Degu Food and Diet (Pellets, Veggies, & Treats)

Degu Food and Diet (Pellets, Veggies, & Treats)

Degu Food and Diet (Pellets, Veggies, & Treats)
One of the most important things you can do for your degu’s health is to provide them with a proper diet. While degus do have specific health needs to address and prevent with their diet, they are not complicated to feed. Once you understand the basics, you’ll easily be able to provide your pet with the nutrients they need.

What do Degus Eat?

A degu’s diet is broken up into four main parts: fresh water, hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables. Your degu should always have hay and water available in their cage. Pellets are fed daily and once a week they should have a variety of fresh vegetables to supplement the nutrients in their dry feed.

The nutritional needs of degus are generally simple, but you should avoid sugar in their diet. They are prone to type 2 diabetes and required a diet that is low in sugar and fat. Sugary treats and fruit should be limited to monthly or avoided compeltely.

Water

Fresh water should be provided in a chew proof water bottle. While degus are from an arrid environment and can go long periods of time without water, your pet degu should have unlimited access to their water bottle. Any water that is safe for human consumption is safe for your degu, including tap water. I prefer to provide filtered tap water. Make sure to change the water every few days even if the bottle isn’t empty to keep it fresh and prevent algae growth in the bottle.

Hay

Hay is the main part of their diet and should be fed to them constantly through a hay rack or holder in their cage. For degus, hay provides roughage and fiber plus it keeps their gut moving. Hay also helps degus wear down their molars, which continuously grow. The best hays for degus are meadow hay and timothy hay. A small amount of alfalfa hay can also be offered to provide variety but because of the high protein and calcium content it can cause kidney stones if eaten in excess. We’ve shared our favorite hay brands below.

Hay is often sold in large quantities and should be stored in a dry place with plenty of airflow to keep it from getting damp and moldy.



Pellets

Pellets are an important part of a degu’s diet since it provides your pet with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need. The best choice is to buy a healthy degu specific pellet which contains pellets only and has no additional nuts, seeds, or colored food pieces. Most pets will pick out the “treats” in those types of mixes and ignore the pellets that have all the nutrients. For degus, these “treats” can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and other health problems. Make sure the degu food you select does not have molasses and is generally low in sugar. See the section on Degu Pellets below for our recommended brands.

Degus are best fed their pellets on a consistent schedule. They thrive on a regular routine and schedule so they always know when their food is coming. Each degu should get 10g of pellets daily, though it can be divided into two 5g meals, fed in the morning and early evening (matching their crespuscular rhythm).

If you have multiple degus, feeding them each with their own bowls will help reduce squabbling and help you track their eating.

You may notice your degus “hiding” food around their cage. This is a normal behavior. Since they are natural foragers in the wild, you can hide some food around their cage or in their hay to provide some enrichment.

Vegetables

Fresh vegetables and herbs are another important part of your degu’s diet since they provide essential amino and fatty-acids that aren’t available in pellet food. Once a week you should offer your degu a small bowl with a variety of fresh vegetables. Cut each vegetable into a thumbnail size piece. Many degus are picky eaters, so a variety will help you learn what your degus like and give them a mix of nutrients. Too many fresh vegetables in a degu’s diet can cause diarrhea and bloat, which is why it should be limited to one day a week. Since fresh fruit is high in sugar it can only be given in small amounts one time a month as a treat. Check out the section of fresh vegetables for a list of degu safe choices.

Treats

Treats can be provided as a very small part of your degu’s diet. They are useful for training and helping you bond with your new pet. Make sure you are giving treats only once a day (or less) and that you are giving healthy treats with no sugar. (Treats with sugar like an apple piece should be given once a month at most.) See our recommended options in the Treats section below.

Complete Degu Food and Diet (Pellets, Veggies, & Treats)

Transitioning to New Degu Pellets

Just like other parts of your degu’s diet, consistency is best. Ideally, you will select a healthy brand of pellets that is easy for you to purchase and your degu will eat it their whole lives. But degus can be picky eaters and sometimes you need to switch brands.

Changing pellets should happen as a slow transition, while no other changes are made to your degu’s diet. You may need to plan in advance to make sure you have enough of the old degu food on hand to make the smooth transition. While you are changing from one food to another, keep an eye on your degu’s stool. If it starts to get soft or mushy, then you are changing too quickly.

The absolute best way to transition your goos to new pellets is slowly over 3 weeks. Follow this schedule:

  • Week 1: Feed 75% of the old pellets and 25% of the new pellets each day.
  • Week 2: Feed 50% of the old and 50% of the new pellets each day.
  • Week 3: Feed 25% of the old and 75% of the new pellets each day.
  • Week 4: If your rabbit has no problems, feed the new pellets exclusively.

Occasionally, you may have a degu that refuses to transition to the new food. Instead, they will pick out the old pellets and leave the new ones uneaten. In that case, you may want to continue to feed the old food (as long as it is healthy and meets your degu’s nutritional needs) or try a different brand.

Use this infographic as a handy guide:

How to Transition a Degu to New Food Pellets

Degu Food Recommendations

Degu Pellets

Because Degus are a less common pet, it is hard to find appropriate food for them in pet stores in the US and other countries. Degu owners in the UK have the best selection of pellets available. Our best recommendation is to order the appropriate pellets for them online.

If you absolutely cannot find these degu foods where you live, you can feed degus chinchilla food, but make sure the food doesn’t contain molasses.

Science Selective Supreme Petfoods Degu Food

Considered the best degu food available, these pellets from Science Selective are specially formulated for degu’s needs. Made from a blend of high quality ingredients, including broccoli and basil, it’s packed with vitamin C and has zero added sugar and no artificial colors.

This is a plain pellet with no added junk like seeds or dried fruit, which means your degu won’t be picky and will have a better balanced diet.


Exotic Nutrition Degu Complete

Another favorite among degu owners and easier to buy in the US, Exotic Nutrition’s Degu Complete pellets is formulated specifically for your goo’s dietary needs. These pellets are vitamin fortified and have a hard texture to encourage chewing and good dental health.

This food does feature whole oat seeds in it which can be a distraction for some degus. Make sure they are eating the pellets and not just picking out the seeds.


Pets at Home Degu Nuggets

Pets at Home Degu Nuggets

A great option for degu owners in the UK is Pets at Home’s Degu nuggets. These nuggets are high in fiber and have added vitamin and minerals to support your goo’s dietary needs with no added sugar. This is a plain pellet food, so there are no added seeds, nuts, or colored pieces, meaning your degu will just get the healthy food they need.

Degu Hay

Fresh hay should be available at all times for your degus. The best hay for degus is timothy hay and meadow hay. Alfalfa hay can also be fed in small quantities for variety. Here are some of our favorite suppliers of hay.

Some suppliers of timothy hay offer a choice of “cut” either first, second, or third cutting. These stand for which crop of hay it came from during the growing season. Generally, the second cut is the best as it has a good balance of nutrients and fiber.

Oxbow Degu Hay

Oxbow is my personally preferred brand of hay. They offer a variety of hays that are good for degus and can be found in some local and national pet stores. Their hay is grown in the USA and hand selected to ensure good quality products.

The options they offer for degus include:


Small Pet Select Hay

Small Pet Select is a smaller hay and food distributor on the small animal scene, but they are used by many exotic pet owners and are a good brand to consider for your degu’s hay. They also pack and ship their hay in a cardboard box, which is the best long-term storage option for keeping hay. They offer timothy hay in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cuttings–we recommend buying the 2nd cutting.

Here are their degu hay options:


Kaytee Hay

Kaytee is one of the most common brands of hay and food available, often seen in national pet store chains. They’re also usually the cheapest. Many exotic pet owners complain about the freshness or getting a bad batch, but we have used it without issue. (When buying any hay you should check the freshness and quality of it before feeding it to your pet.)

Kaytee offers the following hay options that are appropriate for degus:

Vegetables and Greens for Degus

Once a week you should offer your degus a variety of fresh vegetables and greens to supplement their daily diet of pellets and hay. Cut the vegetables into thumbnail size pieces. You should feed each degu enough vegetables to cover the bottom of a 1 cup measuring cup.

Make sure to wash any store bought vegetables and herbs thoroughly before you feed them to your degu. If you can, buy organic veggies.

Since degus are picky eaters they will often ignore the fresh foods. You can sprinkle the top of them with a small amount of rolled oats or dried herbs to get your goos interested.

Here are some vegetables and herbs to consider offering your degus.

Fresh Herbs

  • Basil
  • Borage
  • Camomile
  • Chervil
  • Chives
  • Comfrey
  • Coriander
  • Cress
  • Dill
  • Lemon Balm
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Greens & Veggies

  • Agrimony
  • Beet Greens
  • Cabbage (White, Red, Savory)
  • Carrot Tops (greens only)
  • Cauliflower (leaves only)
  • Celery (including leaves)
  • Chard
  • Chicory
  • Chives
  • Cress
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Echinacea Leaves
  • Kale
  • Lemon Grass
  • Lettuce (Romaine, Sweetheart, Green Leaf, Red Leaf)
  • Meadow Sweet
  • Mustard Greens
  • Pak Choi
  • Pea Shoots
  • Pumpkin Leaves and Flowers
  • Spinach
  • Wild Rocket Arugula
  • Yarrow

Veggies to Feed Sparingly

  • Broccoli
  • Burdock Root
  • Carrots*
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion Root
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Marshmallow Root
  • Nettle Root
  • Okra
  • Parsnip
  • Peas*
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Sweet corn*

*Indicates the item is high in sugar and should be fed sparingly

Degu Treats

Treats are the fun part of a degu’s diet. Usually fed by hand they’re a great way to help you bond with and even train your goos. Because they’re so tastey, degus will often beg for treats but you must be careful to feed treats sparingly. Your degu should receive, at most, 1 small amount of treats per day. You can offer the vegetables listed in the “Veggies to Feed Sparingly” list above as treats once a month.

While some pet store purchased treats are safe for degus, it’s often easier just to give them simple treats like apple, nuts, and seeds. (Be very careful with fruit because of the high sugar content). Here are some recommended treats.

Recommended Treats

  • Adzuki Beans
  • Green Lentils
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Milk Thistle Seeds
  • Millet
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Rolled Oats
  • Rosehips (dried)

Nuts for Degus

  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews (unsalted natural)
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia
  • Peanuts (no shell)
  • Pecan
  • Pine nuts
  • Walnuts

Make sure to check out the list of degu safe woods to buy appropriate chews and cage accessories.

Be prepared for sickness or injury with a degu first aid kit.

Vintage Degu Love Mug - Gifts for Degu Owners

10 Funny & Cute Degu Gifts for Pet Owners

Degus are adorable pets and they have a way of taking over the lives of their owners. So if you have a friend or a family member who loves degus, you know that gifts related to their favorite animal will really delight them. These degu gifts are perfect to give to owners and animal lovers for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, and any other gift-giving occasion. Check out all the gift ideas.

Cute & Fun Dego Gifts

1. Degu Sign

All Guests Must Be Approved by Degus

This sign is the perfect accessory to hang in your entryway or above the degu’s cage. It says “All guests must be approved by the degus.” The sign is 19.5 cm by 13.5 cm and features a jute cord for hanging.


2. Crocheted Degu Doll

Crocheted Degu Doll

This cute degu gift is completely unique! Curly Moods make these adorably and cuddly crocheted degu dolls. Since each plush is custom made, you can choose between brown, white, and gray to match your favorite degu. Height is 6.29″.

If the degu owner in your life is crafty, you can buy them the pattern to make their own goo doll.




3. Funny Degu T-shirt

This shirt is the perfect gift for the degu owner who likes a funny joke. The cute design features a degu silhouette with the words “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy a degu and that’s pretty much the same thing.”

Available in men, women, and youth sizes in 10 different colors.


4. Vintage Degu Love Mug

Vintage Degu Love Mug - Gifts for Degu Owners

Practical? Check. Cool vintage design? Check. Degus? Check.

This is the perfect gift for java addicted, degu loving, vintage fans. This cool 15 oz. mug has a retro design with a degu silhouette and the words “Degu Love.” Include some of your loved one’s favorite coffee or tea to create a gift bag they’ll really appreciate.


5. Degu Eating a Slice of Pizza

This is a hilarious t-shirt for any degu owner or animal lover. It features a photo of a degu that is Photoshopped to make it look like it’s eating a tiny slice of pizza. This fun design is great for kids, teens, or adults.

Available in men, women, and youth sizes in black, gray, silver, dark heather, and heather gray.


6. Degu Warning Sign

Funny Attack Degu Warning Sign - Degu Gifts

This funny sign is must have for any degu owner. This sign says: “Warning – This property is protected by a highly trained degu. Not responsible for injury or possible death.”

These signs are made on high-quality aluminum, but come in three different design styles: distressed wood (pictured), aged metal, or new style.

Designed for indoor display. Dimensions: 12″ x 8″.


7. Degu Composition Notebook

If you want practical degu gifts, check this one out. This composition notebook features a pattern of playfully illustrated degus on the front. Perfect for school notes, shopping lists, or writing a story.


8. Degu Art Print

Degu Art Print Owner Gift

This gorgeous piece of art deserves a place on every degu owner’s wall. Sue Edwards Art created this beautiful art print. The realistic goo drawing features a close up of an eating degu. Perfect to frame and hang next to your degu’s cage.


9. Degu Keychain

Degu Keychain Gift Idea

This unique keychain is a must have gift for degu owners. Printed on recycled acrylic, it features an illustration of a degu looking up at the sky. The charm measures 6cm by 3cm. Perfect size to give as a stocking stuffer.


10. Gentle Degu Sticker

Gentle Degu Sticker

This gift is adorable! This vinyl sticker features a gentleman degu, complete with hat, monocle, and mustache with the text “Gentle Degu.” Perfect to personalize a laptop or phone. Comes in three sizes.


Need more gift ideas? Check out our other articles on gifts for animal lovers and exotic pet owners.


Degu Safe Wood

Safe Wood for Degus – Toys, Chews, & Cages

Safe Wood for Degus
Like other rodents, degus are constantly chewing because of their ever-growing teeth. To keep your precious goos from chewing things like furniture or electrical cords, you need to provide them plenty of safe chewing material. The most common chews for most exotic pets are wood. But, you have to make sure the wood you provide will not harm your pet. If you’re searching for safe wood for degus, this article will provide all the info you need on what to avoid and what’s non-toxic. The materials on the safe list are perfect to give to your degu as a chew, or to make toys and other enrichment activities from.

When buying (or gathering) wood for your degu, make sure is it organic, has not been treated by pesticides, and cleaned of dirt (a vegetable brush and water is good for cleaning). The wood should not be chemically treated or painted. Food-based dyes are generally okay. When it comes to caring for your degu, always err on the side of caution. If you don’t know what materials a toy or cage accessory is made of or if you aren’t sure if the wood is safe, don’t give it to your pet.

Safe Wood for Degus

These degu safe woods and materials are perfect for toys, chews, and accessories.

  • alder (black)
  • apple
  • apricot
  • arbutus
  • ash
  • aspen
  • bamboo cane
  • beech
  • birch
  • blackberrry
  • blackcurrant
  • cherry
  • cholla
  • coconut shell
  • cottonwood (Eastern and fermont)
  • crabapple
  • damson
  • dogwood
  • elm
  • filbert
  • grapevine
  • hawthorn
  • hazelnut
  • hornbeam
  • kiwi
  • linden
  • manzanita
  • maple (field, Norway, sycamore)
  • mirabelle
  • mulberry
  • nectarine
  • oak
  • peach
  • pear
  • pecan
  • pine (kiln-dried white pine only)
  • plum
  • poplar
  • prune
  • pumice stones
  • quince
  • rose hip
  • sisal
  • sycamore
  • water hyacinth reeds
  • willow (goats, weeping, white)

Save this quick list of safe wood for degus to Pinterest:
Safe Wood for Degus List



Toxic Wood and Materials for Degus

These are woods and other materials that are known to be toxic to degus. Just because you do not see a particular wood on this list does not mean it is automatically safe for degus. If it doesn’t appear on the degu safe wood list, do not give it to your goo.
Degu Toxic Wood - Pinecones

  • abale/esia
  • almond
  • azalea
  • balsam fir
  • black locust
  • blackwood
  • bog wood
  • boxwood
  • buddleia
  • cashew
  • cedar
  • citrus (all types including lemon, orange, grapefruit, tangerine etc.)
  • cocobolo
  • cypress/bald cypress
  • dahoma
  • dogwood
  • ebony
  • elang/mukulungu
  • elder/elderberry
  • eucalyptus
  • fig/cape fig
  • fir
  • forsynthia
  • goncalo alves
  • greenheart
  • hemlock
  • horse chestnut
  • iroko
  • juniper
  • kapok
  • laburnum
  • laurel
  • magnolia
  • mahogany
  • mansonia
  • mimosa
  • mopane/mopani
  • myrtle
  • cork
  • obeche/abachi
  • okuhaba/yungu
  • oleander
  • olive
  • opepe/kussia
  • paduak
  • pau ferro
  • peroba rosa
  • pine (fresh pine & pinecones)
  • plywood
  • purpleheart
  • quebracho
  • red maple
  • redwood
  • rhododendron
  • sassafras
  • satinwood
  • sequoia
  • snakewood
  • spruce
  • teak
  • walnut
  • wenge
  • yew
  • yunnan
  • zebrawood

Save this quick list of toxic wood you should avoid giving your degu to Pinterest:
Toxic Wood For Degus


Learn more about degu food and diet.

Female Names for Degus

300+ Names for Degus – Boys, Girls & Pairs

One of the most exciting parts of getting a new degu or two is picking the perfect name. It can be challenging to come up with name ideas for new pets, but we’ve put together a great list of names for Degus. We have names for girls, boys, and even degu pairs. Check out our suggestions, or read the section at the end of the article with ideas on how to brainstorm your own names.

Female Names for Degus

If you have a new girl degu (or two), check out this list of names. From cute to traditional, there’s plenty of ideas to choose from.
Female Names for Degus

  • Abby
  • Amber
  • Angel
  • Annie
  • Ashley
  • Audrey
  • Baby
  • Bailey
  • Beebee
  • Belle
  • Billie
  • Blossom
  • Bubbles
  • Bumble Bee
  • Bunny
  • Buttercup
  • Candy
  • Chloe
  • Cleo/Cleopatra
  • Clover
  • Cookie
  • Daisy
  • Dizzy
  • Dolly
  • Doris
  • Dorothy
  • Dot
  • Eve
  • Fluffy
  • Girlie
  • Gracie
  • Hannah
  • Honey
  • Hope
  • Jade
  • Jasmine
  • Jewel
  • Jill
  • Joy
  • Kate
  • Kendra
  • Lady
  • Lemon
  • Lily
  • Lola
  • Maple
  • Marigold
  • Marley
  • Marmalade
  • Missy
  • Misty
  • Molly
  • Muffin
  • Nadia
  • Nellie/Nelly
  • Nessie
  • Nikki
  • Norma
  • Nutmeg
  • Ocean
  • Olive
  • Pansy
  • Patty
  • Peaches
  • Pearl
  • Pebbles
  • Penny
  • Petal
  • Princess
  • Pumkin
  • Rain
  • Raisin
  • Raven
  • Reba
  • Robyn
  • Rosa
  • Rose
  • Rosie
  • Roxanne
  • Sable
  • Sabrina
  • Sadie
  • Sadie
  • Saffron
  • Sally
  • Sandy
  • Saphire
  • Serenity
  • Seven
  • Shelby
  • Sherri
  • Sienna
  • Sissy
  • Skittles
  • Sky
  • Snowflake
  • Sprinkles
  • Starburst
  • Starry
  • Sunflower
  • Tabbie
  • Taffy
  • Tinkerbell
  • Tootsie
  • Trixie
  • Ursula
  • Velvet
  • Violet
  • Zelda
  • Zoey



Male Degu Names

If you’re looking for boy names for degus, you’ll find one on this list. These are cute, funny, and traditional names for degus.

Male Names for Degus

  • Ace
  • Alex
  • Andy
  • Arthur
  • Atlas
  • Badger
  • Bandit
  • Bear
  • Bob/Bobby
  • Bolt
  • Boots
  • Buddy
  • Burrito
  • Casper
  • Charlie
  • Chip
  • Chopsticks
  • Colby
  • Devil
  • Diego
  • Dill
  • Domino
  • Duke
  • Duster
  • Dustin
  • Felix
  • Fred
  • George
  • Gizmo
  • Harry
  • Henry
  • Hercules
  • Jasper
  • Junior
  • Lancelot
  • Mark
  • Martin
  • Max
  • Merlin
  • Micro
  • Milo
  • Misfit
  • Moe
  • Moose
  • Mortimer
  • Mud
  • Nacho
  • Napoleon
  • Nate
  • Nelson
  • Nemo
  • Neo
  • Neptune
  • Nestor
  • Nickel
  • Ninja
  • Norman
  • Oliver
  • Oscar
  • Panther
  • Paul
  • Peanut
  • Pepperoni
  • Pewter
  • Pierre
  • Pikachu
  • Pringle
  • Radar
  • Rascal
  • Ray
  • Rex
  • Robbie
  • Robin
  • Rocket
  • Rodeo
  • Roo
  • Runt
  • Rusty
  • Rusty
  • Safari
  • Salem
  • Sausage
  • Scar
  • Scooby Doo
  • Scrappy
  • Scratch
  • Shredder
  • Smudge
  • Sneakers
  • Snickerdoodle
  • Snickers
  • Spoke
  • Squeaker
  • Taco
  • Tarzan
  • Taz
  • Teddy
  • Thor
  • Thumper
  • Tiger
  • Titan
  • Tom
  • Tony
  • Vader
  • Valentine
  • Vince
  • Zach
  • Zombie
  • Zoomer
  • Zorro
Degu Gifts

Unisex Names for Degus

These names work great for male or female degus.

Best Degu Names

  • Basil
  • Boo
  • Brownie
  • Button
  • Cheddar
  • Cilantro
  • Cinnabon
  • Cinnamon
  • Clouds
  • Cocoa
  • Cuddles
  • Cumin
  • Curly
  • Ducky
  • Dusty
  • Feisty
  • Fizzy
  • Fudge
  • Happy
  • Hopper
  • Lucky
  • Mint
  • Mocha
  • Nebula
  • Needle
  • Nibbles
  • Nipper
  • Noodle
  • Nosy
  • Nugget
  • Oatmeal
  • Oreo
  • Pancake
  • Panda
  • Parsley
  • Patches
  • Pepper
  • Pickle
  • Piper
  • Raisin
  • Rebel
  • Ribbon
  • Rumi
  • Silver
  • Spaghetti
  • Squeak/Squeakers
  • Squirt
  • Tango
  • Tequila
  • Twinkie
  • Twinkles
  • Twister
  • Yoga
  • Zipper
Degu First Aid Kit for Emergency Care

Degu Names for Pairs

Degus do best in groups or pairs, so it makes sense that you would get a pair of goos at the same time. Check out these names for degu pairs.

Degu Names

  • Beavis & Butthead
  • Bert & Ernie
  • Bonnie & Clyde
  • Bread & Butter
  • Chip & Dale
  • Coco & Pops
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
  • Itchy & Scratchy
  • Jack & Coke
  • Jack & Jill
  • Kanga & Roo
  • Luke & Leia
  • Micky & Minnie
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Ping & Pong
  • Rice & Beans
  • Riff & Raff
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Super & Nova
  • Thelma & Louise
  • Tom & Jerry
  • Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
  • Ying & Yang
  • Zig & Zag
  • Zip & Zap

How to Pick a Name for Your Degu

If you want to find the perfect name for your new degu (or goos), there are plenty of ways to do it.

Get together everyone in your family who is going to help pick out a name for your new pet. Give everyone a piece of paper and have them list all of their name ideas.

Use the following exercises to generate degu name ideas:

  • Appearance – Look at your degu and think of names based on their appearance. “Cinnamon” or “fudge” are fun names, as are “Dusty” or “Sandy.”
  • Personality – Once you’ve spent a little time with your new goo, you’ll get a sense of their personality. That may inspire a few name ideas. Any energetic degu could be called “Zippy” or “Flash.” If your goo seems to have an attitude you can call them “Sassy.” A shy degu may have a demure name like “Daisy” or “Shadow.”
  • Favorite Characters – Think of your favorite characters from movies, tv shows, video games, or books. Add those names to your lists.

Once everyone has their lists, make everyone narrow them down to one or two name possibilities. If the whole family is picking the name, hold a vote and pick the most popular name for your new degu. Otherwise, just pick the one you like best.


Getting your home ready for your new pet? Don’t forget to put together a degu first aid kit.


Degu First Aid Kit for Emergency Care

Degu First Aid Kit for Emergency Care

Degu First Aid Kit for Emergency CareIf you’ve recently added a degu (or a few!) to your home, you know there are tons of supplies and accessories you need to take of them. Most people know you need to buy a cage, food, toys, and other essentials. But a lot of new pet owners overlook one of the most important supplies you need to take care of a pet–and that’s medical supplies. Just like how you have band-aids and other supplies ready for the humans in your home, you should have similar health items for your degus. The best way to be prepared for sickness or injury is to put together a degu first aid kit.

DIY Degu First Aid Kit

Every Degu owner should have basic medical supplies on hand to handle minor injuries and sicknesses. Some of the recommended items are easily available at your local pharmacy, others you may need to buy from your vet or online. We’ve included Amazon links to the less common items. Some of the medication and other perishable items will have expiration dates, so make sure you’re replacing those items as needed.

Before you assemble the items you need for your degu first aid kit, you will need some kind of container to keep them in. This is so you can easily find the supplies you need since they’ll be in one place and also so you can grab the kit and go in the case of an emergency or sudden evacuation of your home. We recommend a hard plastic case that will protect your degu emergency kit from moisture. You can easily find something around the house, at most stores that sell organization items, or buy a specialty first aid box like the one pictured.

Once you have the storage box, gather these items:

First Aid Kit Checklist

  • Veterinary Contact Info – Include a business card or a piece of paper with the contact info of your exotics vet on it. If there is an emergency exotics vet in your area,
    include that information as well.
  • Gauze Pads
  • Cotton Balls
  • Q Tips
  • Vetrap Bandaging Tape (Buy on Amazon) – A self adgesive bandage often used by vets. It does not stick to fur or skin, just to itself. Perfect for holding gauze on a wound.
  • Tweezers
  • Bandage Scissors (Buy on Amazon) – to cut bandages and tape. Rounded tip helps prevent unintended injury to a squirmy degu.
  • Styptic Powder (Check Price at Petco | Buy on Amazon) – To help stop bleeding for minor cuts. This is the best stuff for if your degu accidentally rips out a nail or you accidentally clip it too close. Dip the toe in the powder and it will help stop the bleeding.
  • Saline Solution – For rinsing wounds or debris from the eyes.
  • Oral Syringes – Get a variety of sizes. Small syringes are great for administering medications and small amounts of fluids. Large syringes are good for feeding Critical Care and baby food.
  • Oxbow Critical Care (Buy on Amazon) – This is a great item to have on hand for when your Degu is ill and has lost their appetite. By syringe feeding you can help prevent weight loss and stasis of the gut (which can be fatal).
  • Baby Food – Another great item to have on hand if your degu is sick. Baby food can help keep your goo fed and hydrated when they’re sick. Plus since it tastes so good they’ll be more willing to eat it. Look for varieties with sweet potato and carrot. This should only be fed for a limited amount of time because of the sugar.
  • Ice Pack or Marble Tile (Buy on Amazon) – Use these to cool down an overheated degu or provide relief during hot summer months. Keep the tile in the fridge so it’s cool when you need it. If you’re using an ice pack, try to use one that you put ice in and not the ones with gel inside as they are toxic if your degu chews through it. Wrap the ice pack in a towel or blanket.
  • Heat Pad – When degus are sick they can have issues regulating their body temperature and staying warm. You can make your own bt filling a sock with rice and microwaving it. (Alternatively buy a SnuggleSafe heating pad) If your degu is a voracious chewer make sure to keep an eye on them and remove the pad if they chew a hole in it.
  • Bio-Lapis (Buy on Amazon) – This supplement is good for when your degu is taking anti biotics. It helps to replenish bacteria in their gut and also recover from their infection. Sprinkle it in their meds or their food.

Keep all these items together along with a carrier for your degus. If there is ever an emergency, you want everything to be easy to find. This is especially helpful if you live in a place where evacuations for natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires are common. You may want to keep food, and treats packaged in small quantities in your degu First Aid Kit as a kind of “go bag” for your pet.



How to Find a Vet for your Degu

How to Find a Vet for your DeguWhen many people add a new young pet to their home they aren’t thinking about veterinary care. Usually, the pets are healthy and since exotic pets don’t require regular shots like cats and dogs, owners don’t think finding a vet is a high priority. The real truth is you need to find and establish a relationship with an exotics vet as soon as you add degus to your family. The last thing you want is to find yourself in an emergency situation and have no idea where to go to get treatment for your pet. The extra time spent looking for a vet could mean life or death for your pet.

Because degus are one of the rarer exotic pets, it can be difficult to find a vet in your area who specializes in degus. Start with an internet search for exotic veterinarians in your area. Generally, a vet who has experience with animals other than cats and dogs will be more willing to invest extra time into research beyond their current knowledge. Make sure to ask questions about their experience with degus and what they do if they don’t know how to handle a new situation. If the vet doesn’t have experience with degus, you should make sure you feel comfortable with their communication and the level of interest they have in your pet.

If your vet has limited hours, it is also worthwhile to research emergency vets and animal hospitals in your area that are open 24 hours and treat exotics. This information will be very valuable to have on hand because the worst emergencies always seem to happen after hours.

How Often Should a Degu go to the Vet?

It’s generally recommended to take your degu to a vet annually for routine examinations. However, since it can be difficult to find a good degu vet, some owners find that it’s best to reserve vet visits for when the degu is ill.

As soon as your degu display any signs of illness, you should make an appointment for them to see the vet. Watch out for changes in behavior, lethargy, teeth chattering, limping, or change in eating or drinking. Any signs of blood, discoloration of urine, or strange smells should also be evaluated by a vet.

Make sure you have a secure carrier available (like this small pet carrier from Living World) and ready to transport your degus whenever they need to go to the vet.

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DIY Degu First Aid Kit - Everything you need for emergency care


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