Since anyone can write a book and go to a publisher with it, there is no process to sort the good books from the bad. If the publisher liked reading it, and they think it will sell, they will publish it, regardless of it’s accuracy. For this reason it’s best to get your information form numerous sources and to speak to other rat owners as well. However, some of the better books about rats are the following:
The National Fancy Rat Society Handbook – The Exhibition Rat
This is a pretty comprehensive book on rats from showing, keeping and breeding – all topics are covered here.
The Proper Care of Fancy Rats by Nick Mays
This book’s focus in on breeding and showing fancy rats. It contains many great color photos but unfortunately the health advice it contains is quite old and outdated.
Rat Health Care by Debbie Ducommun
As it’s name suggests this book is all about the many ailments that can plague rats in their life as well as the best treatments. It has a lot of great advice about everything from a healthy diet, first aid and more. However, some of the advice like spaying a female rat to prevent tumors is rather nonsensical, since this is a major operation, while removing a tumor is not.
Rats! By Debbie Ducommun
Great book but also has some rather controversial advice about health care. Seek advice from your vet before following any of it.
The Rat by Ginger Cardinal
This book is all about helping kids to care for rats in a safe way. It also contains some dubious advice about health issues so practice common sense here. The sections on understanding rats and training are excellent however.
When it comes to getting information on the internet, there is one major site worth visiting first and that is: http://www.nfrs.org/. This is the website for the National Fancy Rat Society and it has a ton of useful info.
Another great site belongs to the Rat and Mouse Club Of America. Their URL is http://www.rmca.org/. It contains some great links to sites and clubs all over the internet.
If joining a mailing list is your thing, then sign up to email@example.com. The messages contained in it are about some great health-related topics but the majority are all about the cute things that the member’s rats do on a daily basis. Send an email to that address with the word ‘info’ on the first line of the email, and ‘end’ on the next. Then they will send you a more detailed message about how to subscribe.
If Usenet groups sound like your thing then check out rec.pets and alt.pets.rodents. The key with any internet-related information is that you need to be very discerning about what you accept as useful and what is garbage. While most of it can be entertaining, not all of it is actually useful to you. Even the most experienced people sometimes give out bad advice. Always consider information from your vet and fellow rat owners as the best sources of information.