Is it Safe for a Pet Rat to Have Nuts (Pistachios, Cashews, Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds & More)
If you have a pet rat, you more than likely already know that feeding them fresh food is going to be an excellent addition to the diet that they are already eating. With that being said, when it comes to rats, you are actually able to offer them a very wide type of foods that are going to be health for them, and on a daily basis at that. So the next time that you are looking through your kitchen cabinets for something to feed to your rat, you may come across some nuts, leading you to ask the question, are rats able to eat nuts and if so, which ones are going to be safe for them? Here is everything that you need to know about feeding nuts to your rats, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Can Rats Safely Eat Nuts?
Nuts are typically going to be very high in healthy fats, as well as be packed full of protein, B vitamins (except for vitamin B12), fiber, vitamin E, and many different minerals. On top of that, rats are simply going to love them, meaning that they are going to make a nice and healthy snack for your pet rat. However, since nuts do have a much higher fat level than many of the other snacking options available to you, you should only ever give them to your pet rat in smaller quantities and as a special treat from time to time. The one exception to this rule is going to be the very sweet chestnut, which is actually going to be very low in fat when compared to the other nuts, so it is going to be considered safe for your rats to eat on a much more regular basis.
Nuts are going to be a very nutrient-rich fruit that a wide variety of different plants are going to grow as their fruit but cased inside of a protective shell. They are typically known for containing larger amounts of healthy fats, which will then be stored as energy that will eventually be used in the germination of a new nut plant (pending you don’t feed them to your rat or eat them as a snack yourself first). As mentioned earlier, the fats that are contained in nuts are going to be very healthy for you and your pet rat, those fast consisting of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and even omega-3 fatty acids. Even though most of the fats found in nuts are going to be what you would consider the ‘good’ fats, they are still going to compose of roughly 50% of the nut, that percentage going all the way up to 80% in some nuts like the macadamia nut and pecans.
As far as your pet rat is concerned, this is not necessarily going to be a good thing, as they are known to suffer from several different health issues whenever they are consistently fed a diet that is high in fats, no matter what type of fat it is that they are eating. This is going to be because rats are typically going to be very sensitive to any type of high-calorie diet, which can then lead your rat to experiencing rapid growth and becoming obese, both of which are conditions that can shorten the lifespan of your pet very quickly.
While you do not want your pet rat eating too many nuts on a regular basis, they are going to be a great nutritional benefit when they are fed to them in the correct manner. This is because nuts have the ability to boost the amount of dietary selenium and zinc your rat get, give them the minerals that they require in order to maintain a healthy immune system, and even boost many other processes that occur in the rat’s body on a regular daily basis. As if that wasn’t enough to get you to start incorporating nuts into your rat’s diet, they are also going to be a great source of trace minerals such as copper, which is often times going to be low if you are feeding your rat a straight grain based diet.
When you weigh all of the pros and cons of feeding your pet rat nuts, it is hard to not see how beneficial nuts can be for your rat when you supplement them into their diet. However, you must make sure that you are only giving them smaller quantities if you are going to be doing so on a regular basis. While there are going to be other circumstances that you will need to consider (such as the size of the nut), you are more than likely wondering if you can feed your pet rat one of the larger sized nuts, such as a brazil nut?
Are Rats Able to Eat Brazil Nuts?
When it comes to Brazil nuts, they are going to be one of the largest types of nuts available, as well as one of the best sources of selenium. Which in case you didn’t know, selenium is going to be an essential mineral that is very important for thyroid gland function and even making sure that your immune system is healthy. On top of that, it is also going to be a very powerful antioxidant.
To answer the question of whether or not you can feed your rat Brazil nuts the answer is going to be yes. You can feed your pet rat Brazil nuts as long as they are unsalted and raw. Now you need to keep in mind that they are going to be very large nuts, so all you need to feed them is between a sixth to an eight. Any more than that and you are potentially going to be putting your rat at risk for the reasons that have been mentioned above. However, if you do feed your rat Brazil nuts on a regular basis, they will not only be getting all of the selenium that they require on a daily basis, but they will also be getting very good amounts of thiamine, zinc, copper, vitamin E, calcium and iron.
What About Almonds?
It is no big secret that almonds are going to be packed full of vitamin E, vitamins B, zinc, calcium, iron, and copper. This makes almonds an excellent choice when it comes to deciding which nuts you should feed your rat. On top of that, almonds are also going to be an excellent way to help support your rat’s immune system health, as well as a great way to make sure that they have healthy skin and a healthy coat, as the levels of vitamin E are going to be so high.
What makes almonds so great to feed to your pet rat is going to be the fact that they are one of the easiest nuts to introduce your rat too. They are a medium sized nut that comes in a shell that is going to be very easy for your pet rat to break through. Almonds are best going to be served to your rat raw or toasted, in a chopped or flaked form. You are not going to want to feed them anymore than about half of nut at a time.
Are Cashew Nuts Alright?
The cashew is going to be another nut that is considered to be medium in size and is already practically divided into two separate halves. It is packed full of a wide variety of minerals, those including zinc, copper, iron, and selenium. Like every other nut, cashews are also going to be very rich in omega- 6 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.
Cashews are believed to be able to help protect your rat from cancer, infection and anemia. Since they have a very high phosphorus count, you are going to have to be careful and make sure you limit how much you are giving your rat, especially if they are older in age or have any signs of kidney disease or damage. Other than this, you are going to want to feed your pet rat roughly one half of the nut several times per week, being sure that you alter them with some of the other types of nuts available to you.
When it comes to your pet rat, they are going to be like a member of the family. This means that you want them to be as healthy as they can be, but also have the opportunity to experience some of the delicious nuts that are available to them, maybe feeding them some whenever you are snacking on them. Just remember that you are only going to want to give your pet rat nuts in a limited amount, as well as only a couple times per week. Any more than this and you may be putting them at risk for several different types of diseases and conditions. If you feel that your rat is in any type of distress due to eating nuts or not, be sure that you visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.