Degus are a hugely popular choice of pet, and with their friendly nature and intelligence it’s no real surprise. At OlliePets we offer a huge range of products for degus, making it easy for owners to show their degu as much love as it shows to them!

Owning a degu

Ein Degu (Octodon degus).

You may not have heard of a Degu, but these cute little guys make great pets. Related to Guinea pigs and chinchillas, they’re rodents originating from the Andes Mountains and Chile’s coastal plains.

Degus are sociable little things, so you should look to get a group of them together, but make sure your new family members are all the same gender before you take them home.

You can have lots of fun setting up home for your new pets. The first thing to think about is their cage. Make sure you choose a cage for your degu which will fit into the space you have available. Degus love to run around, so think lots of degu toys and playthings, which can include:

  • Ramps
  • Tunnels
  • Different levels to explore

After stretching their little legs, Degus like to burrow, so you’ll need plenty of semi-loose degu bedding to help them feel nice and cosy.

Although you might want to play with your degus all the time when you get them, they will need some time to get used to you. Handle your new pet for short periods at first, and try not to grab them when they’re eating or sleeping. You want your degu to be happy to play with you, and not frightened or intimidated.

No matter what you do, some degus won’t take to being handled, so they’re not the best pets for young children who might want to stroke and play more regularly. As with many small animals, parental supervision is advised.

Mehrere Degus kuscheln miteinander auf einem Baumstamm

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Degu health

Degu in einem Laufrad aus Draht

As pet owners, we all want to do everything possible to keep the animals in our care happy and healthy. After all, from the right diet to the appropriate home environment, our pets rely on us to give them all that they need. It’s important to keep a close eye on your chinchilla’s health and be aware of the environment they need to ensure they stay happy and healthy. To help get you started with leaning more about degu health needs, we’ve put together some handy information below.

Keeping your degu happy and healthy

If you keep degus, you’ll no doubt already know how engaging and interesting these Chilean rodents can be. Alert, playful and charming, degus can make wonderful pets to those with the time and capacity to give them the specialist care they need. Of course, you’ll also know that degus have unique requirements when it comes to their health, which is why it is so important to do your research when caring for these animals.

What do degus need to eat?

Like all pets, degus need the right food to stay in good health. In the wild, degus would typically eat grass, green vegetation, bark, seeds and fruit. It is important to match their diet at home to what they would eat in their natural habitat. For example, a quality herbage or hay food provides a good staple for your degu. You can supplement this hay-based diet with specialist degu food, such as Degu Nuggets or mixed plant and vegetable fodder like Nature’s Touch Degu Food.

Degus are likely to enjoy fruits and veggies as a treat every now and then too. However, be sure to avoid giving your pet food that is high in sugar, carbohydrates and fats. These could lead to a range of health problems, including obesity and diabetes.

As with all pets, be sure that fresh and clean water is available at all times.

What environment do degus need to live in?

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Degus are very active and social animals, which means they need plenty of space and company to stay both mentally and physically stimulated. It will be important to provide an appropriate multi-levelled cage environment, which is safe and secure, as well as the right housing within the cage which will allow your degu to be comfortable and feel safe.

It is also necessary to choose the right bedding, as this will be where your degu sleeps, buries food items for foraging later, and where they are able to hide. Good examples of bedding include hay, shredded paper, and paper-based litter. Remember that degus need to dust bathe regularly, so a degu-friendly sand should be chosen too.

An environment that doesn’t meet their needs or one that isn’t cleaned regularly could cause stress, health problems and behavioural issues. That’s why it is so important to do your research and chose an appropriate enclosure before you bring your degu home.

Do degus need regular health checks?

Yes, they do! It is important to get your degu used to being handled so that you can perform regular health checks on them. These will be essential for spotting any potential health issues, such as dental problems, eye issues and weight difficulties, which all can be common within the species.

To perform this health check, first hold your degu and use your hands and eyes to check along their body and head for any signs of lumps or injury. After checking over their body, you should pay close attention to your degu’s face and head. Their nose should be wet, and their eyes should be free of any discharge or debris. You should also check their ears, which should be clean and free of any discharge or dirt too. It is also necessary to look closely at their feet and check for any signs of sores or wounds, which could develop into a problem if left untreated.

In addition to health checks, it is essential to keep a close eye on your degu’s feeding habits, drinking routine and any behavioural changes. Any deviation from normal could indicate a problem.

If you're worried about your degu getting bored in his cage, we've found 9 simple ways to help you keep your degu enriched! Come on in!