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What's It Like to Own a Rat?

Learn what it's like to own a pet rat from veterinarian Anthony Pilny in this Howcast rat video.

Transcript

Pet rats, like the two you see here, make wonderful and amazing companion pets. Commonly also called domestic rats, or fancy rats but basically they are just called pet rats. They are an excellent pet for anybody of any age. They work really well with small children. Some people consider them to be an excellent first pet for small children, although they are popular pets for adults as well.

Most people find that rats are very social, very interactive, inquisitive, curious. They do seek human attention. They do being around people. When they are socialized properly, when they are raised and handled often they become very tame, very friendly, very sweet loving animals. Most people understand the appeal once they own a rat.

The majority of people who choose to adopt a rat often get addicted in a sense and they will often own multiple rats and it's usually better to have at least two so they can rat with each other, they can be companions, they can play with each other. It works out much better by having at least two rats as pets. They are very friendly. Rarely will they bite. Like I said, if they are socialized properly, handled often, they become great pets. What's important to understand about having rats are the requirements for their captive care.

It's also important to understand their life span. A lot of times people may not realize when acquiring a rat or any of the small rodents that their life span generally is about two and a half to three years. But overall the commitment to owning a rat means a commitment to having a proper cage setup, learning about proper nutrition, having the right type of environment for them for stimulation, the right amount of time to devote to their socialization and continued care and the overall enjoyment of having such wonderful pets.

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