Giving treats to your rat is not only very important when teaching them tricks, but it also helps their diet! And if you want to create a super healthy diet for your pet rat, be sure to read this article here!
Pellets are great, but nothing beats fresh apples, carrots, and even eggs or chicken. The problem sometimes is being sure what can you give to your pet rat.
Well, worry not for I’ve compiled a whole list full of healthy and delicious treats for your pet rats! In truth, you can have most of these along with them if you want to.
Some of them work better as a special reward. Others are great to give regularly along with their usual food, so let’s take a look at them.
Frozen Yogurt Treats
Frozen Yogurt is the most perfect treat for summer! Really, I cannot recommend this enough. If you leave in particularly warm areas, your pet rats will love this. Not only it’s delicious and healthy for your ratties, but it’s also very simple and cheap to do. Simply buy some of your favorite yogurts, either natural or flavored.
A word of attention though, citrus flavors should be avoided, since those are not good for pet rats! The same goes for yogurts that have too much sugar or fat (for example, cookies, chocolate, and others).
Now, here’s all you need to make your yogurt treats:
- 1 cup of Yogurt (or more if you want to keep a good quantity of these in the freezer)
- A dinner plate or baking tray
- A dessert or coffee spoon
- Plastic bag or plastic container
That’s it! Now to make them. Open up a cup of yogurt and mixed it a bit. I usually buy solid yogurts, since I find them easier to use.
With a spoon, scoop small bits of yogurt and drop them on a dinner plate or baking tray. These drops can be as big as you wish, but they should be spaced so they don’t touch each other.
Now, when done with the yogurt or the plate is full, pick it up and put it in the freezer and leave it overnight!
Instead of spoons, you can also use a piping bag if you have one or make one using a plastic bag, though the spoons work very well for me. We don’t need to make perfect drops of yogurt, just big enough for our ratties to hold on to.
Your yogurt treats are mostly done, now you just need to keep them in a sealed container or, which I prefer, use some freezer bags. I really like these Ziploc Freezer Bags which seal the food very well, are sturdy and very easy to use!
I also recommend using bags instead of plastic containers since they take up less space in the freezer. So if you have a small freezer like us, then freezer bags are the way to go!
Now you have a simple yet delicious treat to offer to your rodent friends in those warm summer days!
You can also add some sugar-free cereal or even some fruit to these drops. I sometimes add oat flakes to add some more texture to the drops and my girls love it!
Hard Boiled Eggs
Another very good treat and your pet rats will have lots of fun with it! Hard boiled eggs are not only good for the ratties, but it is also almost a puzzle for them. So it’s good for their bellies and brains.
Just boil the eggs like you normally would and give it to them! You can keep the shell in them. Break just a bit of it and let them figure out. This way you can make the treat into a game.
If you’re worried about the shell being a choking hazard, then take the shell off. Better safe than sorry. Pet rats are very intelligent though and will know easily what is good to eat and what isn’t. My girls never have any trouble with the eggs.
Of course, this is the kind of treat that will make a mess out of the cage, so be ready to clean everything up once they’re done eating. Eggs can leave a very smelly odor in the cage very quickly, so I do recommend cleaning it up once you can.
Alternatively, you can also make scrambled eggs. A little omelet for your ratties. Just mix the egg, put it in a bowl and microwave it for a few seconds until they look cooked. It’s a fast and easy treat for your pet rats and they’ll love it as well!
You can also scramble the eggs in a pan, just be careful to not use too much olive oil nor add any seasonings since that’s too fat or salty for your pet rats.
Again, a word of caution, don’t give them too many eggs, once every two weeks is more than enough. You can also buy quail eggs, which are smaller and very nutritional for your pet rats.
When pet rats are sick, this is also the kind of food that vets would recommend to give to them, to help them not lose much weight. It’s very nutritious and easy to eat!
Small Dog Treats
Dog treats are, for the most part, great to give your pet rats! You can buy some of these and give to them in moderation.
Don’t forget that these treats are made for bigger animals, so they’re too much for a small rodent. It can also be very fat, that’s why you shouldn’t give it to your ratties too often.
Once every month or so is good, and remember to break these treats into smaller pieces.
These treats are special good for your pet rat’s teeth. Dog treats are usually crunchy and perfect to nibble and gnaw on. Remember that their teeth are very important and they should be kept healthy.
Their teeth will never stop growing so it’s important for pet rats to use them constantly. A good way for that is by giving them crunchy treats and toys they can and like to chew on!
Walnuts are a very good way to keep your pet rat’s teeth healthy! Not only nuts but pet rats will also love all kinds of seeds.
Try to avoid fatty seeds like sunflowers seeds. Again occasionally it does no harm, but they’re too fat for your pet rat to eat regularly.
As for the walnuts, I recommend giving them but being careful of the shell fragments by removing them. Again pet rats are smart and like to work out their food while eating them, but these can produce very small bits of shell that might hurt them.
Nuts and seeds are very good for your rodent friends and I can’t recommend them enough. They’re good for us and for them. We always have them at home and it even motivates us to eat some too.
Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds among others are a must at home. It’s healthy not only for our girls but for us as well!
Cooked Sweet Potato
If you’re a fan of sweet potato, then I assure you your rodent friends won’t mind if you share it with them! The sweet potato should be cooked and with no condiments.
The simplest and tastiest way to do this is by cooking them in the oven in my opinion! Just grab a tray and some vegetable paper. Now just put the sweet potato in it and let it cook until it’s soft.
We usually don’t even cut them. When done, we take the sweet potato out, let it rest for some time until we can peel it without burning our hands. Giving the sweet potato right out of the oven to our ratties isn’t good either. If it burns us, imagine a small animal like them.
Once it’s at room temperature, you can cut it into smaller pieces and offer to your pet rats. A good meal for both you and the ratties!
Alternatively, you can boil them in water, although I think they’re not as tasty. And of course, you can also cut the sweet potato into pieces or slices and cook them in the oven like that. Again I find they get softer if they’re cooked whole, but you might like them differently.
Experiment and see how your pet rats prefer their sweet potato, just remember that you shouldn’t add any kind of condiment since those aren’t very healthy for them. I actually find that sweet potato doesn’t really need any condiment, especially if cooked whole.
Other than that sweet potato is not only a very tasty treat, it’s also very nutritious!
My pet rats LOVE this, it’s really a great little treat that you can give them! We always have some little pots of fruit at home to give to them as a treat.
We’re almost never away from home, but sometimes we need to visit family and stay away for a day or two. When that happens we make sure to leave some of it for them so they forgive us!
I think it works, they definitely miss us and run towards us when we enter the home. I think they also cleaned their whole plate right away and are demanding for more!
Either way, baby food is perfect for pet rats. Just try to avoid the ones with cookies and with citrus fruit. One is too caloric for them and citrus is never good for pet rats, too acidic.
Otherwise, they’ll love any kind! Most of what we have at home is made out of fruit, but the veggie ones are also very good.
A tip: keep the lids from empty pots, they make perfect plates to put treats on for your pet rats!
Baby food is also perfect for if your ratties are under the weather. We never want anything bad to happen to them, but sadly it’s something very common.
If your pet rat is having some difficulties to eat, baby food is liquid for the most part and very nutritious. It is great to help your rattie get stronger again!
Chicken is the healthiest meat you can give to your pet rats. Both beef and turkey can be given to them as well, but chicken is always the best!
Either raw or cooked, they’ll love it. I prefer to cook it, unseasoned if possible and give them in small pieces. It’s a delight. So if you’re doing chicken for dinner, remember to share it with your small friends.
On another note, the bones that you leave behind? Give one or another to them as well! Apparently, these are also quite healthy for pet rats as well as it’s good for their teeth. A healthy treat as well as a good exercise!
I actually wrote about tomatoes and whether they’re good for pet rats or not before, so I recommend checking that out so you can put your mind at ease. But yes tomato slices are very good for your rodent friends and a perfect treat for summer!
Tomatoes are very fresh, so they’re perfect for summer weather. You can also turn them to a pulp for a liquid treat as well.
We always have tomatoes at home, it’s something that is almost always part of our meals, so it’s also common to share it with our girls.
They love it! The only problem I have to say about tomatoes is that they’re messy, so be ready for that.
Usually, pet rats will eat only the inside of the tomato and leave the skin behind. Tomatoes are also very juicy so it’s more than normal for it to make a mess.
It’s a good idea to give tomato as a treat close to the cleaning cage days!
Broccoli And Cauliflower
Both cauliflower and broccoli are very healthy for pet rats. Our vet always recommends us to give to our ratties as a supplement of their diet. Again this is something we always have at home and you can give it to them raw.
We try to mix it so they don’t get bored, sometimes we just wash them very well and cut into pieces so they can munch on them raw. This first option is also very healthy for their teeth since it’s crunchier.
Other times, if we happen to cook broccoli or cauliflower for our meals, we save some pieces for them as well!
Again this kind of treat can also make some mess throughout the cage, but not as bad as tomato so I wouldn’t worry a lot about it. It’s always good to clean it up as best as you can. Since it’s fresh food, it can deteriorate fast and not only it starts to smell bad, it can be bad for the ratties if they eat it.
A small note here! If given green veggies, pet rats droppings might appear greener. Don’t worry, it’s normal, it’s from the broccoli or other green veggies they might’ve had. If you gave them greens and noticed the colored droppings, it’s from it!
Pumpkin is really good for your pet rats as well! Like broccoli or cauliflower, they can be given either cooked or raw. Raw pumpkin is better for their teeth, so I recommend it the best.
If you happen to be preparing pumpkin for dinner, remember to save some pieces for them! Either small square or slices, both work.
My girls honestly never got too much into the pumpkin itself, but the seeds though? If I’d let them they’d eat the whole package.
Careful with the seeds though, like I said they would eat the whole thing. But pumpkin seeds are very high in fat, so they should be given in moderation. We usually have them at home and share one or another with them once every week or so.
That said, the pumpkin itself is healthier for your pet rats than the seeds, so feel free to share it with them whenever you can!
Oh, this is definitely a favorite here at home! They love apple slices. I admit apple is not my favorite fruit, but I always have them at home so they can have it regularly.
Remember to cut it into slices or smaller pieces and, most important, remove the seeds! Fruit seeds usually contain cyanide.
For us, this is very minimal and won’t even enter in contact with our system since it’s inside the seeds.
For pet rats, however, they’ll munch on the seeds and enter in contact with what inside of them. So if you’re giving fruit with seeds, always remember to take the seeds out before giving it to your ratties.
Other than that apple slices are very fresh and healthy for them, so feel free to give it to them anytime!
Summer and frozen peas go hand in hand. They’re not only a healthy treat, but they’re also perfect for summer games!
Pet rats like to play with their food. You can make them fish for peas! If they like water that is. This is a good game for them in the warm summer days, but also a good way to help your pet rat get used to the water.
There are two ways to go about it. You can grab a bowl, fill it water and drop some peas on it. Your pet rat won’t need to fully submerge in water and simply fish for the peas with their paws. Once they grab one, they can feast on their prize!
If your rodent friends are already used to water and like to swim or dive, you can fill a bigger container with water and peas. This way they can swim freely while hunting for peas. Remember to always leave a dry spot so they can stop and rest for a bit.
A lot of pet rats are not fond of water, especially in the beginning but there are ways to help them lose the fear from it. If you want to know more about it, I wrote a post where I go over how to introduce your pet rat to water, so do take a look at it.
Pet rats can have lots of fun in the water, especially if you live in particularly warm areas!
Lastly, but not least, carrots! Pet rats really like carrots and again these are very good to keep their teeth healthy. If you happen to have carrots at home, be sure to offer some of it to them once in a while.
Just like with broccoli and other green veggies, carrots (as well as pumpkin) can leave their droppings with an orange color.
If you notice that after giving them some carrots, don’t be alarmed, it’s fairly normal! On another note, fresh fruit and veggies might leave their droppings more liquid.
This is mostly due to the fact that they’re system is not yet used to the food they’re being given. Their droppings will turn to normal once they’re used to ingesting it.
Other than that, supplement your rattie meals with fresh fruit and veggies as much as you can!
Most fruit and vegetables are better given fresh and raw so they don’t lose nutrients! Besides, pet rats really love chewing and nibbling so that’s a plus for them.
Don’t go overboard with treats! Fresh food is good but in moderation, just like it is with us. Apples are good, but they shouldn’t eat an entire apple, for example, it’s way too much for a pet their size.
If you notice your pet rat is gaining weight, then be sure to cut off the treats and start giving them more fresh vegetables and toys for them to exercise. If you’d like a list, check out this article where I write about the best toys you can give your pet rats!