RATS AND MICE
Addie on Rats: Not very many people realize that not only do rats make good snake food; they also can make excellent pets. This is due to the fact that unlike other common small animal pets, like hamsters and such, a rat will normally not bite. They are very smart, can be taught tricks, they can learn to sit on your shoulder, and they can learn to come to their name. Notice that I said can, not DO. This is because the amount of stuff that a rat learns all depends on you. It depends on how much time you spend with it, the quality of time you spend with it and how you interact with it. Teaching a pet rat new tricks and stuff is much like teaching a dog. You associate good behaviors with a reward. Also with a rat though, it is best to start socializing it when it is young and making friends with it first.
When you buy a pet rat, pick out one that is healthy looking and friendly. A lot of rats can start out sort of skittish, and that is ok. Most of the time you can get a rat tame, and befriend it. Once you do this you can try to begin teaching him tricks if you'd like. If you'd like more advice on teaching rats tricks feel free to call our store and talk to me, or even come in and see us, we just got some GREAT rats on hand; they are very tame and friendly.
Some common questions I get on rats:
Can I keep just one?
Yes, you can keep just one rat, they can be happy alone. But, like I said about guinea pigs, if you have just one, you'll need to spend more time with it. Rats are also social creatures (most small animals are by the way). If you have just one rat, handle and play with it more often.
Is this a pet that is good for my young child?
Yes, rats are fine for small children. Once a rat is used to being held and handled, you can let your child hold it and play with it. But as with any pet, watch the child with it to make sure they are treating it properly. If you want a rat that is more likely to cuddle and be content to just sit with you, get a male. Very often males will be happy to just sit on your lap while you pet them and watch television. If you want a rat that will go through mazes and play games and do tricks, you'll want a female. Typically female rats are more explorative creatures and more likely to play games. Both are great, it just depends on your preference.
If I failed to cover any question that you still may have, again feel free to call us, I work afternoons and weekends mostly or even better, come in and see us.