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Author Topic: Dog food, with a twist  (Read 9312 times)
Leah...
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« on: January 26, 2009, 10:15:48 AM »

Okay, so I know y'all must get sick of hearing about my rats... but I couldn't think of a better place to turn to for advice about their food. Right now they are on the same dog food that my dogs are on (with many other things in their diet, of course) which is Blue Buffalo (fish and sweet potato formula). It contains 22% Protein and 12% Fat. The recommended levels for a RAT is 14-16% protein, and 4-5% fat. Now, Sky is a very active performance dog and I want to keep him on something with at least 18% protein. My idea is that I can keep 2 dogs and 3 rats all on the same food, but I'm beginning to lose hope that that will ever happen! Also, Sky has some sort of intolerance to dry foods with Chicken as the main protein source, yet eating a whole raw chicken has no effect on him.  Roll Eyes Hence the Fish formula he's currently on. Sammie is a large-breed (border collie/newfoundland) dog and will be 9 years old this spring. I've noticed that some senior formulas are lower in protein and fat. The Blue Senior formula has Protein 18.0% and Fat 8.0%. I could put him on this, and make him share with the ratties, and keep Sky on his food. I guess the point of all this rambling is:

What foods do y'all know of that are lower in prot/fat and what is a good protein level for a very active adult dog like Sky?

Gee whiz, I stress myself out.  Cheesy
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Leah
Mom to:
Sky- Australian Shepherd
Sammie- Newfoundland/Border Collie mix
Rose- Tortie/Tabby cat
Stinky- Silver Marten rabbit
Ruby, Mambo and Charlotte- Rats
Trevor- Frog
13 Millipedes
NO LONGER WITH US
Bailey the Wolf-Dog 1998-2007
Spanky- Rabbit 2000-2007
Rosalba
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 12:15:41 PM »

Wow. For a moment there I wasn't sure if you meant fancy rats or rats like rat terriers =D I had pet rats most of high school and then all of college and will always have a soft spot for the little critters -they are great pets, especially if for some reason you can't have dogs! But it can get a little tiresome having to explain to practically everyone that these are rattus norvegicus and not rattus rattus Cheesy

Anyways, from what I've read, active dogs require a high protein diet to keep up -not that I would know from experience as both my dogs are pretty sedentary Smiley but I do know that too much protein is a big no-no for rats and can cause a whole lot of problems... Which is why dog food is usually not recomended. I'd say spend the extra $10 a month and get them a good rat feed at a petstore and supplement with fresh veggies and fruit and grains -not too much nuts (protein,again) and a little chocolate does wonders for their colds! Smiley I hope this helps...? All I can say is that most of my rate came from petstores and they still lived over 2 years (more like 3-4 years), which is pretty impressive for rats, so I like to think it was thanks to excersice and diet Wink

So, are we actually talking fancy rats? Because if not, I just struggled with my phone's touchscreen to spew useless knowledge...

Anyway, good luck with your crew!
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-Rosalba

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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 12:33:01 PM »

I don't feed my rats dog food at all, I'm not familiar with doing that.

they both get rat chow which for a 5 lb bag is about $8-9 and for 2 rats lasts about a month (but mine are chunky monkeys......l ol).  they also get baby carrots every day and 1-2 other treats, either a fruit/veggie/leafy or a cracker or cereal.  Plus a bit of rat treat.

Quote
and a little chocolate does wonders for their colds!
Huh, I haven't heard of that, I may have to try it......althou gh my one gets more allergies than colds.  Undecided

My rat terriers, on the other hand, do get high protein/high fat foods to keep meat on their active bodies........ lol.  Otherwise they'd wither away.......lol .
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Leah...
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 04:51:06 PM »

My rats have a very uhh, shall I say "balanced diet". Basically, they're spoiled rotten, sometimes starting with the insides! They get a couple items a day off a very long list of snacks including but never limited to yogurt, fresh veggies and fruits, canned green beans, oatmeal (cooked or raw) boiled egg, boiled chicken or turkey meat and bones, cottage/ricotta cheese, pecans, and so many other stuff I find in my fridge that I know is healthy. The main staple of their diet is a mixture of about 50% dog food, 25% seed/grain mixture, and 25% lab blocks. The lab blocks are probably what you mean by rat chow. It's the ginormous pellets of who-knows-what, and I feed Forti-Diet brand. It's usually the only thing left in the bowl in the morning, and I'm not sure if one of them likes it, and the other two don't, or if they all just nibble on it with absolutely no intention of actually consuming any.  Roll Eyes
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Leah
Mom to:
Sky- Australian Shepherd
Sammie- Newfoundland/Border Collie mix
Rose- Tortie/Tabby cat
Stinky- Silver Marten rabbit
Ruby, Mambo and Charlotte- Rats
Trevor- Frog
13 Millipedes
NO LONGER WITH US
Bailey the Wolf-Dog 1998-2007
Spanky- Rabbit 2000-2007
Leah...
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2009, 04:56:30 PM »

Okay, and I think there is something about rats and HS/college aged kids. I'm a junior in high school now, and almost everyone I talk to about rats had them "back in the day"... Maybe it's just that everyone likes that the rat has the same maturity level we do at the time. Does that mean I should be worried that my other pet is an Aussie???  Cheesy

And yeah, chocolate is good for upper respiratory problems and colds. The darker the chocolate, the better. Lower in sugar.
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Leah
Mom to:
Sky- Australian Shepherd
Sammie- Newfoundland/Border Collie mix
Rose- Tortie/Tabby cat
Stinky- Silver Marten rabbit
Ruby, Mambo and Charlotte- Rats
Trevor- Frog
13 Millipedes
NO LONGER WITH US
Bailey the Wolf-Dog 1998-2007
Spanky- Rabbit 2000-2007
ZooCrew
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2009, 08:40:37 AM »

Actually my "rat chow".......well that's what I call it anyway......is a mixture of seed, banana chips, some misc. unidentified foods (lol) and the lab blocks.

Well I can honestly tell you that your rats eat much better than mine.......... ..lol.  I buy veggies specifically for them b/c there is not much healthy foods in the house.  They also get any bird treats the birds don't like.......... ..which happens more than one would think.   Roll Eyes  I know i have a really  hard time finding any rat (or bird) treats at the store where the one of the first ingredients isn't some kind of sugar.  I've been trying hard to go natural with all the pet's foods and it has not been easy.  Tongue  I like to mix it up, but end up buying alot of the same stuff b/c there simply isn't much choice for healthy treats.
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BritnyLe
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2009, 09:09:44 AM »

I actually own Black Rose Rattery and used to feed my rats lab blocks with fresh fruit and such daily. Well once my rattery began to grow (to about 50+ rats at a time) I had to change up the diet a bit. I was working at Festival Foods as a cake decorator and switched my rats over to their store brand dog food. The food is about $15-20 dollars for a 50 pound bag. I now have a blend I make myself. The recipe is basically below. I changes every once and a while for pregnant mothers, newly weaned babies, etc. My rats have been eating this now for years and are doing great and the price is very reasonable and by buying in bulk it lasts for a long time!

2/5 Generic dog food

1/5 Fresh Fruit or frozen baby food (they love the baby food in summer)

1/5 Fresh Vegetables

1/5 Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal (you can find it on sale pretty often for like 3 boxes for $5, I get the whole grain with vanilla oat clusters, it seems to be the favorite.)
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Hades: 2 year old, Saint Bernard/Great Dane/English Mastiff mix
Jypsi: 8 week old Cocker Spaniel/Australian Cattle Dog mix
Kane aka Poe, Kira, Karma, Kalypso, and Krystal my kitty kids
A ball python
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Rosalba
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2009, 02:18:35 PM »

AAAAW! all this rat talk is making me want some!! which could be quite convenient since I was starting to get puppy fever and I currently reside in a teeny tiny apartment with two dogs!

To think I have been about two years without keeping rats! wow... I'm going to start looking for breeders here in Denver!!! and maybe visiting petsmart (which I like more than Petco when it comes to actual pets...) to see what they have...

This is getting to be pretty NDR, but after my bestest girl Chloe passed away my senior year in college (an American Blue, rex fur and standard ears), I just let her cage mates live out their lives and never got more rats, because that rat was seriously awesome! (as much as my very first, Guacala, who made me love fancy rats back in my sophomore year in high school -lived past me entering college). But I just realized I have apparently just recently gotten over those two and can probably move on (?) -we'll see, but once you have a baby rat in your hand, it's hard to resist!!!
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-Rosalba

owned by:
Frida (the Chihuahua)
Olive (the handsome devil of a cat)
Lucca (the Saint Bernard puppy)
BritnyLe
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2009, 02:27:27 PM »

Well if you're ever near north eastern Wisconsin you can have one of my rats.  Wink I breed dumbos, rex, and hairless. As well as double rexes/semi hairless whichever you like to call them. I almost always have ratty babies or my partner breeder has a litter. She is currently expecting a litter from one of my boys I bred and she has him as a stud with her beautiful Athena. Athena is a female berkshire rex and the male I gave them is an adorable black masked male with rex and dumbo traits from his parents. So the litter should he amazing!! We're also expecting a litter of kittens! We bred my half Maine Coon with her full Maine Coon so I'm excited about the baby kitties soon to come too.
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Hades: 2 year old, Saint Bernard/Great Dane/English Mastiff mix
Jypsi: 8 week old Cocker Spaniel/Australian Cattle Dog mix
Kane aka Poe, Kira, Karma, Kalypso, and Krystal my kitty kids
A ball python
Otis the rabbit
ZooCrew
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2009, 03:13:54 PM »

I may want to find you in a couple of year........lo l.  My next rats will be a hairless and blue (although i have seen some adorable dalmation dumbos at work) and I want at least one to be a dumbo.

I live outside of Chicago, so w/i driving distance.  Wink

My guys are only 2 now, although I know life expectancy is normally around 2, maybe 3 yrs.  My one has cancer so not sure how much longer he'll be around.  Cry  And I don't think I should add anymore til' they both pass (not sure how easy it would be to add a baby in with an adult male).  But I will def. keep you in mind when I'm looking for some newbies.  Cheesy
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BritnyLe
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2009, 03:20:30 PM »

I used to live in Kenosha Wisconsin, and was right on the border of IL. I don't breed blues currently, but I know a place in Kenosha which wouldn't be far from you, it's called Jim's Aquarium and Pets. The store is kinda weird, it's in the owners basement and its kinda scary down there lol. Even though going into the basement is scary they breed rats and have beautiful blues. I got a few of my fawn rats from them and never had any problems and they are really good about baking their animals up because it's a ma and pa store insted of a retail chain.
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Hades: 2 year old, Saint Bernard/Great Dane/English Mastiff mix
Jypsi: 8 week old Cocker Spaniel/Australian Cattle Dog mix
Kane aka Poe, Kira, Karma, Kalypso, and Krystal my kitty kids
A ball python
Otis the rabbit
Leah...
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2009, 07:23:31 AM »

I love rat people almost as much as I do dog people!

Dude, the seed mix I feed definitely has some of those unidentifiable foods.  Cheesy I'm so sorry your boy has cancer! Unfortunately that is one of the draw-backs to owning rats. I'm totally in love with your boys, they are so squishy looking!!!

Brittney, do you have a website? I'd love to see your rats.

I really want a blue as well, and I think when I get my boys (who knows when that will be) I want one to be a solid/berkshire blue... Or a Siamese. I think I have some weird issue with hooded rats. Not novel enough? Lol My hooded is hairless, so she's automatically in with the "in" crowd.  Cool So... I'm in New Mexico. Zoo Crew, you need to UPS me your boys. Or at least one.  Wink
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 07:23:53 AM by Leah... » Logged

Leah
Mom to:
Sky- Australian Shepherd
Sammie- Newfoundland/Border Collie mix
Rose- Tortie/Tabby cat
Stinky- Silver Marten rabbit
Ruby, Mambo and Charlotte- Rats
Trevor- Frog
13 Millipedes
NO LONGER WITH US
Bailey the Wolf-Dog 1998-2007
Spanky- Rabbit 2000-2007
Leah...
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2009, 07:26:38 AM »

Oh, and Rosalba. I think it is officially time for you to get some new ratties!!! Little furry (or in my case not so furry) squishy curious little babies! How can you resist? The perfect apartment pet.
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Leah
Mom to:
Sky- Australian Shepherd
Sammie- Newfoundland/Border Collie mix
Rose- Tortie/Tabby cat
Stinky- Silver Marten rabbit
Ruby, Mambo and Charlotte- Rats
Trevor- Frog
13 Millipedes
NO LONGER WITH US
Bailey the Wolf-Dog 1998-2007
Spanky- Rabbit 2000-2007
BritnyLe
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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2009, 07:49:21 AM »

I love rat people almost as much as I do dog people!

Dude, the seed mix I feed definitely has some of those unidentifiable foods.  Cheesy I'm so sorry your boy has cancer! Unfortunately that is one of the draw-backs to owning rats. I'm totally in love with your boys, they are so squishy looking!!!

Brittney, do you have a website? I'd love to see your rats.

I really want a blue as well, and I think when I get my boys (who knows when that will be) I want one to be a solid/berkshire blue... Or a Siamese. I think I have some weird issue with hooded rats. Not novel enough? Lol My hooded is hairless, so she's automatically in with the "in" crowd.  Cool So... I'm in New Mexico. Zoo Crew, you need to UPS me your boys. Or at least one.  Wink


I had  site started but then I never finished it. I also have a myspace but the pictures aren't up to date. LOL! I had to change my actual site because I got a little hairless lady from a local petshop and she had an airborne virus and it whiped out my whole breeding colony. I was crushed. Alot of the rats I had were retired and I had some for over 4 years plus. It whiped out every rat in the house even the ones on a different floor. It was really weird. I've never seen anything like it. They all died within 2 days. So I had to bleach clean EVERYTHING and it took forever. But I have some old pics somewhere. I'll find them and post them.
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Hades: 2 year old, Saint Bernard/Great Dane/English Mastiff mix
Jypsi: 8 week old Cocker Spaniel/Australian Cattle Dog mix
Kane aka Poe, Kira, Karma, Kalypso, and Krystal my kitty kids
A ball python
Otis the rabbit
ZooCrew
Tail Wagging Champ
*****
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Posts: 3355

Never say Never to a pet in need


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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2009, 09:16:10 AM »

Quote
I love rat people almost as much as I do dog people!

Dude, the seed mix I feed definitely has some of those unidentifiable foods.   I'm so sorry your boy has cancer! Unfortunately that is one of the draw-backs to owning rats. I'm totally in love with your boys, they are so squishy looking!!!

Brittney, do you have a website? I'd love to see your rats.

I really want a blue as well, and I think when I get my boys (who knows when that will be) I want one to be a solid/berkshire blue... Or a Siamese. I think I have some weird issue with hooded rats. Not novel enough? Lol My hooded is hairless, so she's automatically in with the "in" crowd.   So... I'm in New Mexico. Zoo Crew, you need to UPS me your boys. Or at least one. 

Sorry, no can do  Wink.  I think Posey (my rat terrier) would miss them too much.......... .lol.  She plays peek-a-boo with Tater every so often.   Grin

I'm like you..........h ooded rats really hold no interest for me, unless they're hairless or blue.  Your standard hooded rat is uninteresting to me, probably b/c that was pretty much all we ever got in at work.

Quote
I had  site started but then I never finished it. I also have a myspace but the pictures aren't up to date. LOL! I had to change my actual site because I got a little hairless lady from a local petshop and she had an airborne virus and it whiped out my whole breeding colony. I was crushed. Alot of the rats I had were retired and I had some for over 4 years plus. It whiped out every rat in the house even the ones on a different floor. It was really weird. I've never seen anything like it. They all died within 2 days. So I had to bleach clean EVERYTHING and it took forever. But I have some old pics somewhere. I'll find them and post them.

I'm so sorry to hear about you losing all your rats.  Sad That must have been so difficult.  I've heard of a similar thing happening with someone's snake breeder stock, they lost almost all their snakes as well.
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