Degus are small, social and vocal rodents. They have long silky coats that are grey-brown tinged, and a long, thin tail with a tufted, black tip.

Typically degus can live for 6-7 years in captivity.

How to look after degus

Pet degus have only been kept for a relatively short time and experts are still learning about how best to care for them.

There is no one "perfect" way to care for all degus because every degu and every situation is different. It's up to you how you look after your degus, but you must take reasonable steps to ensure that you meet all their needs.

Read our pet degu care advice to find out more about their needs:

Degus have only started to be kept as pets in the UK relatively recently. Therefore we're still learning about how best to provide for their needs and how to care for them in captivity. As they're not commonly kept as pets, it's advisable to register your degus with an exotics specialist vet who has experience of treating this species. They'll also be able to talk to you prior to getting degus to discuss the specialist care and resources they require to stay happy and healthy.

Clarification of terminology

Bedding material is used to describe the material or substrate that is used to cover the bottom of the cage.

Nesting material is used to describe the material provided in addition to bedding material, which is given to animals for nest building and nesting behaviour.

Degu factfile

Degus are native to northern and central Chile and can be found living at high elevations (1,200m) in the Andes mountain range.

They're also diurnal animals which means they're active during the day and sleep at night.

Degus are sociable

In the wild, degus make communal burrows and live together in groups.

Degus are active

Degus are active in the day spending lots of time digging and chewing.

Degus are very vocal

Degus will chirrup and squeak at each other.

Degus have yellow teeth

White teeth can be a sign of illness in the degu; their teeth are naturally a yellow-orange colour.

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