How Do You Care For A Degu?
Degu are sociable animals that live in groups of up to 100 and are native to the plains and mountains of Chile – therefore a part of a wild Degu’s diet is made up of the natural vegetation found in these places. They also like to live in temperatures below 20°c with plenty of space to exercise to remain stress-free. Degu also need a sand bath available to clean in daily and after handling or a digging box with a mixture of sand and soil to keep a Degu occupied.
What Should Degu be Fed?
Like some other small animals, Degu are unable to regulate sugar levels in their blood as effectively as other animals. This means that care has to be taken for Degu not to be fed food high in sugars to avoid health complications and a healthy balanced diet should be maintained. They also can’t be fed food rich in protein as it causes them to drink more water and therefore damage their kidneys.
Degu should be fed grass hay and should also be available at all times to keep their digestive system and teeth healthy, with alfalfa hay also given as the occasional treat due to its high levels of protein and calcium. Fresh vegetables should be fed in a variety to meet the range of nutrients and vitamins that Degu need, however some can only be fed once a month due to their high sugar content – such as carrots, sweet potatoes and cucumber. Degu should be fed other vegetables also that can be fed more often (about once a week) but still not daily due to their sugar content; this includes pumpkin, red and green peppers and radish.
Alongside these foods, hard feed should also be fed once a day to guarantee that all nutrient requirements are met. Foods that contain a 2:1 ratio of Calcium : Phosphorus are safe for Degu to eat despite not necessarily being labelled as Degu food. The ratio is important to maintain teeth and bone health.
These foods include:
- Burgess Excel Chinchilla Nuggets Food
- Beaphar Care+ Degu Food
- Beaphar XtraVital Degu Food
- Supreme Science Selective Degu
- Burgess Excel Guinea