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Because most dog foods have the protein that rats need to have in their diets. Not everyone can afford or has access to rat blocks, which would usually provide a rat with the protein he or she needs.

The food should have at least 18% crude protein as far as I know, and you are always better off with a higher quality brand.

Cat food is not appropriate for rats.
 

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Wench: Rats need very little protein. Food should have less than 18% protein. Dog food is recommended cause many brands have low protein levels and high quality ingredients. If you use a dog food try to find something with the lowest amount of protein possible and that has a first ingredient other than corn. The vegetarian dog foods work well!

I think it's used because it's easier to obtain than high quality lab blocks. You can't find good lab blocks in pet stores sadly you have to order them online. I know they have Mazuri which is recommended but the protein levels there are kind of high in those as well.
 

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Poppyseed said:
Dog food is recommended cause many brands have low protein levels and high quality ingredients.
True, and as long as you are buying the appropriate kind of dog food, the ingredients are better regulated than small animal food. Which sucks... the pet industry is huge... you think adequate food would be more readily available. :roll:
 

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I've fed Beneful Healthy Weight to my rats for years.. Beneful has all the variety like, every shape is a different flavor - liver, chicken, cheese, grain,veggies, all sorts of stuff. So I love the variety they get and I have noticed that they will have favorite flavors. Mika loved the red pieces the best. She always hoarded them first. I got the 'Healthy Weight' cuz it has less fat. I read numbers and decided Beneful was good but I was wondering to get the numbers again.. like how much fat and protein?

I recently saw rat food at the store and switched them to that, But now I hear that Kaytees brand is bad? Cuz thats the one I found, I was so excited. Now should I consider goin back to Beneful or other dog food??
 

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http://www.kaytee.com/ask_the_experts/antioxidants_and_preservatives/

that is from the kaytee site. They mention that they use something that can cause cancer with "extreme" doses of it.

It's kinda like avoiding sweet N low. Aspertame (sp?) is know to cause cancer but only in very high levels. I think most people try to avoid it even in small doses!

anyhoo i didn't read the article through well because i'm moving but I hope it was helpful
 

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thats a little helpful.. They seem so weird though.. they just brush off the negative facts, and their rat section is very lax. They say "Rats will down anything" pretty much and leave it at that. They seem to be all about their Bird products and the small animal stuff is just extra on the side junk.

I'm wondering about good stats for foods - the Beneful healthy weight has 7% fat which i know below 10% is favorable.. it has 25% protein, I keep getting mixed messages about whats a good amount of protein? And are there any other stats to pay close attention to?
 

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Protein should be kept low for adult rats. Rittens and pregnant does need more protein.
 

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My personal issue with Beneful is the quality of the ingredients. Purina is not exactly famous for quality...

Do you know the top five ingredients?
 

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Sparker said:
My personal issue with Beneful is the quality of the ingredients. Purina is not exactly famous for quality...

Do you know the top five ingredients?
Beneful Adult Dog Food Healthy Weight Formula
Size: 8 lbs.

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soybean hulls*, whole wheat flour, rice flour, chicken, soy flour, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of vitamin E), sugar, animal digest, tricalcium phosphate, sorbitol, water, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), l-lysine monohydrochloride, dried green beans, dried carrots, calcium carbonate, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, vitamin supplements (E, A, B12, D3), zinc sulfate, added color (yellow #5, red #40, yellow #6, blue #2), dl-methionine, ferrous sulfate, glyceryl monostearate, manganese sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite.


:?
 

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They seem so weird though.. they just brush off the negative facts, and their rat section is very lax. They say "Rats will down anything" pretty much and leave it at that.
well of course!!! It would be bad advertising if they didn't brush it off. They tried to put a positive spin on a bad product. I heard that Kaytee contained carcinogenic products but when I saw that they addressed that, and said it was actually ok disturbed me even more. They might have to legally present that information I dunno.

I was feeding my ratties Kaytee at first until forensic told me it contained carcinogens. As soon as I found that out I threw the bag away, and went to find better food.
 

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Forensic said:
Ground yellow corn
Cheap source of protein - can be damaging to the skin and coat - nutritionally empty.

Forensic said:
chicken by-product meal
Basically, the parts of the chicken that shouldn't be eaten. 8O

Forensic said:
corn gluten meal
Again, cheap protein.
 

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MopyDream44 said:
They might have to legally present that information I dunno.
They should, but there are no regulations in the US to monitor pet food. The FDA is not responsible for it...
 

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Ok, well I plan on looking at a few kinds of dog foods, are there any specific brands that you already know are good? What is low for Protein?? My one rat book says 16% protein but 18% for pregnant does and such. I think the Kaytee has like 20% protein or something.. and I have also heard many other numbers. ^_^;; I just have an elderly himi Maya, and my Kane is now about 8 weeks or so old. So, something for average adult rat or a lil towards growing rat would be good.

I just need some good hard Stats, numbers to go searching with.
 

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Here are some reccommended dog foods to give your rats. But DO remember that dog food will not have enough Vitamin K and copper which can lead to a deficiency in your rats (which is why lab blocks are preferred). You will need to remedy this on your own with supplemental foods or I have heard you can crush a children's vitamin up.

Most people do not feed dog food alone, but along with a grain/cereal mix like Suebee's Mix.

Innova Senior or Innova Lite

Wellness

Solid Gold

Nutro Natural Lite or Nutro Max Weight Control Formula

Natures Recipe Senior Lamb and Rice

Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula
 

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Ok I will have to go searching and hope I can find some rat food that is good. There might be a few no-name rat food brands somewhere.. maybe Petco will have more than Kaytees somewhere, and I could try a local shop again, they have rats but I do not know what they feed them or if they sell any rat food.
I have searched tons of stores in the past, I guess i will go searching again.
I found Kaytees... I hope there are others.

I found a site, it has some good number crunching. Is this site a good guide? Is it accurate?

http://www.shunamiterats.co.uk/diet.html
 
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