Do you have a pet degu that you want to keep happy and healthy for a long time? The best thing you can do for it is to ensure a well-rounded diet. A good diet can ensure that your degus remains healthy and stays your companion for a long time coming.
Many people are concerned about what to give degus for food. Here, we talk about what degus eat in general and then take a deep look into the health benefits and risks that come with cucumber intake for degus. This way, you’ll have a better idea about what to give your pet degu.
What Do Degus Eat in the Wild?
Degus essentially come from the region of Chile, where they’re found mostly in the mountain range called Andes. Given the landscape of mountain ranges, degus are exposed to harsh weather conditions as well. And so, they rely on grass, fruit seeds, bark, and other green vegetation for their consumption.
The scenario differs when it comes to your pet degu as they’re far from the wild. Since pet degus are domesticated, you must make sure that their diet is filled with relevant nutrients to keep them healthy. You’ll find them mostly eating away whatever they find on the ground in the wild, but when you have a pet degu, you’ll probably need to be more careful with what they intake and have appropriate meals ready for them.
What Do You Need to Feed Your Pet Degu?
Degus require a certain level of nutrients for their health, and so you must make sure that you mimic the intake they have in the wild. Having ample amount of hay and other plant-based food is crucial so that they have a well-rounded meal. These food items contain the relevant amount of fiber that they need in their system.
Along with this, you will find highly formulated foods for degus. Many brands are now making fiber rich foods that are the perfect meal for degus, so you can also opt for these. Consult with your degu’s vet before you plan on making any drastic changes to your degu’s meals.
Can Degus Eat Fruits and Vegetables?
Degus do intake fruits and vegetables in the wild. So, if you’re wondering whether your pet degus can have these, then don’t you worry. All you have to do is ensure that you don’t go overboard with the fruits and vegetables.
For instance, a popular vegetable that many give their pet degus is that cucumber. While it comes with many benefits for degus, there are also some health risks that you’d want to be aware of. Not only this, you need to make sure that you give these foods in moderation so that you avoid causing a strain on their digestive systems.
Cucumbers can be great for degus and they can be harmful as well, depending on how much you give it to them. All you have to do is ensure a moderate amount in their intake, and make sure that you have their vet on board before you decide to incorporate them in their daily routine.
Benefits of Eating Cucumbers for Degus
Talking about cucumbers, you must know that this type of vegetable comes with a wide range of benefits for degus. All these benefits are only possible when you give cucumbers in a moderate amount to your degus. Here, we’ll be discussing all the benefits that degus can get through cucumbers.
- Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are highly relevant when it comes to keeping your animals away from free radicals. Not only does this ensure that their skin and fur remains healthy, but it impact their overall health to a great extent as well. You’ll find that antioxidants further help in keeping diseases away, especially the possibility of cancer.
Since these help keep free radicals away, the potential of your degu developing life threatening diseases goes down to a great extent. It prevents the possibility of serious diseases and ensures that you’re able to keep your degu safe and healthy for the long run.
- High Water Content for Ample Hydration
One of the most important things for any living thing is water. Hydration is crucial to make sure that your degu’s system works perfectly find and that there’s no issue in its digestive track. Water is essential for your degu to function properly.
Cucumbers are made of 96% water, and so make the perfect type of food that would keep your degu fully hydrated. If your degu is hydrated, that means they’re more active and healthy. However, if you keep them dehydrated, they can develop many diseases.
Not only this, but you must know that cucumbers prove to be highly beneficial when your degu is suffering from diarrhea. Water is essential during this time, and cucumbers happen to be one of the easiest ways to get nutrition and water into their systems. Giving your degu cucumbers and water when they’re suffering from diarrhea proves to be great in restoring their hydration level.
- Great Source of Fiber
Let’s not forget one of the most important things that your degu needs – fiber. Degus main source of food is through hay and plant-based food that are all full of fiber. Now, you want to make sure that you bring in the same nutritional value for your pet degus.
Cucumber happens to have a great amount of fiber in it. And so, it is perhaps a great addition to the fiber content that your degu eats. You will find that degus require soluble and insoluble fiber intake to have their systems running perfectly.
Soluble fiber helps with maintaining the blood sugar in your pet degu, while the insoluble fiber maintains their digestive system. Cucumbers can aid in providing the relevant fiber to your degu.
- Full of Vitamin C and Vitamin K
Vitamins are necessary for animals as well so that they are able to remain healthy. One of the greatest benefits of giving your degu cucumbers is that they get access to vitamin C and K.
Vitamin C is very important when it comes to helping getting rid of free radicals that can damage your degu’s body. Now, vitamin C acts as an addition to the other antioxidants, so your degu is more protected with the help of cucumbers.
Along with this, vitamin C helps protect degus from tissue and cell damage, thus strengthening their overall health. Cucumbers also bring in vitamin K, which helps in the regulation of your blood. Since it’s a fat-soluble vitamin, you’ll find it to prevent blood clots in your degu and ensure its health in the best possible manner.
- Maintains Good Levels of Potassium
Another thing that you’ll find absolutely great for your degu’s health is the presence of potassium. Now, potassium is ideal for controlling blood pressure for your pet degu.
Cucumbers bring in good amount of potassium with them, so your degu will be able to stay clear of blood pressure issues. This is only true if you feed them moderate amounts of cucumbers. Along with this, you will find that potassium supports bones and muscle strength. So, you’ll find your degu to be in good shape with adequate levels of potassium coming in.
- Manganese for Better Bone Health
Adding to the antioxidants, manganese is crucial to keep free radicals away and improving bone health. Your pet degu requires a good amount of manganese to keep their bones strong and sturdy.
By giving your degu adequate amount of cucumbers, you will be able to incorporate a decent intake of manganese for their system as well.
Can Too Much Cucumber Cause Health Issues for Degus?
Now, it all comes down to how much your pet degu can intake when it comes to cucumbers and whether having too much can harm them. To be honest, anything in excess has harmful side effects. And so, it is impertinent to understand the right amount of cucumbers that you can give to your degu to prevent any harmful side effects.
Compared to other green vegetables, such as celery and broccoli, cucumbers prove to have more carbohydrates and sugar in them. Thus, having too much of cucumbers can be harmful for your degus. While celery and broccoli can be given to them once in a week or two, it’s advisable to restrict cucumbers to once a month.
Consider cucumbers as a great and healthy treat that you can give to your degu some times. Don’t make it a habit of giving them cucumbers every day, otherwise it can cause serious damage to your little degu. It is not a substitute for a well-balanced diet. So, make sure that you don’t make the mistake of giving it to your pet degu regularly.
Is the Cucumber Skin Harmful for Degus?
When it comes to cucumbers, making sure that you give your degu these in moderation is crucial. Apart from that, minor details, such as the consumption of its skin is more or less depended on whether your degu likes eating it.
The skin of the cucumber contains more nutrients for your degu than the inside content. And so, when you’re feeding them cucumbers, don’t feel the need to peel them off and give them. Always remember that any time you give your degu cucumber, it should be in the form of a treat and not a regular meal. So, whenever you plan to treat your degu to cucumbers, leave the skin on.
Can Degus Consume Cucumber Seeds?
Similarly, many people are concerned about whether their degu can eat the seeds of the cucumber. The seeds of the cucumber typically have more nutrients than the remaining of the cucumber. So, you will find it to be highly beneficial for your degu.
Along with nutrients, there’s a higher fiber content found in cucumber seeds. So, you can easily give these to your degu as a treat as well. Again, this is not to be considered as a separate meal for your degu, only give cucumbers are a rare treat to your degu.
How Much Cucumber Can a Degu Intake?
You must be wondering how much cucumber can your degu eat. Well, for starters, you must make sure that you give your degu cucumbers only once in a month. Anything more than that can cause harmful side effects for your pet degu.
Now, when it comes to the exact quantity of the cucumber, you must make sure that you don’t go overboard. Don’t give your degu more than an inch of a cucumber as a treat. If you’re giving this amount, then extending the variation to once in two weeks is doable. Although, you’ll have to keep in mind that you don’t feed them any other treats while in the process.
Be Wary of Rotten Cucumbers
You’ll be giving your degu fresh cucumbers in their cage or any other location where they eat. This leaves a possibility for those cucumbers rotting. How is this possible? Well, you’ll find that your degus food can travel to under their bedding and other locations. So, you want to make sure that you clean out their cage properly to avoid food contamination.
After giving your pet degu fresh cucumbers, wait for ten minutes to see whether they’re eating it or not. If they do not eat the cucumber, it’s best to remove it from the location. This will prevent the possibility of the cucumbers rotting away and your degu having it later. Since degus love hiding their food, make sure that you keep an eye out for this behavior or theirs.
Don’t Forget: Not All Degus Are the Same
All in all, degus are special creatures that need care. Make sure that you’re giving a good diet to ensure their health. While it may seem like cucumbers come with many benefits so you should give them every day, but that’s not the case. These are beneficial only as treats and shouldn’t be given regularly.
Also, every degu is different as they like eating different things. Your pet degu might enjoy eating cucumbers while another one might not. So, take small steps and see whether your degu enjoys this healthy treat or not.