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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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considering new rat

i am thinking of getting a rat a petsmart instead of a breeder. there is not any no where near me! i know how bad it is to get a rat or any animal at a petstore but i feel that petsmart is diffrent. there animals look great and so does thier living conditions. what do you guys think?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 08:17 PM
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I know there are some people on here who feel really strongly about this issue. Personally, I don't look down on anyone who wants to provide a loving home for a petstore rat. I have 5 petstore rats, and while none of them are from Petsmart or Petco, its not a crime to get one there. I personally don't like to contribute to the larger chains because they tend to get their animals from really large breeders that come from very poor conditions. But you know what? So does the tiny pet store down the street from me where I got my ratties. At least Petco and Petsmart don't sell their fancy rats and mice as feeders like that pet store does. I say, do what you feel is right. Spend some time observing the ratties and hold them too. Good luck and keep us updated.


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Rats have rights...& mice too!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 08:45 PM
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I don't think it's necessarily bad and I hate when people get flamed for doing it, both my rats came from Petco and I couldn't be any happier with them (Though the Petco's around me are quite wonderful). However, future ratties of mine will be from a breeder, just because I feel "safer" with that whole idea (of course, the breeder being 5 minutes away and closer than any pet store really does add a little bonus ). It just eases my mind that breeders actually care about which rats they are breeding, and the chance is greater that I will get a more social and healthier rat. My kiddos have never been sick yet, not even porphyrin, but if I can lessen the chance of them having a really bad sickness I'll take it. But if you're sure there are no breeders around you, then it makes sense. But I would check out a shelter first.

But the whole feeder vs. fancy thing...personally I don't get bugged that they have a himalayan dumbo in the feeder tank, it just bugs me that they sell feeders period. A rat is a rat and I'm not going to say one should be a feeder based on their appearance...if that were the case, my boys should be feeders because they're both just your standard PEW.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 09:03 PM
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What bothers me is that this pet store treats both their fancies and feeders really bad, and when you buy a fancy you have to rehabilitate it. Or how they sell fancies as feeders until they are old enough to be in the fancy tank. It just doesn't make sense.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 09:15 PM
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I've never owned a rat but Shane has...he actually bought Al as a feeder for his snake but Al was just too cool to end up snake food and he kept him for a pet...had him about 3 years until he passed away from old age. He got Al from a pet store. Personally, I have bought 1 chinchilla from a pet store...she was pregnant when I got her and died 3 months later from birthing complications due to having been caged with a male She was way too small to give birth.
I do have another chin that was purchased at the same pet store but he was given to me. So far, so good in the health department even if he is kinda rattie-looking for a chin He's got a great personality though and is a wonderful pet.
I wouldn't buy from a petstore again though, no matter what kind of animal it is. There are just no health histories on petstore animals and we see lots of small animals in our vet clinic that were ill when purchased due to poor genetics, overcrowding, and unsanitary living conditions. Even if the place looks clean and the animals well taken care of, the poor genetics you can't always see.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2005, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiegirl
What bothers me is that this pet store treats both their fancies and feeders really bad, and when you buy a fancy you have to rehabilitate it. Or how they sell fancies as feeders until they are old enough to be in the fancy tank. It just doesn't make sense.
Yeah, it does suck like that sometimes...One of the things I like about Petsmart is they don't sell feeders (at least not live ones) and only sell one sex. But I got a hamster from there once and he was not the healthiest of guys.
Petco has their fancies and feeders in the same tank...not sure if I like it or not, but at least they were getting equal treatment, and from what I saw the treatment was pretty darn good. Though I just about *died* when someone tried to tell me that feeders only come in one color-- PEW. It was as if she thought feeder was a breed of it's own. Ah yes, and you should have seen my eyes bulge when they asked if my rats were for pets or feeders. I can't imagine my sweet little guys getting eaten.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 04:51 AM
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The thing is, there is no difference between "fancy" or "feeder" rat. They could come from the same litter, but just born a different color. That's the ONLY difference, that "feeders" are PEW rats...

Also, as far as I know, Petsmart isn't that bad. they only offer animals of one gender, so you're pretty much guaranteed that you won't get a pregnant girl (IF they sell girls. the one near us only sells boys, and they don't sell rats or mice at all). Also, Petsmart doesn't sell feeder mice, rats, gerbils, or rabbits. That's a plus as well.

The problem is that these animals come from mass breeders. They're like a puppy mill and buying from a petstore is supporting the mass breeder. the whole "save one, two more replace it" deal.

HOWEVER, I do know that I have had special rats from pet stores... that for one reason or another I HAD to get. One was my late Mel, who was picked up by his TAIL in the pet store by an employee.. only to have his tail degloved in front of me and the customer buying him!!!! I wound up getting him (and demanded to talk to the manager, who told me they come in every week, and freeze them each week to make room for new live feeders...), and taking him to the vet the next day. My 2 dollar feeder rat became a 200 dollar pet in a matter of two days, LOL!!

Where do you live? There are tons of breeders everywhere.. and there are also rescues out there, many who transport. I help along the east coast, traveling as far as Maine, New York, PA, NJ, MA, all the way down to North Carolina. There are plenty of others out there who do the same just to find a rat the perfect home. I live in Maryland and helped out with a transport that originated in California, once!

/edit- yeah that was another point! You don't know their genetic background annd MANY MANY of them will wind up with tumors, etc... or territorial aggression.. or other problems due to poor breeding. I had a little 4 1/2 week old rat just weaned, I wound up getting from a Petco, who suddenly blew up HUGE and died.. She had megacolon. it's not a pretty death.

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spiders are addictive... and super easy to care for!

Last edited by DragonTamer; 01-27-2005 at 04:54 AM.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 10:51 AM
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My first ever pet, a mouse, came from an English PetSmart... i got it for my birthday, and two days later it died. I was gutted and we actually took it back in a little box to show them and they just said "oh it must have been the runt - pick another one" they really didn't seem to care much at all, so on Saturday i'm going to check out the animal shelter instead They have better medical history and stuff. I am not against pet stores by all means, i have had many wonderful pets from them, but this time i'm just trying something different. I think they're better suited to some people than others, it is much more convenient for me to go to a pet shop for example, but seing as im working at the shelter in the morning i may as well get one from there! Good luck!

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 12:28 PM
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I personally think it doesn't matter where you get a pet from as long as its healthy and the conditions its in are good and clean and you can provide a stable loving home for it, for example when you take on a rescued pet you ain't a clue about its background but its a chance you take. Any animal can get ill no matter where you get it from and how good a place it came from, when you take a pet on you take all that on board and have to take the rough with the smooth. Goodluck with whatever you decide

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the help guys. i think i will get one from petsmart. i have been going in there weekly and playing with their boys. i would really love to buy from a breder. the idea of bring a new rat here and getting my others sick make me horrified. i guess this is a chance that has to be taken when adding a new rat. i know to quarentine, but that doesnt always work. i live in scottsville kentucky. and the closest breeder is 6 hours away. i dont drive, and the only people who will drive me thinks that thats outragous to drive 6 hours for a rat when i can get one down the street.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 05:03 PM
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if you're getting one from Petsmart just remember to do the usual Quarantine. And remember that another cage isn't quarantining.. they have to be in another air supply, no cross-contamination whatsoever and drive around for 2 hours, because SDA can stick to your body for up to that long.

I'm just giving a word of warning, because I did get SDA two years ago from a Petsmart. it was a petsmart that I normally never visit and haven't been back to since.. I didn't even buy a rat there, I just walked in, handled a rat, and came straight home without showering or waiting the 2 hours.. it's a very real threat and rats can carry it without showing the usual signs.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 05:29 PM
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We actually bought our first rat from Petsmart for my husband on a whim. He fell in love with her and two weeks later we started noticing her breathing was very labored and she just looked like she was struggling to be active and happy. We didnt take any chances and took her in and was told maybe it was an upper respitory infection but they would keep an eye on her and give her meds etc and see what happened. Week later recieved a call that they found out she had an abnormal heart and they were going to need to put her down to put her out of her pain. We have since gotten two more babes from the local petsmart and have been spoiling them rotten and they seem to be happy healthy girls in the almost two months weve had them.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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great for ur ratties! our petsmart only has males. thats great for me cuz i have boy ratties. i got a female rattie from petsmart years and years ago who died of old age. (or at least i think so)
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 09:32 AM
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Woah! 6 hours away! I agree that it's a BIT too far to travel to get a rat...

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
I personally think it doesn't matter where you get a pet from as long as its healthy and the conditions its in are good and clean and you can provide a stable loving home for it
I agree! My mice have come from Petco, and I love them soooooooo much. (And by the way, our Petco does sell "feeders" -PEW, but they are seperated male/female, and the only fancies it sells are female now! I am so glad for that!)

I think that the processes are quite the same regardless of where you get your pet. I just hope that people buying less expensive pets like rats or mice don't think of it as just that...like, Oops, it died. Oh, well, it only cost me 5 bucks.

you know? That makes me sad! How indisposable a lot of people feel that rats and mice and hamsters, etc. are!
I am glad we here at PawTalk know better! :party:

-Tare

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