Potential owner looking for advice

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Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:22 am

Potential owner looking for advice

Post by Jimbo » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:05 am

I'm considering getting a couple of rats.
I had some when I was a teenager and they've been my favourite animals ever since and I'm now in a position (owning, not renting) where I could potentially get some again.
I've been looking a lot recently into rats' requirement to ensure that I'd be able to adequately provide for them. My main concern at the moment is that I spend about one week every two months away from home for work (the odd holiday as well).
I'm sure I would have no problem finding family/friends to feed/water them whilst I'm away (my parents often look after their friends budgies(?) for them), but I'm somewhat doubtful whether anyone would be willing to provide much human interaction or out-of-cage time.
I guess what I'm asking is does this seem like a reason that I shouldn't get rats, or am I worrying too much? Are there any suggestions for how I might make this work? I would rather not get rats than do so and not be able to appropriately provide for them, so your honesty is appreciated.

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Re: Potential owner looking for advice

Post by Feolthanos » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:44 am

Look into boarding facilities near you. Some people will board in there own homes and whilst they may not give out of cage time, they should provide daily handlering rather then just throwing food in there. The cost of this sorts of services will vary wildly from a couple quid a day to much more expensive. Look at the worst case scenario at if it's still affordable for you to do so, as well as the time commitment taking them to and from.
I'm also not personally keen on the stress this could be for rats too as well as possible infection. You'd have to judge here at if this is something you're happy with, particularly depending on whoever is doing it near you.

With family and friends I think it's best if you go right ok, if so and so can't do it then who takes over, and what if they're then ill, or on holiday themselves, or whatever. Me and my partner used to look after a family members dogs when they were away at international shows. I truely loved the dogs and liked seeing them, but the commitment and the assumption that we'd be around got a bit much (and someone else was looking after them too in between) with a similar time frame to you going away too, few days every couple months. I don't feel accurately geared up to tell you if it's right or wrong to get rats now, but I would say look very carefully at your options. That type of regular commitment, even shared between people is a lot to ask.

Also, rats should be in a group of 3. I've just started with 2, but plan to build up and keep it rolling, so I'll likely have 5 or 6 at most within the year so that they always have company at different ages as ones sadly pass on. It's best for them to have the company, particularly if they're going to have limited contact on a regular basis, so bare that in mind too.

frodo quin
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Re: Potential owner looking for advice

Post by frodo quin » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:09 am

Can’t you take take them with you when you are traveling? I would only do that if you don’t have to fly and have an experienced vet there as well as at home.
I consider a week quite long to not receive any attention. Less than normal, okay, but non at al…And wat about other care? Things like cleaning out the cage, checking them, giving medication and going to the vet? Rats have a fragile health, so that is definitely something to consider too.
I would talk to family and friends about what’s okay for them and what’s not. Look at pet sitting businesses nearby…

I think it is doable, but you will need good pet sitters and a back up if you can’t take them along on your work trips.

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cyber ratty
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Re: Potential owner looking for advice

Post by cyber ratty » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:37 pm

I think it could work if you can find a 'co-owner' perhaps - someone who has them regularly so the rats get to know them, and they aren't really being disrupted every few weeks, just switching to their second home.

If you don't know anyone who fits the bill, maybe you could ask on rat communities and meet someone local that way. If you'd like to say what town you live in or near, then maybe one of us might know someone.

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