the mill-style breeding that Rainbow Exotics practices. As a result of these conditions, as well as the treatment of animals seen … Read More

Locating a Reputable, Responsible Small Animal Breeder

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If you’ve decided to add a small mammal like a rabbit, rat, or hamster to your family, the next step is to choose between adopting a rescued or rehomed pet, or purchasing from a reputable, responsible … Read More

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