The degu is an adorable rodent that could be kept as a pet. It is growing in popularity in the world of pet ownership, but before you head out and purchase or adopt one, check out the information below. Like all other pets, the degu has specific requirements, and knowing what those are will help you determine if this animal would be the right fit for your family and lifestyle.
A Degu’s Diet
One of the most important things that you need to know before choosing to have a degu as a pet is the fact that they have a specific diet that they need to follow. Because these animals are unable to regulate their blood sugar as well as other species can, you need to be careful that you don’t overfeed your pet or give him the wrong types of food. Experts recommend feeding your degu a food that is designed for guinea pigs or chinchillas, as well as food pellets that are designed for rodents. You can also provide your pet with plenty of hay and a few treats every now and then, provided that they are all safe for a degu to eat.
A Degu’s Exercise Needs and Habits
Unlike other rodents, the degu is not a nocturnal animal. Instead, he will be active during the day. The degu is an energetic animal, like other curious rodents. In the wild, they would be able to move across large distances in search of food. So, if you are planning on keeping one as a pet, you should ensure that he has ample opportunity to exercise and explore. You could add an exercise wheel to your degu’s enclosure, as well as add platforms and obstacles to his little home in order to make his environment interesting and fun.
A Degu’s Personality
The degu is a social creature, so you should have plenty of time to spend with your pet before introducing this rodent into your family. You might even consider getting more than one degu of the same gender so that they can socialize with one another in the same enclosure and avoid becoming bored or lonely. Keep in mind that housing males and females together could result in the degus breeding.
Beyond that, you can also take your degu out of his enclosure and handle him gently. Training these animals to be handled by people while they are young is a good idea, and interacting with your pet regularly is a great way to develop a strong bond that is based on trust. Just never pick up a degu by the tail, as this rodent has the ability to shed its tail if it feels scared or threatened, or if too much pressure is applied to the tail.
Remember that every animal is unique and has specific needs to thrive. So, before you introduce a degu into your family, be sure you have the space, resources, and time to give this unique rodent what he needs to stay happy and healthy.