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Can Rats Eat Walnuts? What You Need to Know!

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Rats are thought to eat just about anything that they come across, which is true for the most part because they are true scavengers. However, not everything that a rat finds and then eats is good for them. So, as the owner of a pet rat, you may be wondering whether rats can eat walnuts. The short answer is yes, rats can eat walnuts. There are a few benefits that rats can reap by eating walnuts, but there are also a few considerations to make before giving your rat walnuts at all. Let’s discuss these things here.divider-multiprint

The Benefits of Feeding Walnuts to Rats

walnuts in glass plate
Image Credit: Piqsels

Walnuts are a rich source of protein for rats, which can help keep them strong and healthy as they age. These nuts also happen to be packed with healthy vitamins and minerals that rats need for good health, including B6 and E vitamins, phosphorous, and folic acid. Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants, which are important for staving off health problems like cancer.

Walnuts offer a boost of energy that rats can rely on to actively get through their day. They are also quite filling, which can help keep food costs down for your furry little friend as time goes on. Most rats happen to love the taste and texture of walnuts, which makes this food ideal for training time.

Considerations to Make When Feeding Walnuts to Rats

Mouse eating walnuts
Image Credit: level17-design, Pixabay

While walnuts are good for rats, feeding a rat too many of them can lead to problems. For one thing, walnuts are full of healthy fats, which can lead to the good health of a rat. However, if a rat eats too many walnuts regularly, it could end up becoming obese and developing problems such as heart disease or diabetes.

Therefore, walnuts must make up only a small percentage of a rat’s diet. Walnuts should be offered occasionally, as snacks and treats. Alternatively, they can be reserved for training sessions. Walnuts are just one of the many healthy foods that you can feed your pet rat throughout their lifetime.

Other Healthy Foods That Rats Can Eat

Two rats eating pumpkin
Image Credit: Kira Hoffmann

Rats are omnivores, meaning that they eat both animal and plant foods to stay healthy throughout their lifetimes. This is the case for both wild and domesticated rats. To ensure that a rat gets all the necessary vitamins and minerals for good health, it is a good idea to utilize a commercial pet food that is formulated specifically for rats. This commercial food can make up about 75% of your rat’s diet overall, as it is designed to provide all essential nutrients that a rat needs to thrive.

Keep in mind that offering only human foods to rats can create nutrient deficiencies that can negatively affect their health in the future. That said, there is no reason to completely keep human foods away from your rat. Here are the healthiest options to consider:

  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Cooked eggs
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Melons
  • Berries
  • Mushrooms
  • Sunflower seeds

You can also give your rat premade items such as yogurt, cereal pieces, and even the occasional baked fry or potato wedge. Dog treats are popular snack options for rats, although with so many other things to choose from, there is no reason to buy dog treats just for your rat if you do not also own a dog.

If your rat does not seem to like a particular food that you offer, there is no need for alarm. Just stop feeding it to your pet and try something new! Your rat will not become nutrient deficient just because they do not eat one type of food. In addition to offering a variety of foods to your rat each day, it is essential to ensure that a bowl of fresh, clean water is always available inside their habitat.

rat licking human hands
Image Credit: Piqsels

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In Conclusion

Now that you know how walnuts can benefit a rat as time goes on, you can start figuring out how you want to introduce these nuts into your pet’s diet. Snack and training times are excellent opportunities to offer healthy walnuts. You can also simply add a nut or two to your rat’s main meal a couple of times a week. The choice is yours to make.


Featured Image Credit: anatolypareev, Shutterstock

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.