Deciding on a new pet can be difficult. You need to take many things into consideration before you bring your new friend home. Family dynamics, personal preferences, and space should all play an important role in the kind of pet you chose. Before you make a decision, you should do some research to find the right pet for your family.
A good pet to consider is a rat. Rats make an excellent first pet for young children. They also are wonderful if you live in an apartment or small house, since they do not require a lot of space. If you decide on a rat as a pet you will want to find one that is healthy and friendly.
There are several places you can purchase a rat from: a professional breeder, pet stores, or friends how have rats that have bred. Regardless of where you decide to get your new pet from, here are some things you should look for when you are making your choice.
Activity level: Rats are nocturnal, so it is difficult to view them when they would be more active, at night. However, healthy rats will adjust to their surroundings and should be more active during the daytime, when the store is open. You will want to pick a rat that is curious and active.
Their current home: You want to look at the cage they are living in at the moment. Is it clean, with plenty of water, food and fresh vegetables? You want to buy your pet from a seller who takes good care of their rats.
Inspect the rat you choose: There are a few things you should check your choice for to be sure you have picked a healthy rat.
Eyes: Are his eyes clear and free of discharge.
Ears: His ears should be clean and have no signs redness or parasites.
Nose: Look for discharge and sneezing. Both are signs of illness.
Mouth and teeth: His mouth should free of sores and the teeth should not be overly long.
Whiskers: Lack of whiskers or very short sparse ones can be a sign of trouble in a rat.
Legs and feet: Check his feet and eyes for sores and redness, look at the legs for breaks or deformities.
Tail and rectum: Look for sores or cuts in the tail and matting or discharge from the rectum.
Fur and body: Hair should be soft and thick, with no bald spots. Look for sores or rashes, and check for lumps or deformities.
Feel the rat's body, is he thin or overweight?
Age: Ask the seller how old the rat is, and if it is a store, where did they get it from? Check if it is a reputable breeder.
Finally, ask the seller if they have a return policy should you find out the rat has an illness or dies within a short period of time, like a week. Most pet stores have a 7 day return policy on small animals, but cover yourself by asking. You will also need to know your state's rules governing animal sales.
A new pet is a big responsibility, even if it is a small pet. Asking questions and inspecting your new friend before you bring him home will help you find the perfect rat for your family and will save you heartache down the line.