The Dumbo rat often intrigues rat lovers and owners. Although a very common species, Dumbo rats are often said to be the ‘cutest’ members of the rat family. They are nothing more than a normal domestic rat with a genetic mutation that causes their ears to grow larger.
Facts about Dumbo Rats
Dumbo rats make excellent pets for children because they are docile by nature. While nearly any rat can be trained to be handled and played with, Dumbo rats are known for their calm nature. Keep in mind, however, that any rat can become aggressive if not properly cared for.
Dumbo rats, of course, have larger ears than standard fancy rats. They are generally set farther apart and lower on the rat’s head. This does not mean the rat has improved hearing capabilities, however. A Dumbo rat’s ears are simply for show.
A large majority of these rats have a broader and flatter head than other species. The way the ears are placed on the head can sometimes exaggerate this feature. Again, this causes no harm to the rat, and is a symbol of a perfectly healthy rat.
Dumbo rats, in general, are larger than any other breed of rat. This is especially true in the males. It is thought that the size of the Dumbo rat is why they have a shorter life span than fancy rats, but this has yet to be scientifically proven.
While many people view rats as dirty pests, it is hard to come to that conclusion when holding a Dumbo rat. These rats are cute, friendly, and just as clean as a hamster or gerbil. They make excellent pets for people of all ages, and are a wonderful ‘starter’ rat for those who are a bit squeamish.
Caring For a Dumbo Rat
These rats require a large cage because they are very inquisitive and like to exercise. Making sure a rat’s habitat is large enough to accommodate it is important. Caring for a Dumbo rat is not much different from caring for a standard fancy rat, but there are rat foods specifically tailored for them. Whether these foods are better for the rat than standard rat food is not known.
Treats are a necessity for any rat. Because they are so inquisitive, rats can put on quite a show at treat time. Fishing for peas is a great activity for rats. Place some thawed frozen peas in a shallow bowl of water, show this to your rat, Then, sit back and watch as the rat has a ball fishing through the water to find the peas. Another wonderful snack for a rat is crisped rice cereal. Rats really enjoy the crunch, so this is a great snack to use when training the rat to do tricks.
As with any rat, a Dumbo rat’s teeth never stop growing. Many breeders will recommend flavored mineral chews that can be placed in the rat’s cage for gnawing. This will satisfy the rat’s urge to chew and provide him with necessary vitamins and minerals to help keep him strong and active. Other things that rats can gnaw on include Macadamia nuts that are still in their shells, cardboard boxes, and wine corks.
Dumbo rats are a wonderful pet for anyone of any age. They enjoy receiving attention just as much as their owners like giving it.