Degus are a rodent native to Chile with a roundish body and furry tail. Related to chinchillas and guinea pigs, degus are adorable and inquisitive. Fully grown, they reach between 9-12 inches long and weigh between 6-11 ounces.
Degus are highly social and live in large, complex burrows in the wild. Mother degus have been known to nurse each other’s young, and father degus stick around to help raise youngsters.
Because they are so social, degus develop deep bonds with their owners and recognize them by sight. This makes them wonderful pets, but also means that it is important to keep at least two degus together so they have a social outlet when you’re not around.
Choose a pair of females or commit to having a mixed pair spayed and neutered, unless you are prepared (and permitted) to breed. Two males may become overly competitive as they age.
Degu Fast Facts
Lifespan – 6-9 years
Diet – Commercial rodent pellets, unlimited hay, fresh veggies; avoid sugary treats
Sleep patterns – Diurnal (awake during the day)
Warnings – Illegal in some states; tails can shed if handled roughly