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Small pet advice: how to care for your degu

Degus are busy, active pets that love the company of other degus!

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Get busy with your degu

Degus come from Chile, where they live wild in some of the cooler coastal and mountain areas. They make great pets – they are active in the daytime – but take care to keep their living environment below 20°C otherwise they could suffer from heatstroke. Never keep degus on their own as they need constant stimulation.

Housing a pet degu

A metal cage is best for degus as they love to chew. If the cage is wooden, they’ll be out before you know it! Make sure the floor is solid rather than wire. Buy a cage with plenty of space, lots of levels, and a nesting box – this could be a wooden box filled with hay. Always provide degus with plenty to chew on, such as chew toys or cuttlebone.

Food and drink

Provide your degu with constant supply of good quality hay, along with specially formulated degu food which you can buy from a pet shop. Take care not to give it food intended for other animals as the sugar content could be very harmful. As with all animals, your degu must have plenty of clean, fresh water at all times.


Being extremely sociable animals, degus love to play both with other degus and with humans. Avoid handling them too much, but do interact with them as much as you can. Unlike some other rodents, degus are active during the day, so there should be plenty of opportunities to play.