Degus are great to have as pets because they like to keep their cage and themselves clean. As pet owners, it’s our job to help them keep themselves as clean as possible too.
One of the ways we can help them do that it’s by giving them a dust bath every now and then. How often do degus need a dust bath though?
Degus need a dust bath at least two times a week and should stay in the dust bath long enough that they’ve covered their whole body in the dust and shaken it off a few times.
Pet degus should always have access to dust baths so they can clean themselves and their cage mates.
But they need the right kind of dust or sand. So let’s take a look into how degus use their dust baths and what you’ll need for it.
Why Do Degus Need A Dust Bath So Often?
So degus need to be able to take a dust bath at least twice a week so they can make sure they’re keeping themselves clean and dry.
That doesn’t mean you can’t let them play around and use their bath more often though.
If they take a dust bath at least two times a week that will give them the chance to clean themselves of any foreign objects stuck to their fur while also making sure they stay dry.
Keeping dry is important for degus because it helps prevent situations that can bring about mold or parasites.
So as long as you provide your degus with a dust bath, it’ll be easier to avoid any of that while also giving them an activity that they’ll love to do.
Should You Take Out The Dust Bath Or Leave It In Their Cage?
You have two options when it comes to putting a dust bath in your degu’s cage, and that’s taking it out after they use it or you can leave it in there.
If you take the dust bath out of their cage after they’re finished rolling around in it, it makes it easier to keep the bath clean.
Sometimes if you think the dust or sand is still clean enough, you can actually reuse it.
Although for the greatest results, it’s best that you change out the dust or sand after each use or as frequently as you can.
If you decide to leave the dust bath in their cage your degus will use it as a bath initially and then after a while they will start using it as a bathroom.
Degus Will Poop In The Dust Bath
Degus can poop very often and will start pooping and even sometimes peeing in their dust bath if you leave it there for an extended period of time.
You’ll notice that they’ll stop going to the bathroom as much in other parts of the cage and instead use the dust bath as their new favorite spot.
That’s because degus like to keep themselves and their cage clean. If you’re going to give them a designated area to go in, they will do it.
Just know that you won’t be able to reuse the dust or sand in their bath after they’ve used it as a toilet.
What Kind Of Dust Bath Should You Use?
When it comes to the dust bath itself generally anything big enough to fit your degus in it comfortably will work.
A lot of pet owners that keep degus will use dust baths that are big enough for chinchillas to use.
Those seem to be the appropriate size to let degus roll around and clean themselves off in.
Also, some owners make one of their own out of something that’s safe for their degus to chew on like wood.
DIY dust baths are great but if you want to get one that is already made, then you’ll want to look for dust baths that are easy to clean and a good size for your degus.
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What Kind Of Dust Should You Use?
There are many different kinds of dust and sand that you can use inside dust baths.
But just like the actual dust bath, the kind that would benefit degus the most are the ones that pet owners give to their chinchillas.
The dust that chinchillas use is great for degus because it’s natural and it can help keep a degu’s fur clean and healthier.
When looking for sand or dust you should make sure it can actually be used in your degu’s dust bath.
Getting the wrong kind can actually cause respiratory issues in small animals if the dust is not meant for them. So when getting the dust always make sure that the one you get can be used for degus.
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How Often Should You Replace The Dust?
When it comes to how often you should change the dust or sand, it’s best to follow the directions that the dust comes with. That way the dust bath will work efficiently like it’s supposed to.
Also, keep the dust bath away from any water sources like water bowls and water bottles. That’ll allow you to lower the chance of the dust coming into contact with moisture and clumping up.
So generally it should be changed after every time that it’s used, but if your degus aren’t that dirty sometimes it can be used more than once.
However, if you notice your degus pooping or peeing in it, then the dust should be taken out and fresh dust should replace the soiled dust.
Cleaning The Dust Bath
Every now and then you’ll have to clean the dust bath for your degus. One of the ways to clean the dust bath is by doing a dry wipe it down.
That’s where you just make sure it’s slightly cleaned out and dry with a cloth or a napkin.
You can also use water and pet friendly soap to wash and rinse it out for a deeper clean.
Another way you can deep clean the dust bath is by using disinfectants that are small pet friendly.
No matter what cleaning method you choose, always wait for the dust bath to fully dry before adding the dust or sand back into it to avoid unnecessary moisture and so the dust doesn’t clump up on the bottom or sides.
Making sure your degus stay clean and dry is important for their long term health and dust baths are one of the best ways you can help them with that.