Rats will eat just about anything you put in front of them but there are some human foods that they should not be getting a lot of and some they shouldn’t get at all. If you are going to own or already have pet rats, you should be aware of some common human foods that can be hazardous to your pet rats.
Common household foods you should not feed your pet rat
If the food is spoiled or you would not eat it, then it is not proper to give to your rat. The eyes that sprout from old potatoes, these can be poisonous. Raw sweet potatoes have compounds that will form cyanide in the stomach of rats. For this reason they should not be given to any rats. In the wild rats will eat insects they catch, but because of parasites, germs and bacteria you should not catch wild insects and feed them to your pet rats.
Oranges juice contain d-limonene is found in the rind of the orange, so giving orange juice to your rats is not a good idea. This d-limonene is said to cause cancer in male rats, so orange juice should be a forbidden treat for male rats only, d-limonene in the skin oil, which gets into the orange juice during squeezing, can cause kidney damage and kidney cancer due to a protein that only male rats have in their kidneys.
Lettuce, rats love lettuce but since it has not real nutritional value, you should give it to them sparingly. It may also cause your rats to have diarrhea if given too much. Don’t change your rats diet all of the sudden. Like one day give rat mix and the next give nothing but vegetables. This can lead to diarrhea, dehydration and even death. Peanut butter has a high fat content, so while you can give them a little, don’t do it often.
Rats are omnivorous, meaning they will eat both plants and animals. In the wild, rats will eat nuts, grains, seeds, insects, worms, vegetables, fruits, birds, dead animals and even fish. In the wild, rats are predators and will catch and kill small animals to eat.
What you should feed your pet rat
Feed your pet rat a mixture of different foods, including lab blocks, rodent mix, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as a treat once in a while. Your rat will be healthier and happier to get a combination of different foods instead of just one type of food or just giving them lab blocks or laboratory pellets every day.
I’ve heard from friends who have rats that they would never feed their rat’s chocolate or candy, even in small amounts. But I’ve had several rats and on occasion have given them little bits of chocolate, candy, soft drinks, oranges and even coffee. I only ever gave them a little bit, and never had any ill effects from it. All my rats lived past the average age of 3-4 years and were healthy when they died.