Degus are very energetic and each has their own little character. They are not necessarily a first-time pet as not all enjoy being handled at first, but these cheeky little creatures will keep you on your toes. Find out how to care for your degus day-to-day below.
Degus are herbivores – so they only eat plant-based food, not meat. Feed your degus a good quality diet to avoid health conditions like dental disease and diabetes.
Degus are naturally fast and wriggly animals, and many don’t enjoy being handled. Spend time slowly socialising your degus to help them feel safe and confident around you, and they may learn to enjoy being handled in their own time.
Spend 10-20 minutes each evening talking to your degus and offering them a treat to encourage them to feed from your hands. Once they feel confident with this, offer them your arm to sniff and hop onto. Never try to grab your degu suddenly as this can cause them a lot of stress and they may bite you.
If you need to catch your degus for health checking or during free-range time, place a tunnel out for them to get into. This way, you can safely lift them without causing them stress.
If your degus have become hand tame, you may find they will voluntarily climb into your hands or on to your arm. It’s important you don’t rush this.
Once your degus are settled with your daily routine and happy to feed from your hands, you can allow them some free-range time in a secure room.
Ideally, this is the room that the cage is housed in. Make sure all wires are protected and any house plants are removed. Your degus will run around fast exploring the room, so make sure the room is completely safe and secure.