Rats

Did you know rats make surprisingly affectionate pets? If you're thinking of bringing home a pet rat, here's what you need to know.

Health

Rats that are bred especially as pets are safe to keep and should be free of disease. But common conditions may affect your rats from time to time. Your veterinarian will help you keep your pet rats healthy through regular check-ups. Common illnesses that often affect pet rats include:

  • Infectious respiratory disease
  • Tumors
  • Gastrointestinal illness
  • Dental problems

Your veterinary team can diagnose illness in rats, and we'll do all we can to get your furry friend feeling like himself again.

Care

Rats are social creatures, meaning they enjoy the company of other rats. Unfortunately, they're also aggressive breeders. It's best to keep your rats in same-sex pairs. This prevents breeding, yet provides the company your rat needs to stay happy and well.

Your pet rats will need a suitable habitat. This should be a wire enclosure that's large enough to give them adequate room to run and scurry. Rats enjoy toys, too. A simple hammock made from a washcloth or a small cardboard box with bedding material is ideal to keep your rats entertained.

At the bottom of your rat's enclosure, you'll need to spread small animal litter that's had the dust extracted. This will help to absorb the ammonia smell from rat urine. Keep your rat enclosure in a room that offers a comfortable temperature year-round, as these pets are sensitive to extremes of cold and heat.

Feeding

Rats enjoy a variety of foods, including meats and vegetables. An ideal diet includes such offerings as:

  • Commercial rat food
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Grains
  • Protein, such as dry dog food

Your pet rats will need plenty of fresh water. This should be provided via a hanging water bottle inside the enclosure. If you're unsure what to feed your pet rats, our veterinary team is happy to provide recommendations.

Training

Pet rats can learn many tricks, especially if trained young. These may include coming when called, standing on command, shaking hands, and more. Use gentle treatment and lots of love when training your rat to do tricks, and use food and snacks as positive reinforcement. Train your rat when he's hungry so he has more incentive to learn.

Location

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Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Ocean Animal Clinic of Santa Cruz

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

The Cat Clinic of Santa Cruz

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "My well loved dog, Bella, was well taken care of with gentleness and excellent care. She is so much healthier after her dental treatment. I highly recommend Dr. Hall and his staff. They truly care and have exceptional communication regarding the recommended and provided care."
    Catherine
  • "Our little dog needed extractions. We found the Ocean Animal Clinic and Dr. Hall. They took fabulous care of him -- even including a nail clipping and ear check. Both the vet and the staff were open and transparent. The surgeon was top notch and the staff really cared about our dog and us. Our little guy bounced back quickly. All this for a lot less money than we feared as well. Highly recommended!"
    Terra
  • "Dr. Hall and the staff at Ocean Animal Clinic are truly unique. Most vets are compassionate but always peddling unnecessary expensive services and drugs. Dr. Hall is compassionate, direct and alternative. He really seems to be in tune with the animals.

    My baby, Harry, is ill and his prognosis is not what a mother wants to hear. But, Dr. Hall was so good with him and also our girl Roxy.

    Just a truly decent, loving Vet. Thank you."
    Jennifer
  • "The Ocean Animal Clinic staff have been caring for my adult turtles since 2011 and I cannot imagine trusting another veterinarian with their care. As a college student he was able to help me find ways to improve the care I provided my pets and his payment options (accepts CareCredit!) helped ensure that my pets received the medical attention they needed on time.

    I consider Ocean Animal Clinic a part of my family and would recommend their services to anyone without hesitation.

    Thank you, OAC!"
    Alejandra