CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED!!!!!!!
In our part of the world (the United States) its starting to get warmer outside and you may be tempted to bring your rats outdoors for some fresh air. This is fine to do as long as your rats are kept inside a cage and NEVER EVER let loose, ever. There are many reasons why rats should not be let loose to run around the yard, even if your right there by their side. For starters, the first and most dangerous reason is birds of prey flying outside looking for their lunch. They spot your little fur kid running about and thats all it takes. They swoop down, grab your rat and off they go with your precious rat never to be seen again. Sounds like a total paranoid rat owner huh? Well let me tell you that not only are rats and other small mammals at risk but so are small toy dogs, kittens and puppies too. I have been told by Vets that they have had their clients report that their small dogs and kittens were taken by hawks and other large birds of prey and it happened so fast the owner stood by, horrified, shocked and helpless.
DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOUR RAT!!
Also, you never know what is lurking in the grass. Spiders can be a risk to rats (not all spiders but those that are poisinous to humans can also harm rats) and certain types of lizards and other little critters can make your rat sick if your rat eats them. Holes in the ground made by rabbits or other critters that may not be occupied can be a threat to your rat and your rat can crawl down inside and keep going deep under ground while your screaming for him to come back. So many reasons you should keep your rat in a cage if your taking it outside, from the heat and sun to other dangers like I discussed above. This is something to think about so please do not take this warning lightly. Consider yourself warned. Nuff said about this subject.