Typically, dog food might not be appropriate for rats. However, some dog kibble is fine for nursing mothers and baby rats, as it aids baby growth and helps mom renew strength while nursing.
I have also discovered that adults do great on light dog foods (for overweight or senior dogs).
The best dog for rats brand that I have encountered is Nutro’s Natural Choice Lite (CHECK IT OUT HERE), which has low protein composition (14%) and is lamb- and rice-based (not corn). Generally speaking, the protein content of a rat’s diet should not be more than 25%. Below 18% is best for adult males. However, some rats are more sensitive to protein.
Note: Avoid feeding rats/mice dog puppy food; this is way too rich in meaty proteins.
Seed mixes formulated for parrots and rats are fine as supplements to the staple diet but should not be the base/sole diet. These mixes often contain things that go to waste, like tiny seeds and alfalfa pellets.
They also do not supply complete nutrition and contain many nuts and seeds high in fat, which can cause protein issues and obesity (where the rat becomes itchy, and scabs will develop).
Best Dog Food for Rats
If you’re already feeding a good lab block as a base, you don’t need to provide dog food, but if you must, I recommend going for a high-quality senior mix. Again, you want canine food with less than 18% protein and as low fat as possible.
I feed mine a mix of Nutro’s Natural Choice Lite dog food, Oxbow Maintenance (when available), and a homemade grain mix.
Top Dog food for rats includes:
Solid Gold Holistique – CHECK ON AMAZON
Wellness – CHECK ON AMAZON
Natural Balance – SEE ON AMAZON
Innova senior – CHECK ON AMAZON
I would advise these dog food for mice/rats when you want to do the dog food/grain mix thing.
Note: Go for high-quality dog food and avoid low-quality ones. Low-quality dog foods contain more fillers and grains; those fillers/grains are not necessarily ones that are best for rats. In addition, you risk meat byproducts, wheat middlings, corn, alfalfa, and ethoxyquin, amongst other things.
Even if you want to go low, avoid going too low quality, as that could be a problem.
Remember, rats, in most cases, do not eat meat. Meanwhile, meat is a primary ingredient in some dog food.
The more meat they get, the more pungent the smell of their poop, and the higher they can get skin problems; some dyes can kill them.
In most cases, the cheapest food for canines is the best dog food for rats.
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Alternatively, You can use a “Doggie Bag” product from Tractor Supply and Amazon.
It has no meat, all-grain, and bone meal-based – a significant amount of protein and vitamins at 16%, so it was perfect for rats. You can get 50lbs for $10.
You need to read the bag. Then, to make even better food for rats, you should combine many products to make your well-balanced feed.
I hope this helps. Cheers!