Degu Care Tips

Are you looking for a pet that is small in size but big in personality? The degu might be just what you are looking for. These little guys are super cute little pets! The degu is very much like the Chinchilla, though they’re a bit smaller and don’t live quite as long. A local Ellicott City, MD vet offers some basic degu care tips below.


Degus love to climb, so they need more vertical space than horizontal. Your tiny pet’s cage should have solid floors on every level, as wire and mesh floors can cause serious paw injuries. As for substrate, you can use aspen or paper-based substrate. Add shredded tissues or paper towels for nesting material. Avoid pine and cedar based substrates, as they are toxic to small animals. Your pint-sized pal will also need a comfy nesting box.


Degus are quite active and playful, and they’re adorable to watch. Your little buddy will likely appreciate an exercise wheel with a solid bottom. You can also give your degu things like blocks and safe branches.


Another thing degus have in common with chinchillas is the fact that they clean themselves by taking dust baths. This helps remove excess oil from their fur. It’s also fun to watch these guys rolling around in the dust! Only offer dust made specifically for degus or chinchillas, though. Remember to change it out frequently.


Your pet can have commercial food for his main meals. If you can’t find degu food, you can get one made for Guinea pigs, as long as it doesn’t have too much sugar. The same also applies to foods made for Chinchillas or hamsters: these typically have too much sugar for degus. For treats, your little pal will likely enjoy many seeds and nuts. Degus can also have certain fresh produce, such as leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Degus are very gentle, and they often can be trained to sit on their humans’ shoulders. They don’t always care to be held, but many enjoy being petted and talked to. The main thing is to make sure your tiny pal feels safe. Be very gentle when handling him, and take care not to surprise or scare him.

Do you have questions about caring for a degu? Contact us, your Ellicott City, MD veterinary clinic, today!

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