Degus as Pets: A complete guide for Beginners


So you have a cute little degu, and you’re wondering now how to take care of your little pocket pet best. Or you’re thinking of getting one, and you want to be best prepared for the day when you get to bring the tiny pet home with you.

This article will cover the need to know degu care 101 basics for taking care of your degu. After reading this, you will have all the tools and knowledge to ensure you understand how to best care for your degu either male or female. Whether you’re deciding whether to get one or if you already have one, then keep reason on, because this guide is for you.

In the following article, we will go through each of the basic needs of degus and offer you some tips on how to care for your new pets. Depending on your previous experience with related animals, the information may not be further for you. Still, it’s always good to review the basics before starting from scratch.

Before we go into the basics, let’s take a dive into the best parts about owning a degu. This may even help those who decide whether to get one to make your decision.

Why choose degus as pets?


Degus are a great pet. They are so cute, and they are smart, too! This post will explore all the wonderful things about degus that make them great pets. Degus are rodents with a long history. They come from Chile, where they live in the mountains. These little creatures enjoy digging, running, and playing with each other. They are known for their curiosity, their sociability, and their adorable feet.

Degus are native to Chile and Argentina, but now they can be found in other parts of the world, like the United States, where they have become popular pets for people of all ages. In fact, these rodents even have their own national society, which is separate from the guinea pig society. Here are some reasons you might want to get a degu as a pet.

Degus are an excellent choice for pet owners, because they are small, easy to care for, and social. They love to play and will share time with you in many ways.

Degus are very intelligent and playful creatures. They learn tricks quickly and enjoy interacting with their owners. They have a “wheel” that they use to exercise, and a “tube” that they can climb through. Degu’s like to sleep in the dark, so they love the tube because it helps them feel safe while they sleep.

What do you need for degus?



Like most rodents, you’re going to want to start with a decent size cage that will house plenty of space for play and sleep. Picking a cage that can fit a wheel and a tube (or more) for exercise and exploration is essential for your little pocket pet.

It is important to note that the cage should be cleaned at least once a week. This includes cleaning out the old bedding and putting in a fresh layer, cleaning the feeding dishes and water bottles, and finally cleaning any toys, wheels, and tubes that are in the cage. Also be sure to observe their behavior in the cage like if they bite their cage to know if they may be uncomfortable.

*If you have a group of degus, it is probably a good idea to clean the cage about twice a week.



The next thing you’ll need is the right kind of bedding for your degu. Many degu owners choose paper-based bedding, but there are many other organic and natural options that would be best for your degu to feel right at home.

Feeding dish and water bottle

Now that you have chosen the right bedding for your degu, you’re going to need the right kind of feeding dishes and water bottle. For a degu, it doesn’t have to be anything special, as long as they are able to get to their food and drink when they can.

Gnawing/chewing blocks


You will also want to get your degu a gnawing block or some kind of chew toy. Preferably, the gnawing block could be wood. However, there are other gnawing blocks that are made up of grains and things that are great for your degu’s teeth and their overall health.

Finally, as mentioned above, degus are sociable creatures. They typically travel and live in packs in the wild, so they can often get very lonely if they are on their own. Many degus owners will choose to have pairs or groups for their degus to not get lonely. It’s not mandatory, but it is recommended that a degu have a companion with whom they can spend their days.

To get the most enjoyment out of your degu, you need to provide them with lots of space to roam and plenty of toys to play with. You can keep them in pairs or groups of up to four. You should also ensure that they have an adequate diet, which should contain some hay and fresh vegetables every day.

Caring for your degus


If you have ever owned a rodent of any kind, then you may know that they have very delicate stomachs and are in need of a very healthy diet. Too many sweets can make them ill, and likewise, too much fiber can make them sick. Equally, make sure that your very active rodent has plenty of time to exercise and be active, as degus are extremely playful little creatures.

Food and nutrition of degus


These little rodents are from a mountainous region, so much of what they eat are seeds, fruits, and veggies. By the most important part of their diet, though, is hay. Degus need hay and lots of it to keep a healthy digestive system and to get much of the nutrients that their little bodies require.

As a new degu owner, you might see degus nuggets as a food source, and though they are good, they are not necessarily the best for your degu. Make sure that there is hay in their cage at all times that they can nibble on, so that they have a healthy and happy life.

Fruits and vegetables are a necessary part of their diet, but make sure not to overfeed them these things, as their stomachs can bloat. Too much sugar from fruit can also cause pain and discomfort in your degu. Small treats are okay from time to time. However, if you notice anything wrong, do notify your vet immediately.

Exercise and exploration


As mentioned above, degus are extremely playful and active creatures. They love to play and run around, so making sure that they have the space to do so can ensure that they get plenty of activity and exercise. If you own a pair of degus, then have a wide enough cage in order for them both to play, and exercise is vital to their health.

Degus are nocturnal creatures, which means that they are most active in the night. It is normal if our degu decides 3:00 a.m. is an appropriate time for wheel running. Equally, for beginners, it is important to know that if your little degu seems sleepy and inactive during the day, there is no reason to be alarmed.



Bathing is often one of the most overlooked parts of rodent care, but it is absolutely necessary for your degus to stay healthy and free of any disease or fungus. They will need a sand or dust bath at least twice a week. You can find wooden baths that you can either fill with sand or dust (found at your local pet supply shops). They will need a sand or dust bath at least twice a week.

Once in the dust or sand bath, your degus will cover themselves fully about two or three times and shake it completely off. Once they’ve covered themselves like this and shaken off the dust or sand completely, that is when they are likely to be done with their bath.

To wrap things up


Now that we have completely covered the basics of caring for your degus, we hope that you now know what it takes to create a healthy and safe environment for your new pet. If you are still deciding whether or not you are going to get a degu as a pet, then we hope that this has helped prepare you in the best way possible.

Degus are extremely smart and playful little creatures, making them great fun as pets. Their tiny little feet, ears, and eyes are absolutely adorable, and they can even learn tricks! In recent years, having degus as pets has grown in popularity, and their popularity is still on the rise.

We hope you enjoy caring for your degus as much as countless other owners! You now know what you need to care for your degus properly, how to bathe them, feed them and play with them. If you have any concerns for your little pocket pet, please make sure to notify your vet as soon as possible.

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Our website does not constitute medical advice for pets, for medical advice for a pet please consult a licensed veterinarian.