Commercially Available Food Blocks
A block is a nutritionally complete option that offers rats a well-balanced diet. Because it is in block form, they cannot pick and choose what they want to eat, and you know that they are receiving the nutrients they need. Bleuming Tails Rattery endorses Mazuri Rodent Block and Oxbow Adult Rat. Other blocks have much lower nutritional value.
Certain dog foods are almost identical to rat food. Rats are grain-based omnivores and do need animal protein. Low-quality dog foods make excellent rat food. Brands like Doggy Bag from Tractor Supply Co. and Twin Pet from Walmart are almost identical in makeup as Mazuri. The biggest thing to remember when purchasing dog food as rat food is to avoid all dyes,especially red dyes, and to ensure that the protein percentage is 20% or below for pet rats, and that the fat content is between 4-9%. Also, make sure the food you are choosing is not a grain-free option. Linked below is a comparison chart that shows various brands of dog foods and how they stack up against the most common rat lab blocks.
Rats should never be fed foods that are commercially sold for cats as a staple diet. Because cats are obligate carnivores, protein in cat food is generally much too high. Sodium levels in cat food is also far too high for rats.
Bleuming Tails Rattery does not endorse the use of rodent feed mixes or bird seed mixes as an option. Rats are like permanent toddlers, and when given a mix, they will sort through and only eat what they like, leaving a good amount of the food behind. This means they are not getting a balanced diet and will suffer nutritionally.
Rats can eat many of the same things humans eat. Being natural scavengers, rats enjoy a wide variety of foods, including some surprising treats.
Dark chocolate is great for rats. It’s a natural bronchodilator which can help open airways when your rat has a mild URI . Antioxidants found in chocolate can help ward off URIs in the first place.
Common veggies (No raw potato or raw sweet potato)
Meats (Raw meats are best, but if they must be cooked, do not use seasoning and allow to cool.)
Dog treat bones (Rats grind bones down with their teeth, eliminating the danger of bones splintering.)
*D-limonene is found in citrus fruit skin and in mangoes and has long been said to avoid feeding it to male rats because it can cause cancer. Due to a scientific study, the amount of d-limonene that would need to be fed is astronomically high, and is not a concern for the average pet owner.
Foods to Avoid
Dried whole corn
Peanut butter (choking hazard unless diluted)
Bread (choking hazard if not stale or toasted)