What Is A Degu

A degu (Octodon degus) is a small, social, and intelligent rodent native to Chile. They are closely related to guinea pigs and chinchillas, and are known for their playful and energetic personality. Degu lifespan ranges from 5 to 10 years, depending on their living conditions and care.

Physical Characteristics

Degus have a compact, muscular body with a short tail, small ears, and large, expressive eyes. They have soft, thick fur that is typically a sandy brown color, with a lighter underside and dark markings on their feet and tail. They have a powerful sense of smell and excellent vision, and are agile climbers thanks to their long claws and flexible toes.

Behavior and Personality

Degus are social animals and do best when they live in groups of at least two or three. They are highly energetic and playful, and need plenty of opportunities to run, play, and explore. They are also very intelligent and can be trained to do simple tricks, such as coming when called or following a food trail.

Degus are known for their vocalizations, which include chirping, whistling, and purring. They also communicate through scent marking, using glands on their face and chest to mark their territory.

Degus are active during the day, and tend to be more quiet and less active at night. They need a spacious and secure cage to live in, with plenty of hiding places, toys, and opportunities for climbing and exploring.

What Is A Degu

Diet and Health

Degus have a high metabolism and need a diet that is high in fiber and low in sugar. They should be fed a commercial degu pellet or block, as well as fresh hay, vegetables, and a small amount of fruit. It is important to monitor their diet and avoid overfeeding, as degus are prone to obesity.

Degus are sensitive to heat and can suffer from heat stroke if they are exposed to high temperatures for too long. They also need access to fresh water at all times, and their water should be changed daily.

Degus can be prone to dental problems, such as overgrown or misaligned teeth, so it is important to monitor their dental health and provide chew toys to help keep their teeth trimmed.


Degus are intelligent, social, and energetic rodents that make great pets for those who are willing to commit to their care and social needs. They are playful and curious animals that need plenty of opportunities to run, play, and explore. With proper diet and care, degus can be a rewarding and engaging companion for many years.


Q1. What is a degu?

Ans: A degu is a small rodent native to Chile. They are members of the rodent family Octodontidae, which also includes the chinchilla and the viscacha. Degus are known for their social behavior and their active, playful personalities.

Q2. What do degus look like?

Ans: Degus have a stocky, rat-like appearance, with a short, dense coat that can be gray, brown, or orange in color. They have large, expressive eyes and long, bushy tails. Adult degus can reach up to 20 centimeters in length and weigh around 350-450 grams.

Q3. How long do degus live?

Ans: Degus have a lifespan of around 8-10 years in captivity. They are considered a long-lived rodent.

Q4. What do degus eat?

Ans: Degus are herbivores and require a diet high in fiber, low in sugar and fat. They can eat hay, fresh vegetables and fruits, and specially formulated degu food. They also require a constant source of fresh water.

Q5. Are degus suitable as pets?

Ans: Degus can make great pets for the right person. They are social animals and require regular interaction and playtime. They also require a large cage, with plenty of room to move around and play. Degus also require a special diet and an appropriate environment, so it’s important to research their needs and be prepared to provide for them before bringing one home.

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