WHAT IS A DEGU?
This cute and tiny pet that’s part of the rodent family can make a great companion animal. Here’s the scoop on some things you should know before you bring a degu home.
You May Be Making a 9-Year Commitment
On average, a degu will live 6 to 8 years in captivity, and 9 years is considered the maximum. Since many people do not know what a degu is or how to care for one, finding a new owner for your pet may be tough, so if you don’t plan on having a pet for more than a few years, you may want to go with something like a hobby rat, which has a lifespan of about 3 years.
A Degu Likes Things Clean
Don’t be fooled by the fact it is a rodent. Your degu won’t be able to clean its own messes, but it will certainly be happier if you do so. All it takes is a pet-friendly disinfectant to clean the cage on a weekly basis, and your pet will be happier and healthier.
This Is a Social Animal
If you do not intend to spend hours every day with your degu, you should get more than one. If you bond with this pet when it is young, it will become very attached to you.
They Are Awake During the Day
A frequent complaint about rodents as pets is that most of them are nocturnal. Degus are an exception. A nice thing about a diurnal pet (awake during the day) is that you can keep the cage in a sleeping area without worrying about being regularly disturbed by something that is up all night. Plus, you get to spend more time with your pet when you are both awake.
Diet and Exercise
Your degu will need a special diet and plenty of exercise in order to be healthy and live a full life. In addition to having a wheel in the cage, you can play with your degu. Just watch the tail because it may come off if grabbed. While this won’t harm your pet too badly, it will result in stress and could affect its health over time.
In short, degus are fun pets that can become a friend for many years.