DO NOT USE CEDAR OR PINE SHAVINGS! They cause respiratory disease and organ damage. Good alternatives are CareFRESH™, Pellet Bedding, Aspen Shavings, etc.
(3) WATER BOTTLE
An on demand type water bottle is essential in providing fresh clean water for your pet. They can be mounted on the outside of cages, and holders are available for use in tanks. Bowls can be used for an emergency, they are not ideal as they get dirty and contaminated very fast.
As a main diet, the best food for your rat or mouse is pellets (Lab Blocks, Rodent Chow, Pet Blocks, etc.). This is a complete, balanced diet and should be available to your pet at all times.
All pets enjoy an occasional treat. Fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, salad greens, plain popcorn, whole wheat bread, and low-sugar breakfast cereals are all good treats and add variety to your pet’s diet. In fact, anything you eat, that wouldn’t be classified as junk food, would be enjoyed by your pet. Just be careful not to overfeed with treats as they can lead to obesity. Be sparing with oily seeds, nuts, and grain mixes.
Toys encourage rats and mice to be more active and inquisitive. Good choices are:
Rats: Boxes, ladders, shelves, large PVC pipes, large wheels, bird toys, ferret toys, etc.
(7) A BOOK
There are several good books on rats and mice available in pet stores. These books will explain what you can expect from your pet, and are an important reference if a problem should arise at some point in your pet’s life.
(8) A VET
While rats and mice do not need yearly checkups or shots, emergencies can arise. It is important to know which vets in your area treat rodents.
(9) A RESPONSIBLE BREEDER
Just as with puppies and kittens, many mice and rats found in pet shops are mass produced in commercial facilities where they are weaned as early as possible and never handled. This combined with the stress of shipping, greatly increases the chance that the person who buys them ends up with a sick pet. A responsible breeder focuses on health and temperament when planning their litters. They raise their rats in clean surroundings with plenty of quality food and clean water, and handle babies from birth to produce well-socialized pets. They are also an excellent source of correct information should questions arise. Check with your local rat and mouse club for information on breeders near you.
(10) A CLUB
The best way to become more involved with your pet, stay current on health and husbandry practices, and meet other people who are also interested in rats and mice, is to join a rat and mouse club. Clubs usually hold shows which are open to non club members, and they are always happy to offer advice, suggest veterinarians, and direct people interested in specific colors or types of animals to appropriate breeders.
(11) From your breeder!
We will supply you with a packet of information. while this is not a complete list, this should help you take good are of your pet. If you would like this packet emailed to you prior to adopting just ask!!
*modified verson of AFRMA's sheet*