How To Comfort A Dying Pet Rat? – Pet Sort-Out (2023)

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Losing our best pet friends is one of the worst experiences ever. Fancy pet rats have a short lifespan. Rats only live for two to three years of age. So as a pet rat owner you should be prepared to say goodbye to your pet family member around their second or third birthday. So, if you ask me how to comfort a dying pet rat, the answer will be you can take the best care of your dying pet rat by:

  1. Giving more love and undivided attention during their final days.
  2. Providing their favorite food and drinks to keep them healthy.
  3. Make their cage soft and cozy with the right bedding.
  4. Provide your pet rat with a clean space to get rest and sleep.
  5. Always keep his/her place undisturbed as much as possible.
  6. Comfort your pet friend with the right medications as well.
  7. Prepare yourself as well as your family for the loss you’re gonna deal with.
  8. Create more memories with them as much as you can.
  9. Be ready to say goodbye to your old friend.
  10. Let your emotions come out from inside both after and during their last days.

The life and the death of our pet rats are not in our hands. However, being a loving and responsible pet parent there is much we can do. Making the painful process easy and comforting for pet rats with the best possible care is up to us now.

In the article below, I will discuss all the rat care tips to help you comfort your pet rats when their final day is approaching. I encourage you to have a good read to understand and prepare yourself for the same.

Caring Tips To Comfort Dying Pet Rat

Fancy pet rats are one of the most loving adoptable animals by pet lovers globally. They are not only cute but also curious and super smart. However, adopting fancy rats comes with one downfall. You have to bid goodbye to your little friend within two years or even less sometimes.

I completely understand how they became one of our beloved family members during these years. All the curious and cute activities, playtimes, and cuddles with our pet friends become deeply carved into our hearts. So when the final days approach we tear up feeling it is the end of the world!

Well, the process of life and death is a cycle that applies to all living things on our planet and death is thus inevitable. The only thing that we are capable of doing is to live a happy life and make life happier and healthy for our pet family.

Right healthcare habits, proper foods, drinking, lodging, and playing are the basics that we must provide to pet rats. However, as the final time approaches, we need to double up these caring schedules and make the process easier for them. Here are the things that you may follow:

Cage Care

A proper, comfortable and cozy housing is the first thing you can help your furry baby with. You may seek the advice of your local vet for this.

Start with isolating the sick rat in a separate cage from his/her other cage mates, to avoid stress and disease transmission. This process will also help your dying rat to save their much-needed energy during the final days.

A sick or dying rat demands a calm, quiet and cozy space to rest and sleep more than usual. Providing them with the needful space and environment to rest and relax is your first step to comfort a dying rat.

Also, attend them with your much-needed love, affection, care, and undivided attention and comfort them with your loving support. You may also seek help from the local vet for any added information to help your pet friend in these difficult days.

The Right Temperature

Our fancy pet rats are small animals and their body needs a special temperature check, especially when they are sick or getting old. Too much heat or too much cold is both fatal conditions for them. It is important to help them maintain the right body heat during these days.

It is advisable to maintain a temperature of 64-79 degrees Fahrenheit to create a healthy space for your pet rat. Temperature ranging above 95-degrees degrees Fahrenheit can be proved fatal for your little furry friend.

A pet rat owner can check the body temperature by touching the ears and tail of the rats. Usually, these parts feel cool. However, if you feel overheating in your rat, treat them with cold fruits and desserts that they love. This will help lower their body temperature and bring them back to normal.

In the opposite case of lowering body temperature, you may assist them with super comfy bedding. A lining of wood Shaving on the cage floor also helps in temperate rice.

Another way is to spend some quality time and help warm up your pet rat by cuddling them wrapped in a clean cloth. This will cause their body temperature to rise. However, it is important to understand if your pet wants to be held up during this time.

If you find him/her biting and scratching your clothes or skin, it is better to put them back into their cage and try some other method.

Fooding And Drinking

Our curious small furry friends are happy and peace-loving animals, who also love to stay in the best healthcare possible. Timely eating and drinking are a must. Supplying them with their favorite treats and drink during their final days can be a great way to comfort rats.

Rats can go for two to three days without food, but not without water. Dehydration is common among dying pet rats. This is sad because of a losing appetite that dehydration causes death among rats.

If a rat is drinking four to five tablespoons of water daily it means their water intake is normal. But, if that reduces, you have got reasons to worry about dehydration.

The table below shows some common signs and symptoms that will help you keep a check on your pet’s dehydration.

Body Parts:Symptoms and Signs
NeckPinch the skin on the back of your rat’s neck. If it comes back to normal, know that your pet is healthy. However, if the skin comes back to its normal position too slow, know that he/she needs healthcare.
EyesThe dull, lifeless, and puffy eyes of your furry pet friend are a sign that he or she is highly dehydrated and needs immediate attention.
NoseHeavy breathing and respiratory problems carry signs of rat dehydration.
TongueIf you find your pet rat with a swollen tongue, especially during its final days, it is a sign of dehydration and needs an immediate vet checkup.

These basic checks can help you in taking immediate action if required. In the point below I will tell you about how you can prevent dehydration in your pet rats.

  • Give soft fruit treats that are loaded with water content. Try small, seedless pieces of apple, banana, watermelon, and cucumber.
  • Take a small syringe of ten milliliters and pull in a solution of salt and sugar and press it softly into your rat’s mouth.
  • You may also try dropping a dollop of your favorite treat into their water bowl to help them sip in some water as they try to reach for the food.

These are the few tricks that you can use to save your pet rat from dehydration. However, it is very crucial to reach a vet on immediate notice and seek their advice.

Love And Care

Fancy pet rats are little animals who love human company and the company of their mates. If you have more than one rat in one cage, it is better to separate the dying furry friend into a different cage. This will save your other stress from the unwanted stress of losing a friend.

However, your compassion, love, attention, and closeness are dear to your rat during the last days or hours. Your bonding, cuddles, hugs, will comfort your dying rat highly and make the process easier for them.

Simply, be careful to read their body language when you hold them up close. If you find them biting, it is better to put them back in the cage.

Prescribed Medication:

Seeking the guidance and healthcare tips of a certified local vet is one of the best ways to comfort a dying rat. The right medications and specifically the painkiller medicines can help your sick friend get rid of unbearable pain.

However, some pet owners try to self-prescribe medicines to their pets. I understand that the intention behind doing the same is pure and harmless. However, if not done right, your medicines may make things worse.

It is advisable to be extra careful before taking any such actions.

Losing a pet friend is never easy. All the old times, plays, and cuddle memories will hit you hard when the final days are approaching fast. You can, however, only accept the process, show love, take the best care and grieve at the end.

To help you understand your pet friend’s health better, below are some signs to recognize that your rat is dying.

Signs That Your Rat Is Dying

Pet fancy rats do not usually show any sign of illness or health hazard unless they reach their final stage. As a responsible pet owner, you can only educate yourself and back up with enough research to understand your pet’s health at best. Here are a few tricks to monitor a pet rat’s health.

  • Laziness: Rats are extremely curious and playful animals. They are quick, love to play, and enjoy human company. If you find your rat is behaving opposite and showing lethargy it is time to visit a vet. It is important to observe the signs your pet is showing and recognize them to avail the best treatment on time.

Laziness among rats can be due to reasons like dehydration, rise in body temperature, respiratory syndromes, unhealthy food consumption, etc…

  • Weight Loss: As a rat age, it is more likely that they will gain more weight. This happens as their metabolism turns slow and they face difficulty in digesting food. However, if your pet rat is not eating enough, he/she will lose weight rapidly. This can be a sign that your pet is dying.

However, to cope with this type of situation, as a responsible pet parent you can provide them with protein-rich treats and food they love to eat.

  • Tumor: Tumors are one of the major causes of pet rat demise. Reportedly, there are two types of tumors among rats. These are benign and malignant tumors. Benign tumors are comparatively less deadly as it is non-cancerous. In this type, the rats die due to internal bleeding of organs.

However, in malignant tumors, the rat’s body goes through tissue damage and organ failure, and appetite loss. Eventually resulting in the death of your furry friend.

  • Appetite loss: Pet rats love to keep chewing on something or another and eating is like a priority. Rats love food that is soft, sweet, and easy to chew on. If you witness a full food bowl inside the cage, chances are that your rat is not eating enough. Loss in appetite can be caused due to food allergy, respiratory infections, and teeth-related diseases. Consult a local vet at the earliest notice to help your furry friend with proper eating habits. [Source: Petpad]

These are subtle signs of deteriorating health among pet rats. Neglecting these signs can be fatal to your pet and bring them to early death. As pet parents and pet lovers, the responsibility of providing the best health care to our pets lies with us. Thus, I request all the parents reading this write-up to be extra careful when in such cases.

When it is time for a final goodbye make sure to cremate or bury the body in a place where you can visit to pay them gratitude. It is difficult to see them leave this space. The curious, playful, and super-smart pal needs to rest finally. It is so hard and the pain is unbearable. Give yourself time to grieve and find peace in knowing that you gave him/her the best life possible.

Saying Goodbye To Our Furry Friend

Saying goodbye to our old friend isn’t an easy task at all. Some people greet their rats with treats of their favorite foods. It might be a dollop of peanut butter or something else that your pet rat likes. Try to get all family members together to say goodbye to your old friend on their last day. It’ll show your ultimate love and affection for your little old friend. Moreover, it can also help yourself and your family to deal with your grief due to the loss.

It is all about individual human emotion to deal with our old friend on their last day. Some people get sad but can hardly express their emotions. For some other people, their sadness comes in waves. But children get most vulnerable at losing such a cute furry friend. So, it is good to make your children aware of this day and prepare them for it earlier. You can take the help of many books, stories, and movies to comfort your child’s grieving.

Cremation OR Burial Of Pet Rats?

Our pets are families and we always shower them with unconditional love. However, in tough situations like this, we have to keep the strength and help them with a beautiful afterlife as well.

Many rat owners choose to bury their rat after death. Some cremate them! If you have a sick pet rat or you know that your rat is dying, it is better to plan their after death beforehand.

This makes the process a little easier for you as a pet rat parent. You can bury your pet in a local pet burial ground or in your backyard or home garden where your pet friend loves to play with you.

If you choose to bury your pet friend, make sure to build a small memorial and write your heartfelt message on it. This will help you visit your pet often and pay them gratitude.

Cremating your pet rat and storing their ash in an urn is also a good way to keep their memories close to you. However, if you do not want to store it, spread the ashes all over your garden or in a beautiful place where your pet friend loves to play.

Making a beautiful piece of art with a paw print, artificial flowers, a love note and a photograph of your pet is also a great way to have a memory of your late pet friend.

I encourage you to use your love and creativity to guide you in creating a memorial for your little friend.

The soul leaves the body, but rest assured that their love will never leave you.

Overcoming The Grief Of Losing A Pet Rat

Losing a pet furry friend makes our hearts heavy. With such a big loss, you need to make time to grieve. If you have more than one pet rat it is natural to witness them grieving as well.

However, no matter how hard the situation gets, our lives must go on. Being a responsible pet parent you have to take care of the other rats too. Other rats in your cage may be showing signs of grieving.

Here are some signs you may notice if other rats are grieving:

  • Laziness and lack of self-grooming
  • Comparatively unclean cage
  • Improper eating routines

It is important to keep yourself strong and give these rats undivided attention and love during these days. Once you are doing all the needful for other rats, it is time to shift the attention inwards.

Give yourself enough time to accept the absence of your late pet friend. Cry your emotions out. It is always important to heal from the loss of a pet. Take your own time and make sure to heal.

You may take the help of books, journals, and creativity to create something for your late pet and show your love. Seek comfort from your other pet rats and learn to move on.

You can also bring in another pet rat. However, the choice is always personal.

Loss of any pet is never easy. We miss those we lose. But, educating ourselves about the pets we keep helps us make their journey easier, healthier, and less painful.

I hope this article assists you with enough information to understand the early signs of aging and sickness among pet rats. You will thus be able to help them with timely healthcare and checkup.

Life and death exceed the boundaries of our control. But, we can always make sure to put enough care and effort towards those we love. So, cherish the memories you made with your little furry friend and pray for his/her peace. This journey of pet parenting was worth all your love and care. You did a great job! Happy Pet Parenting!

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