The degu is a delightful little mammal that is closely related to chinchillas and guinea pigs. They are social, vocal, and active critters making them a good choice of pet for someone looking for a small yet interactive companion.
Housing a degu is easy as long as you purchase the right habitat. They can chew through plastic so only a metal wire cage with multiple levels is appropriate. They need an exercise wheel as they are full of energy. They love pet safe wooden chews to keep their ever growing teeth healthy.
Degus are very social too, so not only do they enjoy interacting with their owner, they should always be kept in groups of two or more.
Diet should consist of commercial degu food and hay. Guinea pig and chinchilla pellets have been used with success as well. Hay should be provided for digestive and dental health. Degus are very prone to developing diabetes if offered fruits or carbohydrates as treats.
They love taking dust baths in chinchilla dust. It keeps their fur clean. They have very little odor too.
Bedding in the cage should be dust free, and not an aromatic wood like cedar or pine. Recycles paper bedding, or kiln dried aspen are good choices.
Degus can be purchased through private breeders, and are rarely but occationally available in pet stores.