Adopting Degus are a significant commitment due to the financial, care and time commitment. If you are considering adopting a Degu, please read the following information carefully for to decide if they are the right pet for you, and consider the welfare of the living creature that would be wholly dependent on you.
Do you have a Suitable Cage?
Before buying a Degu, please consider the following commitments you will need to make during the life of your new friends:
PLEASE NOTE: Degus live in the wild in large family groups, sometimes in the 100’s. If left alone a Degu will become depressed and die, no matter how much you interact with it. Therefore it is vital you keep more than one Degu in the same cage. Any pet shop that allows you to buy Degus singular should not be relied on for any advice on any animal. You should not allow any Degu to live alone!
Depending on how many Degus you want to keep and where you will shop, it will cost around £200 – £300 to prepare a cage for your Degu. You will then need pay for food, bedding, sawdust, hay, sand and any more toys after your Degu destroys them every month. Also, Vet fees when your least expecting them can be very costly. Remember, this can be for up to 13 years.
You relationship with your pet can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life, do you have the time, affection and commitment to form that bond
Will you take your pets to the vet at the first sign of illness? Are you buying it as a companion and not just a spur of the moment novelty?
If you are certain you can follow these commitments, you will make an excellent Degu Keeper.
Item Checklist for Degus
Shopping List When Buying Degus
Degus – 2 or more, never keep Degus alone or they will be lonely, unhappy and die early.
Degu cage – Metal with a solid base to prevent hurt feet. Recommended 2 levels minimum with plenty of room for toys and enrichment
Nest box – size dependent on how many Degu you wish to adopt
Small Animal Bedding – All Small animal bedding is recommended apart from hay
Small animal litter and tray – Optional extra, does not substitute for a full cage clean every week
Timothy Hay – used as food extra providing fiber
Hay cage – Keep hay in one area, hanging on the inside or outside of the cage
Food – Degu Pellets, Guinea Pig Pellets or suitable alternative which contains no sugar (always check the label)
Food bowl – needs to be heavy and resistant to tipping.
Water bottle/s – depending on your cage size we recommend one bottle per level
Vitamin supplements – depending on your food, see Degu care for details
Dust bath – specially designed or large ceramic bowl will do the trick
Small Animal bath dust – many varieties available, depends on what your Degu prefers
Toys – They can be anything from hanging platforms, mazes, houses, dangling ropes, all manner of toys they will keep your Degus entertained when you are not about
Wooden Ledges – An area for your Degus to stand to get off the metal wired cage levels, helping to prevent foot illnesses
Exercise wheel – can be free standing or attached to the cage wall as long as they are secure, try to stay away from wired wheels and have a solid plastic form (it is possible your Degu may eat through this as well as running on it, but they are cheap and essential for exercise).
Gnawing blocks – to keep teeth the right length (teeth grow throughout Degu’s lives, and can become uncomfortable and painful if gnawing objects are not provided)
Treats – see the list of suitable treats on the Degu care page
Disinfectant – Suitable for Small Animals, easily available at most stores
Book on Degus – Not really required when you have degupets.com, but helpful for additional information
Exercise Ball/s – Let your Degu explore and keep them safe while cleaning the cage
Travel cage – In case of an unexpected trip to the vet
Degus for Sale
There are numerous places where you might find degus for sale. The most obvious are pet stores. They have the advantage of being able to provide a receipt and come back if you have any problems within the first few days of owning your pet.
Degus from Pet Shops
Pet stores are more reputable when it comes to animal care. You will be able to purchase your pet degus, cage, toys and food at the same store and visit to save time and money.
There are many adverts on websites such as Gumtree or Craigslist full of Degu for Sale – people who have bitten off more than they can chew and as such are trying to of load their pets. The advantage of their source is that you are probably able to rescue some degus and give them a loving home. Also, you are more likely to get your pets and the cage for free or very cheap.
Choosing your Degus
There are a few things you should bear in mind when choosing your new pet. The degus you are considering should –
- Have no signs of discharge from ears, eye, nose, and mouth
- Have a clean rear end with no fecal matter
- Have a glossy coat of fur with no bald spots and not have skin sores
- Should move around easily with no staggering or stiffness
- Should feel well covered with fur and not feel bony
- Should have yellow teeth
- Should have no signs of respiratory problems or breathing difficulty
We hope this article has been helpful in your quest to find some good Degus. If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them below.