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Can Rats Eat Almonds? What You Need to Know
Welcome to rat ownership! You’ve just brought home your new pet and you’re excited to get to know your new friend. You’re ready to teach your rat new tricks to perform to your family’s delight. You also know that if you socialize it properly, you’ll have a smart, curious, and social family pet. You have its new home all set up with several landings, ramps, and maybe a hammock for lounging. Now it’s time to feed your new pet and you’re curious about what human foods rats can eat. You see the almonds sitting on our kitchen counter and wonder: ‘Can rats eat almonds?’
Can Rats Eat Almonds?
Yes, rats can eat almonds, but they should be given to the rat in moderation or as a special treat. Almonds are a good source of protein and energy, but they are also high in fat and can make your furry friend obese over time if you give them too much of this tasty snack. If you choose to give your rat almonds, make sure it’s unseasoned, meaning no salt, spices, etc. You can eat your rat almonds whole and they can be raw or roasted. Almond can also be chopped up into smaller pieces if that is easier for your rat to eat and digest.
What Other Nuts Can Rats Eat?
Nuts are known for being rich in healthy fats, protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber, and other minerals. They contain what’s known as “good fat” because the fat is polyunsaturated and monosaturated and contains omega 3 fatty acids. These healthy fats make up 50-80% of fat depending on the nut. Rats can suffer from vascular and liver issues, as well as be at higher risk of diabetes when they consume a high-fat diet. A high-calorie diet can lead to obesity, which shortens your pet’s life.
Does this mean that you should never feed your rat nuts? Not at all. All things in moderation is the key to feeding your rat nuts. Limit them to 1 or 2 nuts a week and the nutritional and fat content of the nut will be beneficial to your pet.
Here is a list of nuts that will provide beneficial nutrients to your rat:
Can I Feed My Rat Nuts in the Shell?
Yes, you can, but there are a few things to consider before you give your rat a nut in its shell. The hard shell of many nuts is inedible, but if your rat was in the wild, it would be breaking into the shell to get to the nut. Rats are expert gnawers and chewing away at the shell of many nuts would engage them in an activity they enjoy.
A whole nut every day would be too much for any rat diet because nuts are high in fat and you don’t want your pet to become obese. You can give them a shell-on nut once or twice a week or only as a special treat.
Many nuts are encased in hard outer shells and you can often find unshelled nuts at your local grocery store. Start your rat off with easier-to-shell nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts. When your rat is ready for a challenge, you can move on to harder varieties like walnuts or Brazil nuts. If you’re unsure about feeding your rat nuts in the shell, check with your vet about what nuts they recommend for your furry friend.
Why Other Healthy Foods Can I Feed My Rat?
Rats are omnivores which means they eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and even meat. They may want to eat just about anything, but that doesn’t mean they should because a balanced nutritional diet is important. In addition to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, you can feed your rat meat, including mealworms, cooked chicken, and cooked beef. A well-balanced diet consisting of rat pellets containing around 16% protein mixed with some fresh fruit and vegetables will keep your pet healthy.
Here is a list of some of the healthiest fruits and vegetables for your rat:
- See Also: 10 Best Rat Foods: Reviews & Top Picks
Rats are omnivores and will enjoy having an almond as a special treat. You can also feed your rat other nuts, such as pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and more. If your rat likes to gnaw, you can feed him nuts in the shell to give him both a tasty treat and a fun activity. It’s important to feed your rat a well-balanced diet, so make sure you feed it a high-quality rat pellet and include fresh fruits and vegetables. Your new pet is well on its way to a happy and healthy lifestyle now that you know what the best foods and treats are for your rat.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
Oliver (Ollie) Jones – A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master’s degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.