“ Brand: Pets at Home / Type: Small Pet Food „
After seven months of owning my pet hamster Frank, my love for rodents was found once more. Before Frank I hadn't owned such animals in a good few years and to tell the truth I'd forgotten about how much fun these pets can be! Owning Frank bought back fond memories of my first childhood pet - Matt the rat. I spent a good three months umming and ahhing about whether or not I should get another couple of rats (I'd happily surround myself with animals all day, every day but I do know there's a limit and to exceed it wouldn't be fair on anyone). After a month of successfully giving up the cigarettes though I thought I'd reward myself. I'm already seeing the financial benefits of not smoking so that's my excuse for now being the proud owner of two dumbo rats - Bob and Dylan (who're actually female but I couldn't shake those names)!
As usual I went to Pets at Home to stock up on all the supplies I would need for my new additions. I bought a cage which was part of a 'bundle deal' and got a 1Kg bag of this rat muesli thrown in for free. Frank is fed of their hamster muesli and seems to enjoy so I had no qualms with feeding my rats this.
The 1Kg bag costs £2.99 and isn't available in any other size. Although with only two rats to feed this amount of food lasts about three or so months so the size or price isn't too much of problem for me. The muesli comes in a plastic bag which unfortunately cannot be recycled. The bag is sealed shut to maintain the freshness of the food but cannot be resealed once open so I tend to tape the top up (this also prevents any mess if the bag accidently gets knocked over). The packaging tells us this food is vitamin enriched and is good for a rat's coat and tummy.
The food smells quite strongly of that typical rodent smell which is another good reason for taping the packet closed! The food is mainly oats and a few different types of flakes but there are also plenty of seeds, dried sweetcorn and poultry products in there too. Bob and Dylan seem to prefer actual scraps of chicken to the meat products this food offers though (that's if the dog leaves them any)! There's quite a few large nuggets included in this food too although there is nothing too big for my rats to easily manage. There's no artificial nastiness in the food and it's well balanced providing the girls with all the nutrition they need.
Bob and Dylan seem to like the food; they're eating it and seem healthy and happy enough so I've no complaints with it all really. I put a little in their food bowl each morning and by the evening when it's time to clear out their toilet and give them more water most of the food has gone, come morning there are only a few scraps left in the bottom of their bowl. The girls haven't been selectively eating this food which means their getting the balanced diet they require although I do tend to mix this up with rat nuggets too just to be sure. Of course there's always the risk this can happen when it comes to these muesli foods so best to keep an eye on that if feeding this to your rats.
The food seems decent quality for a decent price and Bob and Dylan like it thus I can't really put it down in any way!
I have bought this food several times for my pet rats.
The mix consists of various seeds, grains and biscuits as you would expect a muesli to. However, my rats have never seemed particularly fond of most of the ingredients, and have picked out their favourite bits, leaving most of it untouched. I have tried leaving the left overs over night in the hope that with no other choice, they'd eat the rest of the food, giving them all of the nutrients the food has to offer. As it turns out, they would rather go hungry!
So now I tend to buy either this muesli, or a hamster food, as hamster food tends to include sunflower seeds, which my rats seem to like, and I add other things to it to make the food more interesting.
I tend to add a couple of different kinds of cereal, my rats love cheerios and rice krispies. Just be careful not to give them too much as some cereals are high in salt content.
I also make sure I vary their diets giving them fruit and vegetables regularly too.
So, on the whole I think this food is ok, but I use it purely as a mixer rather than a complete diet, as my rats tend to find it not too exciting!
Pets at Home rat museli is a complete rat food. It comes in one bag size only - 1kg at a cost of £2.89, this makes it a greater (on a per weight ratio) than buying a 4kg bag of the rat nuggets.
The food comes it a tough plastic bag which is recyclable and keeps the food nice and fresh until opened, however once you open it you will probably want to get a clip to keep it shut.
On opening the bag the food is pretty much what you'd expect from any pet museli - it's a collection of flakes and seeds that don't look particularly appetising. People like to give museli to their pets as it provides more variety than a nugget, however in the same vein your rat is more likely to pick out the bits of the museli they do like and leave the rest (mine leave the seeds) which means that 1) a fair amount of the food will get wasted and 2) the rats won't necessarily be getting all the nutrients needed.
The ingredients all appear to be natural with artificial colours or flavourings. Ash content comes in at 4% but it seems to be standard (for some reason unknown to me) for the vast majority of pet foods to have some degree of ask in them.
Personally I have always fed my rats on the nuggets however I noticed that my girly rat Willow hardly ate anything so I decided to try her on the museli and see if that made any difference (it didn't) so I have since just mixed the museli in with the nuggets in order to avoid throwing it out.
I'm not saying this is a bad product - far from it, however when nuggets are the alternative (a cheaper one that means your rats will get all the nutrients they need and can't pick and choose what they want to eat) I would leave the museli on the shop shelf every time. By all means though give it a try if you want - if you decide you're not happy with it then you can return it for a refund as it is part of the pets at home money back guarantee.