Are you interested in a small pet that’s super cute but perhaps a bit unusual? Degus may just fit the bill. These adorable little pets are similar to chinchillas in many ways, and can really make fun and charming companions. A local Hendersonville, NC vet offers a few degu care tips below.
Degus are very cute. They are native to Chile, where they live in burrows. They are quite gentle and, overall, fairly sleepy little pets. They’re generally pretty quiet, though they do sometimes chirp or whistle, particularly when grooming one another. Degus are friendly, and do fine with roommates, though it’s best to keep same-sex ones together.
Degus can have commercial pellet food for their main meals. Grass hay should also be available. A few times a week, you can offer safe veggies, such as leafy greens or sweet potatoes. Don’t give your little buddy sugar. Degus cannot properly metabolize sugar, and are at high risk for diabetes. Obesity can also become an issue. Corn, cereals, sunflower seeds, nuts, raisins, and dried fruit are also unsafe. Ask your vet for more information.
Degus require tall cages. Multi-storied cages are best. Be sure to choose one that has a solid floor. You’ll need to add bedding, which can be shavings or hay. Use dust-free shavings, and avoid pine and cedar products. Your furry buddy will also need a solid exercise wheel and some tunnels or mazes. You can use PVC pipes for these. Last but not least, give your tiny pal an igloo or hide with a flat top. Degus like to climb, so clean fruit tree branches will make the cage fun and comfy for them. Ask your vet for tips.
Like many smaller animals, degus are tiny chewing machines. You’ll need to offer your tiny pal lots of chew toys. You can offer plain wooden blocks or shapes. Many of the toys made for rabbits and Guinea pigs will do nicely. Ask your vet for specific advice.
As far as grooming needs, degus require dust baths: the fine dust soaks up dirt and oil from their fur. Offer your pet a little bowl or container of chinchilla dust a few times a week. Remove it once they are done with their beauty session.
Do you have questions about degu care? Please contact us, your local Hendersonville, NC animal clinic, today.