Degu Care | Everything You Need To Know!

Degus are social rodents that are small and vocal. Gray-brown in color with silky coats, they have long, thin tails with black tips. It is typical for degus to live for 6-7 years in captivity. Degus are from the same family as guinea pigs and chinchillas. In fact, new research suggests that they are actually more closely related to rabbits. Degus enjoy interaction with humans.

But as opposed to most small pets, they dislike being touched. So you may have to find alternative ways of enjoying petting time with your degu. As pets, degus should be kept in pairs or groups to be healthy and happy. If you want to keep them as your pet, you’ll need to know the details about degu care. In this article, we will help you know the details. So, without further ado, let’s dive in. 

Taking Care Of Degus

If handled regularly and from an early age, degus can become very friendly.  As with most rodents, they are playful and curious creatures that enjoy chewing everything in sight. In addition, they enjoy social interactions and physical activity. If they are not regularly socialized and given physical activity opportunities, they may become agitated and nervous. Since pet degus have only been around for a relatively short time, their care is still being learned. However, since every degu and every circumstance is unique, there is no one “perfect” way to take care of them all. Therefore, according to the scenario, you must take proper steps to ensure they are well cared for. 

Let’s Check Some Details About Degu Care That You Should Know

Let's Check Some Details About Degu Care That You Should Know. 

Accommodation 

Having a safe, healthy home is essential to a degu’s happiness and health. Because degus are prey species, they can be scared by movements above them. Hence, a solid roof can give them a feeling of security. Their primary predator is a bird of prey in the wild. You may find it less stressful for your degus to place their enclosures on a shelf or table.

Be sure the cage has a solid floor. A solid exercise wheel and tunnels for tunnels are important cage furnishings to satisfy degus’ natural activity and exercise needs. Hay and dust-free shavings should be provided as bedding. It is best to avoid cedar and pine flakes because they are harmful to degus. In addition, you should include a flat-topped nest box or igloo. Degus enjoy climbing, so the box will also give them a place to sit and climb. Degus also need dust baths as often as chinchillas do. Avoid putting the cage in direct sunlight or a draft, or near pets such as dogs or cats.

Healthy Diet

It is recommended to feed degus a pellet degu diet or a mixture of 50% guinea pig pellets and 50% chinchilla pellets. Hay should be readily available at all times for degus. A degu’s diet should consist primarily of hay rather than commercial nuggets. It is okay to give small amounts of fresh vegetables every few days as a treat. Vegetables such as carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes are among these. Since degus bury their food, don’t forget to remove uneaten vegetables before they spoil the food. 

Degus tend to develop type two diabetes. You should never feed degus guinea pigs or chinchilla pellets with molasses because they contain much sugar. Likewise, degus should not be given fruits containing a lot of sugar, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, beetroot, etc. Be cautious when buying commercial treats, as they might also be too sugary. Water is essential to degus. Your degus should always have access to clean, fresh water. You should use an inverted bottle with a drinking tube that can be attached to the cage. Keep your eyes on the bottle and change the water regularly. Clean it properly on a regular basis. 

Healthy Diet

Medications 

Because degus cannot metabolize sugar, they are at risk for diabetes. However, this can be avoided by offering degu-specific food and avoiding sugary foods. Also, consult your veterinarian if your degu suddenly drinks a lot of water. Overweight degus are more likely to develop liver disease. Therefore, limit the number of sunflower seeds and nuts you feed your degu. Ear mites can also affect degus. Please contact your veterinarian if you find your degus itching or scratching ears excessively. Degus are genetically predisposed to eye problems at any age. Therefore, when you notice discharge or cloudiness in their eyes, you must consult with your veterinarian. 

Degu Handling

Feed small treats to your degu with your hand. Once it seems comfortable taking treats, scoop them up in your palm. Develop its confidence by handling it regularly. If you reach into the cage, they may learn to climb in your hand once at ease. 

Final Thoughts

Degus are prey animals, and they are fragile. Hence they need your sincere care to survive in your home. We have listed all the things you should keep your eyes on to take care of your degu. Hope you have found this article insightful.

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier is a New-York based freelance writer, professional blogger and certified dog trainer. She networks shelter pets to help them find homes and volunteers for rescue groups as she is passionate about dog rescue and adoption. From a very early age, she developed extensive animal handling skills from her dad, and that’s where her love for animals started.

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