Degu Supplies & Information
Degu FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a degu?
Degus are small rodents that come from central Chile. They’re typically brown in color and weight between 6 to 11 oz, with a length of 10 to 12 inches.
In recent years, degus have become a more common exotic pet, though not as popular and well known as similar pets like guinea pigs and chinchillas. Many prefer them to other smaller pets like rats or mice because of their friendly personalities and their longer lifespans (up to 9 years). Degus are diurnal, meaning they’re active in the morning and evening.
Because they require special care and larger cage, we recommend them for adults and other serious exotic pet owners.
Learn more about degus on Wikipedia.
How long do degus live?
In the wild a degu’s life expectancy is only about 3 to 4 years. This is because of a number of variables like availability of food, sickness, and the abundance of predators.
The average lifespan of degus in captivity, including those kept as pets, is usually about 6 to 8 years.
Are degus good pets?
Degus make fantastic pets as long as you’re willing to learn how to care for them and provide them with the cage and accessories they need.
One of the biggest challenges with degus is they are vigorous chewers. Like other rodents, their teeth are constantly growing, so they have to chew to wear them down. This means you need to provide plenty of toys and chews for your degu and create chew-proof play areas.
Another challenge is that new degus can bite when they are nervous around humans. It takes time and patience to build a relationship with your new pet, but once you do they become cuddly and affectionate to their owners.
If you do want to add a degu to your family, you’ll need to get more than one. Degus are very social animals that live and work communally in the wild. Degus should be kept in same-sex pairs or in groups up to six. A single degu on their own will become very depressed, so get a pair.
If you’re willing to learn how to care for these unique and fun pets, degus can be a great option for experienced pet owners.
What do degus eat?
Degus are herbivores who need a high fiber diet. The majority of their food should be hay, supplemented with pellets. They should also be fed certain fresh vegetables, but their sugar intake should be limited. Learn more about degu food and diet.
Is it legal to have degus as a pet in my state/country?
Some areas consider degus to be an invasive species, so they are not legal to keep as pets. Make sure to check your local laws before you consider getting a degu as a pet.
In the United States, degus are illegal in California, Utah, Georgia, and Alaska.
In Canada, you cannot have a degu as a pet in Labrador or Newfoundland.