Is Asparagus Good for Rats?
Asparagus is a great vegetable for pet rats. It is non-toxic to rats and makes an excellent choice when it comes to feeding rats fresh vegetables. Low in calories and high in essential beneficial vitamins and minerals, asparagus is a definite yes when it comes to creating a healthy balance diet for pet rats.
However; like any food moderation is the key and having the correct portion sizes is important. We recommend limiting the amount of asparagus your pet rat eats to once or twice a week to help maintain as a diverse diet as possible.
It’s also important to note that just like humans, rats eating asparagus can make their urine develop a distinct odor. “The culprit of the funky smelling urine appears to be asparagusic acid, a compound high in sulfur and abundant in asparagus.” (Andrea Petrowitz, RD). This is not harmful to rats, just a little smelly.
How to prepare asparagus for pet rats
Rats can eat asparagus both raw or cooked. If you decide to cook the asparagus for your rat make sure to blanch it in boiling water or roast it. Make sure with both of these methods you do not add salt or oil as this can be bad for your rat.
Blanching asparagus for your rat is easy. Bring a saucepan of plain water to the boil then add in your asparagus and leave for 3-4 minutes to cook. Remove the asparagus and place in cold water to stop it from continuing to cook.
Whether you decide feed cooked or kept raw, slice the asparagus into 1/4″ (0.5cm) long pieces or into longer 1″ (2.5cm) lengths. Be sure to monitor your rat while eating the longer lengths to ensure they do not choke.