Originating from chile, a degu is a member of the Octodontidae family of rodents, which means they are related to guinea pigs and chinchillas. In the wild they live in groups of up to 100 in intricate burrows with separate food and sleep compartments. Ideally degus shouldn’t be kept alone as they are very social animals.
A full-size degu is roughly 15cm long with a 15cm tail and they are typically brown with a light belly. Unlike most rodents, degus are not nocturnal so they will provide you with plenty of entertainment throughout the day.
Degus love toys and they should be provided to offer enrichment. Be aware that some wood can be toxic to degus but the most popular, safe and easily accesible woods are; hazel, willow and a lot of fruit trees. At Minipetz we use mainly hazel and apple so you can be sure all of our toys are safe for degus.
But don’t expect toys to last too long! Degus love to gnaw on their toys and it is very important to keep teeth down, so don’t be surprised if it completely vanishes! Toys should not be painted, but can be dyed with a natural dye, adding a splash of colour to their cage.
Degu cage accessories
To keep a happy and healthy degu they require continuous stimulation and exercise. They should have a large cage with lots of ramps leading to multiple levels. You must make sure that the cage you choose has solid floors as degus can get a condition called bumblefoot from mesh/wire floors.
You can create extra shelves and utilise otherwise wasted space with our unique range of bolted accessories which bolt onto any mesh walls, these are also great to bridge gaps between main shelves for younger or elderly degus.
Try getting creative with their cage, creating ledges, nooks and hanging perches for them to discover. You should also rearrange their accessories every couple of months to keep them interested. If you’re worried about flying poos then we sell splash guards too.
Degu treats & herbs
Degus should be fed a balanced, healthy diet, like with most animals. However degus cannot have sugar as they can get diabetes very easily which can lead to cataracts and other serious health problems. You must make sure the treats you give contain as little sugar as possible. 90% of the treats we sell are safe for degus, the few that have a little too much sugar are listed as unsafe on their product pages. All of our dried flowers can be sprinkled on pellet feed to make it a bit more interesting for little ones. Here at Minipetz we sell both loose natural herbs and flowers and pre-packaged treats fortified with extra vitamins or fibre.
Herb Crocks are by far the most popular treat for degus and they’re pretty healthy as treats go. It is safe to give your degu 1 crock a day whereas other packaged treats may only be safe once a week or even once a month for nuts. Degus are incredibly intelligent and can be trained when tempted with a treat!