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Can Rats Eat Pistachios? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

Pistachios are seeds that come from the pistachio tree—one of the oldest tree species in the world. They are known to have a heap of health benefits for humans. Humans, however, are not the only species that like pistachios; pet rats love them too! Rats are intelligent, gentle, and inquisitive. They can even learn tricks with persuasion from a tasty treat.

But can you feed your rat pistachios? The short answer is yes. However, that doesn’t mean you can give your pet rat pistachios and let them eat these nuts until their little heart’s content; they are high in calories and can cause obesity if fed too often. After all, your pet rat depends on you to provide a healthy diet. In this article, we’ll explore pistachio pros and cons, and when and how to feed your pet rat this tasty treat.divider-mouse

Are Pistachios Bad For Rats?

pistachios-pixabay
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

Pistachios can be bad for your furry friend if given too much on a daily basis. As a general rule, only give one pistachio to your rat no more than twice a week. That way, your rat can reap the benefits of having pistachios once in a while instead of over-indulging, which can cause health problems in the long run.

Are Pistachios Safe For Rats?

Rat holding the almods_USBFCO_Shutterstock
Image Credit: USBFCO, Shutterstock

As mentioned, pet rats can have pistachios, which are safe for them to consume; however, follow the recommended amount— one pistachio per rat no more than twice a week. Feeding them too much pistachio can cause obesity. Obesity is a common problem in rats and leads to a slew of health problems. Pistachios are high in calories and fat, so moderation is the key. Pistachios are not the only nuts they can consume. Pet rats can also have the occasional cashew or almond as a special treat.

Do Rats Like Pistachio Shells?

pet rat eating mango
Image Credit: jarleeknes, Pixabay

You can feed your pet rat the pistachio shell; just be sure the shells are unsalted for a healthier option. Rats love to gnaw because it keeps their teeth sharp and in tip-top shape, so the shell offers a great way for your pet rat to entertain himself and practice good dental hygiene.

What Are The Health Benefits of Feeding Pistachios To My Rat?

Pistachios are full of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a good source of protein and fiber for your pet rat. Antioxidants are also present in the pistachio nut, which can reduce the risk of cancer. Rats love a variety of fruits, veggies, and meats, as these foods are best for this furry little creature. However, the occasional pistachio can be a healthy treat to add to its diet because of the protein, fiber, vitamin, and mineral content.

Can I Use Pistachios As Training Treats?

Rats are curious little creatures and very intelligent. They can have treats, which are useful if you want to train your rat to do tricks. Again, only use pistachios as an occasional treat. Some other options that are safe treats are Cheerios, cooked rice, and mealworms. It’s important to avoid foods that are toxic to rats for treats, such as chocolate and raisins, making the occasional pistachio a healthy and safe option.

How Do I Feed A Pistachio To My Rat?

Rats are curious creatures and will be inquisitive about the pistachio nut you’ve thrown into its cage for the first time. Generally, rats may inspect the nut by taking a little nibble and then leaving it for a while—this doesn’t mean your rat isn’t interested. After a while, you’ll see your rat go back to the nut. If you choose to place the nut in its shell, it will take some time for your rat to get to the nut inside—this will hold some entertainment value for both you and your pet rat.divider-mouse

Final Thoughts

Owning a pet rat can be a fun and rewarding experience, but with ownership comes responsibility, just as with any pet. Rats require daily care, such as a proper cage, having availability to water 24/7, exercise, and an appropriate diet. By feeding your rat quality food along with fruits, veggies, and meats, you will be keeping them healthy and happy. As we’ve discussed, the occasional pistachio is a good source of protein and fiber, and the shell gives them the chance to keep their teeth healthy. Just remember, moderation is the key to giving your pet rat this delicious sweet nut.


Featured Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.