Super Snacks & Healthy Treats for Pet Rats
April 15, 2016 by
About Pet Rats in
Care, Health, Nutrition
Since rats gain weight easily—AND we want to feed them the healthiest foods possible—it’s important to choose treats that are…..
Just Say “NO” to Yogies
Most treats sold in pet stores are junk food. They’re highly processed, contain sugar, preservatives, food colorings and they certainly aren’t organic.
One of the most popular pet rat treats available in stores, Yogies, has ingredients that definitely do NOT fit the above guidelines. The worst offenders in their ingredient are listed here in red:
Sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (palm kernel and palm), whey powder, dextrose, yogurt powder (cultured whey protein concentrate, cultured skim milk and yogurt culture), soya lecithin (an emulsifier), artificial flavor, color added (yellow lake #5). May contain trace amounts of peanuts to ingredient label.
Organic, sugar-free Cheerios
Instead of Yogies, here are some organic, healthy and nutritious treats your rats will love:
- Frozen Peas (thawed out)
- Grapes (absolutely must be organic as non-organic grapes are some of the most pesticide-laden produce)
—By the way, rats peel peas and grapes before eating them!—
- Cheerios – Buy organic and sugar free. For training, divide each Cheerio into eighths (—it’s much easier than it sounds!)
- Cooked brown rice – Feed just one grain at a time when using as a reward for training. A single grain can be consumed quickly allowing your rat to readily continue training. Feeding one grain at a time also helps keep your rat wanting more (rather than becoming too full) while your training session is in progress.
- Just about any healthy food can be used as a treat as long as you keep the quantity super small
Now for some truly fun, satisfying and nutritious pet rat treats:
These beans are roasted and packaged as snacks. (They are not the type of dried beans that need to be cooked before consuming.)
Both the chickpeas and the edamame beans shown below can be divided into halves or even fourths.
“the GOOD bean” (Chick Peas) and “cruncha ma me” (Edamame)
There are several brands and types of seaweed snacks available. Here are two that my pet rats love:
Snacks made of seaweed are both nutritious and low-calorie
Tiger Nuts are actually small tubers. They’re very chewy and have a slightly sweet flavor.
These are actually tubers, not nuts. They’re very chewy and have a slightly sweet taste. Use a knife to chop up each tiger nut into at least quarters since they’re quite large. Even giving a rat just 1/4 of a tiger nut takes them awhile to eat.
ALL OF THE SNACKS LISTED ARE SOLD IN HEALTHY GROCERY STORES AND ARE GREAT FOR HUMANS, TOO
WHERE TO FIND ONLINE:
The Good Bean Chickpea Snack
Cruncha ma-me Edamame Snack
GimMe Organic Roasted Seaweed Snacks (Teriyaki)
SeaSnax Chomperz Crunchy Seaweed Chips
Organic Raw Tigernuts
Other treats rats love but must be fed sparingly (no more than once weekly) include:
- Coconut chips
- Small bits of walnut
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Banana chips (very small pieces)
- Whole roasted peanuts in the shell – These are one of the few snacks I give my rats whole since they enjoy opening the shells. [Special Note: Some people give their rats walnuts in the shell and think this is fine for them. In my opinion, walnut shells are too hard for pet rats to chew on. I heard my rats chewing on a whole walnut once and it sounded like they were going to break their teeth!]
There are so many possibilities when it comes to snacks for our pet rats. Keep in mind, however, that petting, praising and playing with our rats are the healthiest “treats” of all.
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