Dumbo Rat as a Pet

If you’d like to get a low-maintenance and unique pet rat, a Dumbo rat will be a perfect option because their big ears give them this adorable and unique appearance. And, the best part is that caring for them is no different from just any other pet rat. They are cute little pets that you’ll want to cuddle all the time. Most people also refer to them as “teddy bear rats” because of their big ears and the sweet little faces. They are also very friendly and loyal.

dumbo rat in hand

What is a Dumbo rat? / Where do Dumbo rats come from?

Dumbo rats are a result of a mutation of the fancy rats. They are easily described as the domesticated Norway or brown rats with large ears and a flattish head. Most rat pet lovers love the Dumbo rats’ adorable expression which is created by their smaller lower jaw compared to other rats. It is also important to note that Dumbo rats are well-socialized since they are only raised as pets; so even at a very young age they will know how to interact with humans. And, they also love to play, and they rarely bite.

Dumbo rat facts

  • Where did the name “Dumbo rat” come from?

Maybe you’re wondering why the name “Dumbo”… Well, if you check out “Dumbo the Elephant,” a Disney character, you’ll notice the pronounced resemblance with Dumbo rats, hence the name. They both have extra-large droopy ears that are placed lower on their heads compared to other rats’.

  • How do you identify a Dumbo rat? / Dumbo rats vs. fancy rats

The Dumbo rats have a unique appearance compared to fancy rats. Their ears are on the sides of their little heads while the other type has theirs at the top. This makes them appear so innocent in a sweet way.

  • Dumbo rat pets’ ears

When it comes to their ears, it’s not all Dumbo rats that have large and rounded ears. Some have smaller, tubular or wrinkled ears.

  • The head

Majority of Dumbo rats have flattish and wide heads that are more raised towards their back adding to their uniqueness.

  • Dumbo rat pets size and weight

From tail to nose, a healthy adult Dumbo rat measures around 15-22” in length and weighs approximately 1.5 pounds.

  • Maturity

Dumbo rats take 4-6 months to mature.

  • Dumbo rat pets colors

Dumbo rats come in various colors including black, white, brown, gray, blue slate, or a mixture of any of the 2-3 colors.

  • Dumbo rat

    pets’ eye


Dumbo rats will have either black or red eyes.

dumbo rat

How are they as Pets?

Dumbo rat pets have this cool and calm demeanor, and they love playing with their human friends. They love getting your attention and given their innocent and adorable looks, you’ll find it hard to ignore them. These rats rarely bite, and they are just as social as any other type of rat. They are also agile explorers and very easy to handle.


Choosing a Dumbo rat pet for your home

If you think these little and adorable creatures will make a good option for your home and pet needs, here are some tips on how to choose the right ones for your home:

First, given that Dumbo rats love to play a lot, the perfect option will be to purchase two of the same gender, or even more, to ensure that they have a playmate all the time because otherwise, they might end up being depressed.

Second, do some research and determine the best breeder or Dumbo rat, rescuer. The other option will be to get them from a pet store. However, the best option is to purchase from a breeder or a rescuer because they know the rats better and will be in a better position to give comprehensive information.

Also, some rats from pet stores are prone to health and/or behavioral problems in future since most come from pet mills where the environment is poor. Some of the worrying signs in a Dumbo rat pet include:

  • Dull or cloudy eyes
  • Wounds on any part of the body
  • Excessive shyness or laziness
  • Heavy and/or noisy breathing
  • Liquid form pooping
  • Having a red discharge from their nose or eyes

Lastly, most people prefer buying Dumbo rats of the same gender, but there is no harm in going for different genders as long as you ensure that they are spayed or neutered...that is if you don’t want to breed them.

dumbo rat in purse

Dumbo rat pet health

With proper care, a Dumbo rat will live up to 4 years or even more.

Point to note though is that tumors and respiratory diseases tend to be common in various rats, Dumbos included, and that’s why you’re supposed to visit a small animal vet as soon as you get one. By doing so, you will identify any underlying health issues and also catch some earlier enough rather than waiting for emergencies.

Again, consult your vet about the best flea medication for your Dumbo rat because they get attacked by parasites and mites a lot and you don’t want that for your little friend(s).

The other common health issue for rats, including Dumbo rats, is obesity. To avoid this, ensure that you are not overfeeding them with treats and also create enough play area for them. Getting a cage is highly recommended, but go for a spacious one to ensure that they will have enough room to run around. Also, let them out for some time every day but keep them supervised.

Another health issue factor for rats is overgrown teeth. To avoid this, rat pet owners are advised to give the rat(s) some hard dog biscuits or some unprocessed wood to chew on, thus helping solve the issue.

Lastly, vet’s bills will be high at times and you might have some emergency cases, so to be on the safe side, start saving some money for this even before bringing a Dumbo rat home.

Dumbo rat pets play time

As mentioned above, Dumbo rat pets love to play and they will love it if you can make it possible for them. You can get them parrot or ferret toys, PVC pipes, paper sacks or paper towel tubes. Again, if it’s possible, you can take them out for supervised play time and also play with them.


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