So, you have a pet rat, and you love them dearly. You love their cute little fuzzy faces and how they scurry around. But wait, what is that smell? Phew, you’ve never smelled something so funky! What is it? Well, if it wasn’t you and it’s not someone failing miserably in the kitchen, it is very likely your pet rat.
Understanding Pet Rat Gas
Just like many other animals, rats do fart! Typically, their farts are not audible but usually do not go unnoticed by owners. Rat’s farts can be putrid, which is incredible considering the small size of the pet!
Many rat pet owners have experienced their furry friends farting and may not have known where the smell was coming from! In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about how and why your pet is passing gas.
What is Causing Rat Gas?
Just like humans, gas depends on what has been consumed within the past day or so. Farts are mainly the result of digestion when microbes are breaking down food in the gut. This process produces gases that are then released.
When put in simple terms, it makes sense that rats fart. They have digestive systems that go through the same process as our own. However, not all animals fart. Some animals that do not experience gas include octopuses, birds, and sloths.
Unfortunately, rats do not fall on the list of non-farting animals. If you have a pet rat, you will encounter that awful stench at some point or another. So, what should you be feeding your pet to make sure they are healthy while not making the whole house smell like rat farts?
Pet Rat Nutrition
It is up to you as the pet owner to decide what your pet can and can’t eat. Rats in the wild eat much differently than fancy rats in a domestic setting. Your little buddy is reliant on you to provide them with all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Rats are very smart animals, but they will eat whatever you put in front of them. That is why you must feed them the right foods. Most pet owners choose to feed their rat a rodent mix from the pet store. To keep your pet healthy, make sure you also include fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Overall, make sure you incorporate other delicious foods into daily meals to keep your pet healthy and happy. Many of the foods that you enjoy, your rat will also enjoy! A few examples include apples, dried tomatoes, raisins, bananas, kale, peas, and plums.
Some pet owners prefer to make their own dry mix, similar to a trail mix, for their pet. You can find many recipes online to bring diversity to your rat’s diet.
Rats can also eat sweet potatoes, beans, and corn, but make sure you adequately cook them. Gas aside, these foods in their raw form can lead to detrimental health effects.
Dried beans have anti-nutrients that can destroy vitamin A and enzymes that your little buddy needs to digest proteins and starches. Raw sweet potato can result in cyanide in the stomach due to compounds in the food. Dried corn contains high levels of fungal contaminates, which can lead to liver cancer in rats.
Oddly enough, male rats cannot have orange juice. Female rats are in the clear to enjoy the citrusy delight. Males carry a specific protein in their kidney that does not react well to orange juice. Digesting OJ can damage the kidney and lead to cancer.
Rat Farting Habits
So, you know your rat needs proper nutrients to live a healthy life, but what food should you be avoiding to keep them from farting?
First, it is important to mention that farting is not unhealthy. If your rat is releasing a lot of gas, that may be perfectly healthy because that’s how their digestion works. You can try to decrease farting by paying attention to what your rat eats, but there’s no way to completely eliminate this natural process.
Now that we know your pet rat’s farts are inevitable, let’s look at foods that may reduce their gas. As mentioned previously, rats will eat whatever is in front of them, so you must pay attention to what you are feeding them.
A general rule to follow if you wonder what your rat can and can eat is to only feed them foods that you would eat. However, that doesn’t mean you should give them a bag of Cheetos and a pint of ice cream and call it a day.
Try to feed your pet rats food in their natural form and avoid processed foods. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat are healthy for your pet. Always avoid giving your rat junk food, as this can lead to weight issues and rough fur.
How to Avoid Rat Farting
Unfortunately, there is no simple guide on what foods are making your rat gassy. Some rats react differently to different food, just like humans. So, while one food will sit perfectly fine with one rat, the other may become very gassy.
If you think a specific food is causing gas, make a note and avoid feeding your pet that food in the future. This is known as an elimination diet. It helps to find out which specific food results in a gassy rat.
You should also avoid pressing your pet’s stomach while holding them. Putting pressure on the stomach can push out unwanted gas. Avoiding this area minimizes the chances of them farting, but it is not a guarantee that they won’t fart around you.
As always, make sure you are properly feeding your pet. Finding a balanced diet for your rat is crucial to other aspects of their health unrelated to gas, such as their energy and appearance.
What Else Don’t I Know About My Rat?
There are countless fun facts about your pet rat! Rats do not get enough credit for how smart they are. They are more intelligent than most other rodents, including guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits. With their intelligence comes a sense of humor, as well!
Rats can laugh! Researcher Jaak Panksepp found that rodents can experience social joy. Their expression of this emotion comes through laughing, just like humans. Their laughter sounds much different than the typical human laughter, though. A rat’s laughter sounds more like little chirps, but the human ear cannot register it because of its high frequency.
Another amazing rat fact is that they can go longer without water than a camel. Most rats could survive a week without any food, and they could go even longer without water. That is not to say you should test this out on your pet, but it’s pretty awesome nonetheless.
Gone With the Wind
In conclusion, rats are cool. They’re a lot cooler than most people believe them to be. They fart, laugh, and they could survive a week in the wild without nutrients. They’re the perfect furry friend. Be sure you are feeding your pet rat the right foods. And hey, when your rat does fart, cut them some slack and open a window. We all do it.