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Caring for Your Degu

Are you considering getting a degu as a pet? These beautiful, curious little creatures are very adorable, and make great pets, and can be a fun addition to your Lexington home. You may want to consider getting more than one degu, however, as these little ones are not solitary animals by nature, and degus need company in order to truly thrive.

Cage

Degus need fairly large cages, preferably multi-level ones. Make sure the cage and all of its levels have solid bottoms, so your degus don’t get their little feet caught in the wires. You’ll want to put a nesting box in the cage, so your little ones have a safe place to retreat to when they want some quiet time. Add some shredded material, such as tissues or paper towels, to make their home a bit more comfy. The cage will also need some bedding. Avoid pine or cedar, and make sure to get something that is safe for degus. Your degus will need stimulation as well. An exercise wheel that does not have a wire bottom is recommended. To keep the cage interesting, your degus should also have branches, blocks, and toys.

Grooming

Like their chinchilla cousins, degus groom themselves by taking dust baths. Dust helps keep their fur from getting oily. Degus also love rolling around and playing in dust. This is super cute to watch! You can use chinchilla dust for degus. Just remember to change the dust out fairly often.

Diet

Degus actually have fairly simple dietary needs. You can use a food made for degus or guinea pigs as their staple. Make sure it does not have high sugar content, and avoid any foods made with molasses, honey, or other sweeteners. Chinchilla pellets are fine on occasion, but if you feed your degus chinchilla food, make sure there is no fruit in the ingredients. Stay away from foods designed for hamsters, gerbils, or rabbits. Ask your vet for treat recommendations.

Training

Degus can be trained, though it will take some time, patience, and, of course, treats. As with any animal, you’ll want to take time to develop trust before starting training. Let your degus get used to you, and give them time to get used to being handled. Once they trust you, degus can learn some very simple things, like sitting on your shoulder.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns about your Lexington degu.

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