Your pet rat's teeth start growing when he is born and do not stop growing until he dies. To keep the length of his teeth in check, your rat is going to need to chew on an assortment of different materials. If you do not provide your rat with toys to chew on, he will chew on items that you do not want him to chew on and can do a significant amount of damage.
Wood chews are sold at pet stores and can be given to pet rats to chew on. Some rats seem to dislike plain wood chews, so try giving your rat a flavored chew or soaking the wood block in juice to improve its taste. When you are giving your rat wooden objects to chew on, make sure that the wood has not been treated with any type of toxic materials.
You can give your rat a hard-shelled nut, such as a macadamia or pecan, to chew on. You can also give your rats cooked bones, such as those that come from beef or chicken. Some rats enjoy chewing on hard dog biscuits or dog chew toys that are designed to stand up to heavy chewing. Wine corks and cardboard boxes can also make for good chew toys.
Bird and Hamster Toys
The rat toy aisle in your local pet store may be pretty limited (or non-existent), but that doesn't mean you will not be able to find fun toys and chews for your rat there. Wooden hanging bird toys can be a great, safe to gnaw on form of entertainment for your rat. Hamster toys that are designed for chewing are also safe to use for rats.
What Not To Give Your Rat
Don't give your rat flimsy plastic toys to chew on; these can splinter and lodge uncomfortably in your rat's mouth and other body parts. Do not provide your rat with any painted toys or items that are not clearly labeled as being completely and totally non-toxic. Always call your veterinarian first if you have doubts about the safety of a chew.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.