Can Rats Eat Garlic?

Can rats have garlic? Many rat owners ask this question and wonder if the bulb can have a positive impact on the health of their critter. Unfortunately, you will find a variety of different answers to this question. In this article, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about garlic and rats.

Can rats have garlic?

Garlic is known to be beneficial to human health. [1] So why shouldn’t that be for rats too? The short answer is: yes, rats can have garlic. But you should consider a few things before you feed the herb. 

And as always, variety is king. Offer a lot of different fresh food along with high-quality rat food.

Do Rats Like Garlic?

Yes and no. Garlic is very strong and rats have a sensitive sense of smell. Most likely they won’t touch the cloves if served solely and raw.

Some gardeners even use garlic as a natural repellent for rats and mice. But it’s a completely different thing when you mix it up with some of their favorite food. If that doesn’t help either, try to cook it before you put it in the rat cage.

Is Garlic Safe For Rats?

Under some circumstances, garlic can have toxic effects. This is for rats and also for humans and especially for raw cloves. That said, your rats won’t eat so much of it that you have to be worried.

Offer not more than one clove per week and rat and you should be on the safe side.

Raw garlic can also upset the digestive system of rats. Nonetheless, often rats refuse to eat raw garlic so that shouldn’t be something you have to worry about.

Apart from that, you should definitely be prepared for some extra stinky flatulence.

Health Benefits Of Garlic

Garlic is high in antioxidants which are generally considered as being healthy. [2] These effects are the most important as they can have an impact on many illnesses that regularly occur in rats, especially if the critters get older.

I don’t want to go into too much detail as I’ve not a medical background. But garlic is also known for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. This makes it interesting as a preventive treatment for colds and flues.

Raw Or Cooked?

The ingredients change if garlic is cooked. While some rat owners say, that it’s more digestible when cooked, other mention that raw garlic is more beneficial. For me, there is no reason to neglect one for the other in general.

It depends just on what your rats want to eat.

I recommend trying both and see what your rats like. Garlic loses a lot of its sharpness and develops a sweet flavor. And we all know that rats love tasty sweet stuff.

Another good option might be to serve it together with honey which can also be good for rats. Just cook some garlic in water. Dissolve some honey in it and let it cool down. Then put some of the mixture over the regular food.

Wrapping Things Up

Rats can eat garlic. Even if it might be toxic in high amounts, the benefits are overweighting when given in moderation. Most rats also enjoy eating the bulbs at least when you cook them and put them together with some of their tasty rat food.