Have you ever been around your degus and noticed that they’re laying in the only spot in their cage that has direct sunlight?
Out of all the places that they can choose to lay down they decide to pick the spot where the sun is shining the most.
Why do they do that? Does that mean degus like the sun?
Degus absolutely love being in the sun, and what you’re most likely seeing is your degus sunbathing. It’s perfectly fine for them to be in the sun as long as they have a place in the shade to cool off if they get too hot.
Sunbathing is a natural behavior that both domesticated and wild degus do every so often.
It’s a part of their everyday life and is safe for them to do as long as they have some time away from the sunlight.
So you shouldn’t be worried if you see your degus laying very still in a pile in a sunny part of their cage. It’s a relaxing activity that they enjoy and do often.
What Do Degus Like To Do In The Sunlight?
If you see your degus laying down in the sun you might wonder what they’re really doing. Your degus are most likely sunbathing.
They love to sunbathe whenever they get a chance to. So if you keep your degus in a part of the house that receives direct sunlight, usually you’ll start to see them lay down very still and flat.
They love to do this and take in the warmth of the sun for a decent period of time, but what is the best time for them to be in the sun?
When Should You Let Your Degus Have Time In The Sun?
If you keep your degus near a window that’s receiving direct sunlight at different parts of the day, then they’ll have the chance to get some of that warmth.
But when is the best time for them to be able to lay in the sun and get that warmth?
It’s no surprise that usually the best time for them to do that is when it’s cold outside and inside your house.
If it’s cold inside and you don’t have a heat lamp for them to warm themselves, then direct sunlight from a window could be one of the only ways that they can warm up.
In this situation, it’s actually better that they do have access to the sun’s warmth so they don’t become uncomfortable because it’s too cold.
On the opposite side of things, if it’s too hot outside and in your house then they really don’t need too much time in the sun because they’re already warm.
In both situations, you should still keep an eye on your degus and limit the time that they’re in the sun to be sure they don’t overheat.
Don’t Keep Your Degus In Direct Sunlight For Too Long
So the sunlight feels really good to them but that doesn’t mean you should let your degus overdo their time in the sun.
Too much sunlight can cause your degu’s body to heat up more than they’re used to.
Degus aren’t that good at regulating their body temperature and have no way of cooling off except for finding a shady spot to relax in.
In the wild, they could easily do this by escaping underground where the temperature is a lot cooler than it is on the surface.
Seeing as they don’t have that while being domesticated, it’s up to us as pet owners to provide them with a place that they can cool off once they feel like they’re getting too hot.
As long as you provide them with a place that’s out of the direct sunlight your degus will naturally go there when they feel too hot. They’re smart enough to know when it’s time to get out of the sun.
However, it’s still important that you limit their time in the sunlight, and you can even move their cage to a part of the room with a lower temperature.
Receiving Sunlight Indoors Vs. Outdoors
When you keep degus inside it’s generally safer for them to get their warmth from the sunlight that comes through the window.
They can spend a lot of time there and it still is safe because the temperature inside a house is usually regulated.
This is not the case if you take their cage outside though. If you’ve decided to take your degus outside in their cage on a sunny day then you really have to watch them.
They’ll be outside and getting actual warmth directly from the sun without any barriers like if they were inside.
That means it is required to have a spot in their cage that is completely shaded from the sunlight so they can cool off.
Also, they shouldn’t be allowed to lay out in the sun as long when they’re outside, because the chances they can overheat will rise.
Cool Down Your Degus After Their Time In The Sun
So it’s important to allow them to cool down after sunbathing but what are some ways that you can help them do that?
We’ve already covered having a spot in the shade that they can go to, but another thing that you can do for them his giving them cooled ceramic tiles.
If you have small tiles laying around, what you can do is put them in the refrigerator or freezer to make them colder.
Once the tiles have become colder you can put a few of them in your degu’s cage for them to lay on or be near. These tiles will help your degus cool off a lot faster than just having a shaded area.
Degus like their time in the sun during the day just as much as they like being in the dark at night.
So if your degus spend a lot of time getting warmth from the sun, then it’s probably a good idea to have both a place where they can cool off and ceramic tiles to help them with that process.
Don’t Keep Your Degus Cage In A Sunny Part Of The House
When it comes to where to put your degu’s cage in your house, try to avoid areas that receive too much sunlight.
There are usually parts of a house that receive sunlight most times of the day and other parts that only get a little sunlight.
The best place for their cage is the part of the house that only gets small amounts of sunlight a day.
Of course, if you live in a house with a working air conditioner that keeps the temperature cool and regulated, then the amount of sunlight they can get can be a lot more.
So if you notice that your degus always seem to lay around in the part of their cage that’s getting a lot of sunlight you generally don’t have much to worry about.
Degus like being in the sun so they can relax and warm their bodies up. So as long as you check on them often and have a place for them to cool down when they get too hot, then it’s perfectly fine.