Over the last decade or so, more and more people have taken to keeping rats as pets and this has lead to a direct increase in the number of people that we see reaching out and asking for advice on keep rats. We are seeing more and more people reaching out with each passing month with a wide range of questions going over how they are able to best care for their pet rat and ensure that they are offering them the best care possible. Although we see an absolute ton of general questions based around “What do rats eat?” we have decided to target a more specific question for this article.
A popular YouTuber who keeps pet rats mentioned that they use grapes as a treat food for their rats in one of their videos a few weeks back and we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people reaching out and asking questions based around “Can rats eat grapes?“. Due to already seeing a steady number of people reaching out each month and asking if rats can eat grapes, we have decided to make it the subject for this article. We are hoping that we will be able to help any of our readers who are considering adding a pet rat to their family while also ensuring they have access to this great delicious treat.
Provided that you use grapes as one of your core treat foods and only feed them to your pets in moderation, grapes can make a great addition to your pet’s diet. Just like most other types of fruit, they have a great nutritional profile and can be used to supplement a high-quality, primary rat food. Provided you don’t over do it, grapes are safe for rates and can offer additional health benefits on top of their great nutritional profile that we will cover below such as helping to aid digestion due to the great fiber content of the skin.
The sweet taste of the grapes usually means that you are able to easily get your rats to eat them too offering you a quick and easy way to increase the essential vitamins and minerals that your rat has in its diet. We are not going to be taking a short look at three more specific questions based around the can rats eat grapes question type before moving onto a look at the great health benefits that grapes can offer your pet rat.
Can Rats Eat Grapes That Are Green?
We see this variant of the question the most due to so many people on social media and YouTube using green grapes as a treat food for their pet rats and people want to double-check if green grapes are safe for their rats to eat. Green grapes tend to be used when looking for a treat for your pet rats due to most rats seeming to prefer the taste of them over the other colors of grapes you can get, not due to green grapes being so easy to source from your local stores. Green grapes usually have either the second or third highest nutritional profile of all grapes depending on where they were grown and if they vineyard controlled the water supply to prioritize taste of nutrients.
Can Rats Eat Grapes That Are Red?
Although almost all rats will happily eat green grapes, the majority of pet rats will also happily feed on red grapes too. Although some rats do tend to be a little pickier when it comes to red grapes over green grapes, red grapes almost always have a higher nutritional profile so it is well worth trying red grapes with your rats as a treat food. Additionally, red grapes have a number of unique properties that can help to prevent multiple types of cancer in your rat too while also offering the other health benefits we will go over later in the article too.
Can Rats Eat Grapes That Are Other Colors?
When people think of grapes, they usually only think of green and red grapes but there are a number of other colour variants. You can also get purple grapes, crimson, black grapes, dark blue grapes, yellow grapes, orange grapes, white grapes, and pink grapes with some actually being more common depending on where you live than green and red grapes. Although rats can still eat these different grape variants, some rats may not like their taste as come can have a bitter taste that may put your pet rat off trying them. They are still safe for rats to eat so you can try them but don’t be surprised if some rats turn their nose up and focus on eating their regular food over these other grape colors.
Serving Size Of Grapes For Rats
When feeding grapes to your pet rats, we usually recommend that you dice them up into thin slices and then offer around a tablespoon of the sliced grapes to your rat throughout the day. There are a number of ways you are able to do this, some people will split the grapes out throughout the day where as others will put them all in their rat’s cage right away and then leave their rat to pick at them as it sees fit and eat them throughout the day. The main thing to remember is to use grapes as an additional food type to a high-quality, primary food mix that your rat will usually eat.
Vitamins And Mineral Content Of Grapes
Just like the many other fruits and vegetables that are often used as treats for rats, grapes come with high amounts of vitamins and minerals that can definitely off-set the trade-off between the high sugar content making them worth letting your rats eat in moderation. Although the exact nutritional profile of grapes will depend on the location that they were grown, the amount of water they were provided with while growing, and the color, you can usually find the vitamins listed below in grapes in decent amounts:-
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic Acid
In addition to the excellent vitamin profile in grapes, many of which are essential vitamins for a long and healthy life, grapes also contain a solid serving of the following minerals too with many of them being essential:-
In addition to the vitamin and mineral content of grapes, they also offer some excellent fiber content too that can help to improve the digestive system of your pet rat. Just under one percent of grapes is a dietary fiber with almost all of it being in the skin of the grape and although this may not sound like much, the small size of rats requires much less fiber than a human and can help to offer some great health benefits.
Although both constipation and diarrhea can be relatively common in rats depending on their diet with fiber being able to help prevent both, the main benefit of ensuring that your rat has plenty of fiber in its diet is to prevent impaction from occurring. This is less common in younger rats but can become a common, serious health issue in older rats that can potentially be fatal. Although fiber does not guarantee that your pet rat will not end up suffering from impaction, it can help to minimize the risk and is why many rat owners will switch older rats to a primary food that is at least 7% fiber in their later years.
Do It For The Water Content
Although this is usually only an issue for rats in their later years, they can sometimes go off their water and drink around twenty percent less water than they require. Although this is not common, one way that you are able to prevent dehydration from occurring in your pet rat is to try and feed it as many foods that have a high water content as possible. Between sixty and seventy percent of a grape is water meaning that they can often help you top up your rats water intake.
That said though, your rat should always be getting the majority of its water from the primary water source in its cage. If you do notice that your pet rats have gone off their water then we would recommend that you see assistance from your local veterinarian as there are some more serious conditions that can have this as a symptom. Your local vet should be able to quickly check your pet rat over and offer some specific advice to your situation and help offer and specialist treatments that may be required to get your rat back to optimal health as quickly as possible.
How To Prepare Grapes For Your Rat
Depending on the type of grapes that you purchase for your pet rat, they can either be one of the easiest or one of the most annoying foods to prepare for your rats. In our opinion, you should always just purchase seedless grapes as the seeds not only present a potential choking hazard for your rat’s small throat but they also contain toxins. You should always make sure that you remove any seeds in the grapes prior to feeding them to your pets but it much easier to just purchase seedless grapes in the first place.
We have seen people say that they try to remove the grape skin too and there is absolutely no need for this, the grape skin can be eaten by rats and contains most of the dietary fiber too. Save time and just leave the grape skin on but if you are worried about chemicals and pesticides that have been sprayed over the grapes during farming, wash them in cold water for at least thirty seconds and they should be fine.
Other than that, you simply have to focus on cutting the grapes into small enough slices that your pet rat will be able to eat them with ease. Many rats find grapes, especially green grapes delicious and will wolf them down as quickly as possible without a second thought. Even taking the time to cut the grapes in half can help reduce the choking hazard for an eager rat who enjoys eating their grapes quickly.
Once you have cut the grapes most people usually just add them to their rat’s normal food but if you like, you can hand feed them to your pet to use it as a way to bond with your pet. This is usually a beneficial bonding tool if your rat is new to the household and not used to you. Although it make take a while before your rat will come to you and eat out of your hand, once the positive feedback look of coming to you equals delicious grape has been built, the trust will grow rapidly.
That brings our article going over the question “can rats eat grapes” that we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking about. Grapes are safe for rats to eat and as we mentioned earlier, the majority of rats will happily eat green or red grapes but they can often turn their nose up at some of the other colors. This means that you are able to use green or red grapes to quickly and easily get more essential vitamins and minerals into your pet to help supplement their diet.