• Pet rats and mice are small enough that you might not think about their weight. These tiny critters, though, can have problems with girth just like any other animal.

    Like with any pet, it’s important to monitor your pet mouse or rat’s weight. This task may prove to be a little more difficult than with a larger pet, as weight fluctuations will not be easy to spot in a pet so small. Thus, even if your pet does not appear to be overweight, it’s important to keep their nutritional health in check. Here are some tips on doing just that.

    Diet: Like with most animals, diet is the most essential aspect determining nutritional health and weight. A healthy diet will do the most to keep your small pet from becoming overweight.

    • Pet mice and rat diets are very similar, but some subtle differences can make a great difference in the health of your critter companion. While both will do well on a commercial pelleted or block food, rats need a mix that is higher in fiber and lower in fat than mice.
    • Try to avoid feeding your small pet a diet of seeds, as they will pick and choose which seeds they want, leading to imbalanced nutrition.
    • Snacks are fine for pet rats and mice, but try to limit them and only use healthy foods. Fruits and vegetables like carrots, broccoli, apples, and bananas are great addition to a mouse or rat diet.
    • Make sure when measuring your pet’s food, you measure correctly. A cup is eight ounces, not the full contents of a souvenir Disneyland goblet. Try to use proper measuring utensils.

    Exercise: Exercise is another important way to keep your pet’s weight healthy. To ensure that your pet mouse or rat gets a proper amount of exercise, you should make sure they have certain features in their habitats they can play with. This can include tunnels, an exercise wheel, or chew toys. Providing these ensures that your pet will have productive, fat-burning playtime.

    Weight Watching: Even if you are ensuring a healthy diet and exercise for your pet, you should still keep an eye on his weight to make sure he’s staying fit. If your mouse or rat starts to put on weight, you can try cutting down on the fat in his diet, or giving him healthier treats. If this doesn’t work, you can talk to a veterinarian about the weight problem. Oftentimes an overweight pet is an indication of a more serious medical condition than overeating. For this reason, it’s important to monitor your pet’s weight at all times.

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    Try to limit your mouse or rat’s treats to 20% of his diet or less.