Do Pet Rats Need Vaccines? Health Basics Guide

Are you interested in petting rats inside your house? If it’s so, you should know every necessary thing about petting mice because they are pretty delicate & you must be careful. Many people also ask a standard question, do pet rats need vaccines like others (cats & dogs).

I never kept a pet at my house because my father doesn’t like it, but I have seen my cousin petting rats; he never got his domestic rats vaccinated, but it was his choice. Whether you get your rats vaccinated or not, you should take them to vets for regular checkups.

Well, let’s start knowing if vaccination for rats is needed or not, medical issues of pet rats, & many things, including precautions before petting rats.

Is Vaccination Necessary for Pet Rats & Why?

If you take care of rats inside your house pretty well, they are not supposed to have any fatal diseases because they won’t contact any outdoor parasite very often. Moreover, rabbis is not seen in domestic mice; therefore, it’s unnecessary to push vaccines on your pet rat’s skin.

There’s another reason for vets not suggesting vaccines for pet rodents & that is vaccines can’t prevent mice-borne illness; therefore, you have to be extra careful because you can catch some diseases from your pets even if you vaccinate your rats.

That’s the difference between rats & other pets & petting mice can be both exciting & risky; the primary differences are:

  • Cats, dogs, rabbits, or other pet species can easily catch illnesses; whereas, rats have only a few types of diseases that can be quickly cured & no vaccines are required to prevent that.
  • On the other hand, pet owners can save themselves from various pet-borne diseases by getting them vaccinated, but they can’t escape if they are taking care of mice.
  • Cleanliness, food habits, & nursing other pets may seem clumsy or time-consuming, but it’s the straight opposite when it comes to rats.

What Types of Illness Can Be in Rats: Make a List of Them

Every living thing can have various diseases & pet rats are not any different; the illness or their seriousness may not be that much. Let’s see what physical problems your pet rats can encounter & see what you should do during that time.


Rats are not selective about their eating &they will chew & swallow all the things you will give them, but will that be okay for their health? Of course not,& it’s your responsibility to monitor what the rats are eating, when, & how much; you can’t let them have all they want.

Moreover, obesity in rats can occur if you make the rats used to high-calorie junk foods, but you must take care that your pets are not getting attracted to the smell of outside foods.


Tapeworms&pinwormsareprettyusualinrats&theseparasitesentertheirbodies orally; some of them can be detected quickly, but some may be difficult. However, you will see some symptoms of the parasites in your rat’s intestinal areas like other animals.

Luckily, the vets have necessary medicines to cure the problem & no vaccine is needed; it’s a normal thing in them like other mammals. It would be best if you visit doctors & keep your little pets in regular observations.

3.Overgrowth of Incisors

Like some similar species, the incisors of rodents keep growing pretty faster than other parts, especially those of the upper jaws. Therefore, it’s necessary to take your pet rats to the clinic & cut the excessive parts of the incisors; otherwise, it can be fatal for the little ones.

No vaccine can slow or prevent incisor growth; thus, visiting the clinics & treating those teeth is the only solution.

4.Respiratory Illness

It can come from anywhere, such as virus or bacteria attack, unhealthy environment, chemicals, & smoke; all of these can cause infections in the rodent’s respiratory like other creatures.

Therefore, as a pet parent, it’s your responsibility to keep the rat cages clean, reduce their exposure to chemicals & smoke to reduce the possibility of getting infected. You should keep the infected rats away from the healthy ones if it’s contagious; lack of treatment is the cause of their death too.

If anyone asks do pet rats need vaccines to prevent these flus or other infections, you need to be conscious.

How Should You Pet a Rat?

Let’s see what you should consider while petting a rat; moreover, it’s about how you can pet rats being safe.

  • You should wash your hands every time you feed, pet, or clean them because a bit of negligence will put you in a severe situation.
  • You must keep the rats in the cages mainly & away from dirt, cold, or chemical to save them; moreover, you should be careful with their health & activities.
  • Please keep infants, elderly, or sick people away from rats because they carry some microorganisms in their bodies.
  • Try to keep rats away from the kitchen, dining, & food storage area; otherwise, the pets will contaminate the areas.
  • If a rat anyhow bites you, you must clean the spot at once & try to consult a doctor soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What Do You Need to Pet Rats?

You will need paper beds, food bowls, water pots, rat cages, & space to pet them; moreover, you can keep some toys & some edible items to chew for the rats.

2.Do Rats Like to Be Hold?

Rats are pretty socially interactive creature & they like it when their owners put them on lap & give them a message or little scratch all over their bodies.

Do Pet Rats Carry Diseases?

They carry some germs inside their body that humans can get infected through their saliva, stool, bites, or even hair. That’s why you have to be careful when you’re a rat parent.


No matter what you want to pet if the thought of having a rat ever comes to your mind, & you have any confusion about do pet rats need vaccines, you must read the article. You may not need to vaccinate your pet rats, but you have to be careful every moment because it’s necessary for both family members & pets.

However, get some cute rats from a pet shop & check the rats & ensure they are healthy before adopting them.

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