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Common Degu - What Is a Degu and How to Take Care of It?

The degu is a rodent originating from South America. This animal has become quite popular as a pet. Remember that if you want to keep the common degu as a pet, you have to provide it with proper conditions. Check what are the needs of degus and how to take care of them.

Common Degu - What Is a Degu and How to Take Care of It?

What does the common degu look like?

Degus are quite small rodents that resemble gerbils. Adult degus reach up to 19.5 cm in body length and about 16.5 cm of tail length. In their natural habitat, their coat is short and brown. Domestic degus have different fur colors, both traditionally cream and blue ones. Tail is a characteristic feature of these rodents. It’s entirely covered with fur of the same color as its body. In addition, the hair is longer at the end, which looks like a small brush.

These rodents have very delicate tails. Even a slight pull can cause damage or even rip it off. It’s one of the defense mechanisms against predators. After the tail falls off, it doesn’t regenerate or grow back.

What is the best cage for a degu pet?

You can put a degu in a cage without any problems - just like a chinchilla. But make sure to take care of a proper adaptation of the place where the pet is going to spend most of the time. These rodents have a strong urge to gnaw, so a plastic bottom cage is not the best option. Investing in a strong metal-construction cage is a much better idea.

Experienced breeders can pick a terrarium instead of a cage - it provides a better comfort for the rodent. A good ventilation system protects a degu against bacteria, and sliding fronts are perfect for cleaning and feeding.

What is the best cage for a degu pet?

Degu care - what is the best cage size for a degu?

One should prepare and equip a cage for your degu before you purchase the animal. This way, you can decrease the unnecessary stress when transporting a degu. The minimal cage size for a degu pet is 80x40x40 centimeters - but the larger it is, the more adaptation possibilities it offers.

Make sure the degu has enough space for climbing, hiding and playing. Thick branches and stones are essential elements - the degu will use them for gnawing and sharpening their claws.

The cage should also contain water and food bowls. Make sure to pick heavier, difficult to knock down variants. Their location is key as well. The higher, the better - this way, dirt from the bottom won’t get in them.

Where to put a cage with a degu and how to take care of it?

In contrast to other rodents, degus like sunbathing. Remember that they don’t like draughts and loud music. You can put the cage in the living room. Make sure to maintain the cage properly. Replace the bedding at least once a week - this way you prevent bacteria growth and remove the unpleasant smell. The cage should be washed with warm water.

Where to put a cage with a degu and how to take care of it?

Degu care - what do degus eat?

These rodents have very delicate stomachs, so the right food is key. We recommend checking stores dedicated to these pets. You can also prepare your own mix by combining guinea pig and Siberian hamster feeds. Also, make sure to provide enough hay - it’s a natural degu food, and the rodents also use it as a building material for their nests.

📍 Degu lifespan - how long do degus live?

Degus originate in South America. The rodent lives from one to four years in their natural habitat. In domestic conditions, the lifespan increases - even up to 8 or more years.

📍 How much does a degu cost?

Small degus cost from $30 to $50. Keep in mind, though, that these rodents don't like being alone, so you should get at least two of them. Young degus have white teeth. The color changes to yellow-green with age.

📍 What does a degu eat?

Degus are herbivores, so their diet consists of grass, leaves, herbs and plant and tree roots. These rodents like eating hay and some vegetable seeds. You can enrich their diet with fruits - e.g. bananas and apples.

📍 What does a degu look like?

The degu resembles a gerbil. It's a relatively small rodent, growing up to 19.5 centimeters in length plus the tail - maximum 16.5 centimeters. Its weight doesn't exceed 300 grams. The coat has various colors.