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I just bought two pet rats today from a pet store. I noticed one of them was breathing a little quickly while he was sleeping and also coughed a little. I immediately called the vet and scheduled an appointment for both my new babies. The soonest they can get them in is on the 4th. I'm wondering if there's anything I can do for the little guy until his appointment. I'm a first time rat owner, so I'd really appreciate the help! Thanks in advance!
 

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Rats can often get "new home sniffles", particularly if you're using a bedding that they aren't used to. What are you using? The cheap stuff can give off a lot of dust. We use Back2Nature which is expensive but very good and really keeps the pee smell down as well.
 

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I'm using Aspen chips which is what the lady at the pet store recommended, but I did some research and found out paper bedding is better, so I ordered some and should be here Thursday as well. I hope all is well with them. I should have researched beforehand because I wouldn't have even got rats from a pet store had I known better at the time. But I'm getting them checked out and will do what I have to to make sure the little guys are happy and healthy. I got the wrong size cage, so I'm gonna have to buy them a better one soon. They're both very shy, any tips on socializing them? They eat from my hand, and they like to come sniff, but they run at any sudden movement. Lol
 

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The fact that they come to you and are curious about you is a great sign! To get them used to movement you can give them a licking treat on your hand while moving things around their cage. Trick training is also a great way to socialize because it teaches your rat to pay attention to you. You can also feed them tiny bits of treats to teach them to come back. Remember to reward them when they come to the front of the cage for to you so that they'll keep wanting to come back.
 

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Paper bedding is not "better" than wood shavings. It's just different. There's no perfect bedding. Everything has its pros and cons. Some paper beddings perform far worse than wood shavings at controlling ammonia. Personally, I prefer aspen shavings to any sort of paper bedding.
 

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I don't think you should use wood shavings, because it can harm their lungs. I like to use the paper bedding because it is really absorbent and my rats love to dig tunnels. Of course, they are your pets and you get the final say.
 

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hi, I am also a first timer rat owner, and I want to know how to keep the smell down. My dog will probably be curious if soMeThing smells like turds. She already likes sniff my cats rears and their litters. Help?
 

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hi, I am also a first timer rat owner, and I want to know how to keep the smell down. My dog will probably be curious if soMeThing smells like turds. She already likes sniff my cats rears and their litters. Help?
Their poops don't really smell unless they happen to be sitting on your shoulder and do one, in which case it smells like a fart for about 30 seconds.

The pee is more of an issue but Back 2 Nature is so absorbent that we rarely have any problems with the smell, even in the height of summer.
 
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