RAT CARE / BIEN ETRE DES RATS
As both judges and trial hosts may have their own rats, information about general rat care will be on this page.
- Below, an example video of a permanent cage suitable for adult rats. Travel cages (to from trials) may be much smaller but permanent housing should allow for approximately 2 cubic feet per rat. Bar spacing should be 1/2 inch for females and could be up to an inch for adult males. (Also, Blue is fine, he didn't fall far.)
- Note that aquariums and any other poorly ventilated tanks are not suitable housing for rats.
- A secure metal cage must be used at the end of a go-to-ground tunnel. At the end of a trailing and locating track a cage OR a tube may be used. The cage should have sturdy grid wiring small enough that no part of the rat can be injured by the dog.
Caring for the rats properly during the trial
- It is the responsibility of BOTH the judge and the trial host to ensure rats are cared for properly during a trial. This means ensuring a schedule is kept of which rats have worked, and for how long, so that they can have adequate rest periods. Their cage/bin must be placed in a space away from all dogs so that they are not disturbed. They must be kept heated or cooled either in a vehicle, or with fans ect. in extreme temperatures. They must have access to food and water in their cage at all times. Rats must be checked for injuries after any type of incident (the most common injury is a bloody nose from a fall), any injury should result in the rat being retired from work for the rest of the day.