All About Dumbo Rat: Facts, Behavior and Care

Last Updated on 11/10/2020 by Veronica Jones

All About Dumbo RatOne of the most famous pets belonging to the rodent family is Dumbo rats. They are one of the most friendly, tender and affectionate pets.

They are the result of mutation of the fancy rats. Normally identified as domesticated Norwegian brown rats, they are the cutest pets out there for you and your family.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Dumbo rats. So, hold on, because you are in for a treat.

We are confident that at the end of this article, you will know each and everything about Dumbo rats and will be in a position to take care of your lovely pet in the best possible way.

Dumbo Rat Appearance

The most distinguishing feature of the Dumbo rats is their ears. As compared to small and oval ears of other rats, Dumbo rats have ears that are big, circular and are located on the lower side of their heads. This feature enables their ears to protrude behind their cheeks.

Heads of Dumbo rats are flat and wide, raised towards their back. This feature increases their uniqueness as compared to other breeds of rats.

When it comes to size and weight of Dumbo rats, they are also different in this regard; they can grow up to 16-24 inches and weigh around 1.5-2 pounds.

You can easily find Dumbo rats in black and brown colors. However, finding a white, gray, blue or a mixed color Dumbo rat can be a bit tough as they are rare. Their black and red eyes make them more different than other rats.

All of these features make Dumbo rats appear cute and lovely.

Where to get a Dumbo Rat

Finding a brown or black Dumbo rat is not that difficult as compared to white, blue or grey rats. You can look at the following places for a Dumbo rat. The average price of Dumbo rats is $15 to $20.

Professional Breeders

There are people who breed Dumbo rats for the purpose of selling them. You can also find rare colors from them. As it is their business, they also take the best care of animals.

Remember to check the health of the pet you are buying from them. It is also recommended to buy a Dumbo rat from USDA approved breeders.

Getting a Dumbo rat from professional breeders can be a bit costly sometimes depending upon your requirements.

Pet Stores

Dumbo rats are easily available at nearby pet stores. Most of the times you will be able to find a Dumbo rat on your first visit. However, if it is not available, you can ask them to arrange one for you.

Upon payment of a nominal advance fee, pet store owners can find you your favorite pet in little time.

While buying a Dumbo rat from pet stores, remember to ask about the source from where they are getting their hedgehogs.

Some pet stores are involved in illegal practices and you do not want to be a part of that. Remember to check the health of your pet before finalizing everything.

Adoption Houses

Dumbo rats are very common as pets that they can be easily found at pet stores. Many people put up their pets for adoption because they do not get accustomed to them after buying them.

Such pets are usually in fine health and can be a great option for housing. Charges are adoption houses are very less as compared to professional breeders and pet stores.

Rescue Groups/Friends and Family

Many people are now working as volunteers in rescue groups to save unwanted animals. They are genuinely concerned about the welfare of animals and would want you to provide a better home for the rescued pets.

Sometimes, people in your social circle are giving up their pets due to various reasons such as relocation or difficulty in handling the pets.

If you are getting a Dumbo rat through this source, remember to ask the reason why the owners are giving up their pets. Make sure that the animal you are getting is in perfect health and do not have any terminal disease.

Precautions while Buying a Dumbo Rat

Once you are done with all the formalities of buying/adopting a Dumbo Rat. You can consider the following important points to make sure that everything is all right

  • Take your Dumbo rat for a complete examination at a reputable vet.
  • Make sure that there are no cysts and swollen patches on the body of your rat.
  • There is no discharge from the eyes, nose, and ears of your Dumbo rat as such things indicate illness.
  • Your Dumbo rat can walk properly without any limping. It is active, not extremely shy and excretes small pellets.
  • The source of the Dumbo rat is valid and it is not illegal in your state to house them as pets.

Dumbo Rat Care

Dumbo Rats as Pets

Dumbo rats as pets are highly friendly. They will develop a certain bond of love with you and your family in no time.

They get along very well with the children in the house. They like to cuddle a lot and stay in your arms once they are accustomed to you and properly trained.

Dumbo rats are social animals when it comes to staying in a habitat. If you have one Dumbo rat in the cage, it will likely become lonely and depressed because you will not be able to stay with him all the time.

It is better to get two same-sex Dumbo rats. This can save you from breeding problems at the time when you are not prepared to handle a lot of babies. Females are considered to be friendlier as compared to male Dumbo rats.

Cage of Dumbo Rats

For pets like Dumbo, the cage is the most important part of their life. It is their home.


As we already highlighted that Dumbo rats can grow up to 24 inches in size, they require more space than other rodents. The general rule for cage size is that at least 2 cubic feet of space is mandatory for one Dumbo rat.

Each additional Dumbo rat will need the same space in the cage. If they start to suffocate in their living space, they will get nervous, stressed out and this will have negative impacts on their health.

Read more: Best Rat Cage


Using a cage with strong wires is a better option as compared to a cage with glassed walls. This allows better ventilation for your pet.

Dumbo rats, can however, escape through very small openings between the wires. Look for a cage that is specifically designed for Dumbo rats, has a safe door and is sturdy in overall design.

You can check the door safety by tapping the door firmly for a couple of times. If the locks stay intact then it is very unlikely that your Dumbo rat will be able to escape through this cage.

It is also important to consider the base of the cage. Both the wired base and solid base have their advantages and disadvantages.

Wired floor allows the poop and other waste materials to fall down through the cage but it can be very dangerous for the feet of Dumbo rats.

Solid-base cage needs more cleaning from the pet owners but it is very safe for the tiny little feet of your docile pet.


Providing proper bedding for your rat is very important. Makes sure the bedding is of 1-2 inches.

You can use shredded paper, shredded clothes; avoid using shredded wood as it may cause respiratory problems for the Dumbo.

You can use ready-made bedding, available easily at pet stores. Make it a routine to change bedding on regular basis or on an immediate basis if it gets wet or soiled.

Cage Accessories

Your Dumbo will need a lot of toys and other accessories inside the cage. It needs a chew block so that it can satisfy its needs to chew on something.

Teeth of Dumbo rats keep on growing during their entire lifetime. If they cannot find anything to chew on; their teeth will grow to abnormal size.

An exercise wheel, tubes, ramps, tunnels, and ladders are the toys you can give them inside the cage. You can easily find these toys at local pet stores or online.

Replace these toys after a week or two as Dumbo rats can get bored with the same toys.

The environment of the Cage

The ideal temperature at which to keep a pet rat is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You can check the temperature by a small thermometer and keep it warm with the help of LED heater in chilly weathers. Avoid keeping the cage in direct sunlight or a too much noisy place.

Cleaning the Cage

It is very important to keep the cage neat and clean. A dirty habitat can be the cause of many diseases for your Dumbo rats.

On a weekly basis, wash the cage with soap and water. Take out everything from the cage, rinse it properly, and change the bedding as well.

Make sure that there is no dirt on any accessory before putting it back inside the cage.


Feeding the right diet to your Dumbo rat with proper nutrients is very important for proper growth and health.

You can rely upon prepared diet available at pet stores. It contains most of the nutrients that your rat needs.

A healthy rat consumes around 25 grams of rat blocks per day. In addition to this, you can serve them with small portions of fresh fruits and vegetables on daily basis.

Occasional treats of baked chicken, baked fish and some sweets are also great for Dumbo rats. Feeding them at the evening time is always a better option as they stay up during the night and exercise a lot.

Remember to add a water bottle inside their cage which has a fresh and clean supply of water, a heavy food bowl that does not topple easily.

Rats have the habit of overeating. This can make them obese and it can lead to many health problems. Lookout for signs if lethargy, weigh them down on weekly basis and cut down their food supply if you notice leftovers in their cage.

Health and Average Lifespan

If you are taking proper care of your pet, providing him a proper diet and interacting with him on regular basis. It is very unlikely for him to develop any dangerous diseases.

However, it is always better to keep a lookout for the following diseases in your Dumbo rats and run to a vet if you notice any one of them.

  • Respiratory Diseases – Rats are very prone to getting respiratory infections. Common symptoms include heavy breathing, discharge from nose and abrupt weight loss. Avoiding this is easy. All you have to do is to keep them dust free, change the bedding on regular basis and give each rat in the cage proper space.
  • Obesity – Another common health problem associated with Dumbo rats is obesity. Obesity leads to many other problems. Rats love to overeat. You can avoid this problem by giving them only what they need and cutting down the excessive supply of food.
  • Red Tears – When Dumbo rats are bored, stressed out and nervous, they start to secrete a red substance from their eyes. If you notice any such thing, you can increase some toys in their cage, spend some more time with your pet. If this secretion does not stop even then, take your pet to a vet.

Pet Dumbo rats can live up to 3 years with proper care, health, and diet. This lifespan can some get shorten due to some terminal diseases.

Socializing and Training Dumbo Rats

When you bring a Dumbo rat to your home, it will be a bit shy while interacting with you. He may nibble a little on your hand for a few times.

You can use some eating treats in order to call him near you. Soon, he will develop a relationship with you and will easily come in your hands.

Do not ever pick up your rat from his tail, hold him very gently around its body and do not squeeze a little. All this care in picking him up will develop a relationship of trust between you and your pet.

You can train them to do tricks with sunflower seeds. Training should be done in a quiet and escape-proof room with only you and your pet.

You can teach them to stand on their feet by slightly lifting sunflower seeds in your palm when the sniffle it. They will try to get them and lift their body.

After a few times, they will do the same on your hand action or when you order them to stand.

Make sure that you supervise their interaction with children and strangers as this can make them nervous and they may try to run away or bite.

When you are taking them out of the cage, make sure that there are no electric wires or tiny plastic pieces in the room.

Why Dumbo Rats Make Great Pets?

We are sure that after knowing everything about Dumbo rats, you must be wondering how they make great pets. Following are the reasons that make them stand out as great pets

  • They are highly sociable rats
  • They have very few health issues as compared to other pet rats and pet rodents.
  • Dumbo pets are great pets for children.
  • They do not cost you much. Their diet, care, and accessories are easy to get and affording them is light on your pocket. The overall cost of keeping a Dumbo rat is around $300 yearly.
  • They can be trained to perform tricks.
  • Dumbo rats love to cuddle and play with you.
  • Dumbo rats can be a great addition to your family.

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