Taking care of an elder rat is a challenge, even for experienced rat parent. Age aliments, meds, reduced physical activity, these are just some examples of difficulties which need to be endure, both by rat and the owner. But if your pet is well taken care of, old age might also be a time of a lot of joy, cuddles and time that will strengthen the bond between you and the animal.
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
Here are the 5 things you should remember when your rat is getting older and starts to require even more of your attention then usual.
- Patience. You will start to feel as you can write your own chapter in the book “100 ways to give medicines to your pet”. You will also start to wonder why veterinary clinics doesn’t have loyalty program with card points. Some more ambitious rat parents might also try to earn the “veterinary technician assistant” badge. But when you will feel exhausted and powerless, your rattie will come to you and let you cuddle him for an hour. Can a rat parent imagine a better prize?
- Vigilance. Be like a best detective in the station – always watchful. If you will notice the smallest signals of disease immediately take action. Do not let any illness to struggle in your herd!
- Elders needs. Old rats have their needs. Cage should be furnished very well to prevent falling down or any injuries. If your cage is very big – consider moving gammer or even entire herd to a low but wide cage. Cover the bars, so weaker paws might not be caught between the rods. A very good idea might be also putting a carpet or non-slip mat on the floor near the cage, especially if your rats suffer for progressive legs paralysis. Try to force your rat to move a little bit. Exercises are important for elders to stay in good shape. Do not indulge laziness.
- Time. Hands on rats clocks move much faster than on human ones. Spend as much time with your rat as you can. Play, cuddle, have fun together. Remember, you are a whole world to your pet, and that tiny creature is spends its live with you, even if it’s just a moment for you.
- Food. Good nutrition is now very important. Time to end with yoggies, cookies and other forbidden foods, that you might been given to your pet from time to time. Old rats they do not need so much protein, but vitamin and good carbohydrates are welcome. It would be great if your rat could use his teeth as long as possible. Also watch his weight. Chubby rats might be cute but extra grams will just make it more difficult for them to walk. They will burden their, already week, paws or heart.
I think I can summarize all that was said above in one sentence, which is: Let’s hurry to love our rats, they leave too quickly.
Take care of your furry friends. They were there for you. Now you have to be there for them.