Fruits are usually okay for rats, providing they are in small doses. But it’s always good to be sure, so, where does watermelon come in. Can rats eat watermelon? And what about the seeds and the rind of this tasty fruit?
Can Rats Eat Watermelon?
It is perfectly okay to give your pet rat fresh fruit and vegetables. In fact, they should form a significant part of their daily diet, as we discussed in our guide to Pet Rat Nutrition. They are very much like humans in the sense that they have mixture of all things but that too much of one thing can cause digestive discomfort and can lead to diseases and deficiencies.
Watermelon is just one of the fruits that you can give to pet rats, providing you don’t overdo it. You can also give them fruits like grapes (even though grapes are bad for dogs and other animals) and tomatoes, as we have discussed previously. Not only are they good for them in small doses, but rats love them and as soon as they get a whiff of fresh watermelon they will probably go mad for it, looking to sink their teeth into it straight away.
How Much Watermelon to Give Rats
You should avoid overdoing it when it comes to feeding your pet rat watermelon, and any other fruit for that matter. These animals will eat and eat and eat. They do not always know when to stop. It’s not just rats, of course, the same could be said for any other animal when faced with sweet treats, including rabbits. It is understandable because children are the same and the only thing that stops us adults from indulging in sweet treats 24 hours a day is the fact that we know it will make us sick and unhealthy.
So, instead of sticking a big piece of watermelon in front of your pet rat and letting them gorge themselves silly, simply cut them a small piece, the size of a quarter, and then let eat that. You can do the same with other fruits and this will then form a part of their diet, along with the other foods we discussed in our main guide to rat nutrition.
Can Rats Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Seeds in general are not good for rats, or for any other small animal for that matter. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, seeds can contain chemicals that are poisonous in larger doses, such as the cyanide in apple seeds. Secondly, they are a serious choking hazard, being the perfect size to get stuck and being small enough to slip past their teeth and straight down their throats.
They tend to eat quickly, just diving in and not really caring too much about chewing. As a result, seeds can get stuck and cause all kinds of problems. So, if possible try to give them only the flesh of the watermelon. I know it’s not easy, but they only eat small amounts anyway and it’s usually not too difficult to find a small piece of the flesh that doesn’t contain any seed.
Can Rats Eat Watermelon Rind?
What about watermelon rind? If rats can eat watermelon flesh but should avoid seeds, where does the skin of the watermelon come in?
As far as we can tell, there are no serious issues with regards to watermelon rind. We can’t find any toxicity warnings and there doesn’t seem to be anything in the watermelon rind that can cause harm to your little ratty. However, at the same time there isn’t a lot of goodness in the rind either, nor will it taste very nice. They may still try to eat it, if given the chance, but there is very little that pet rats wont try to eat and that doesn’t mean for a moment that you should let them do so.
You don’t want them filling up on empty calories like that.