Ready For 8 Easy Ways to Keep Your Degu Happy?
Degu enrichment is so important as degus are quite active in the wild and require lots of activities to be happy in captivity. Not only does enrichment play make weight management and dental health maintenance simple, but your degu will be less stressed and healthier overall.
However, since the degu is such a determined and powerful chewer, you should be prepared to do your research and select degu toys and accessories as well as treats for degus with safety chief in mind.
Get Your Degu An Exercise Wheel!
First and foremost, you will absolutely want to offer your pet a metal degu wheel (of at least 11 to 12 inches across) for running. This can mimic the natural activity of running through an underground burrow network in the wild. [NOTE: While an exercise wheel is a great enrichment option, never use an exercise ball as this will make your degu feel trapped and cause stress.] The Kaytee wheel is one of our favorites!
One of the most annoying things about exercise wheels is having a squeaky exercise wheel. That’s part of why we recommend this one! Your Degu needs his exercise and you don’t want to be pulling the wheel out because you can’t handle the squeak anymore!
Play With Your Degu Outside of His Enclosure
You can and should give your degu some play time outside the enclosure as frequently as on a daily basis, provided you can do so safely. Degus benefit from access to natural sunlight (temperature permitting) and fresh air and they greatly enjoy having a larger area to run around in and explore. Just be aware that, if they escape, they can be very hard to catch!! [NOTE: If your degu does escape, placing a cardboard tube on the ground with some tasty treats or laying out an item that smells like you is the best way to try to retrieve your pet.]
Let Your Degu Play in LARGE Tubes
Do not use toilet paper or paper towel-sized tubes, as your degu may get stuck and you may get bitten in the process of trying to extract your frightened pet. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, larger fired terra cotta glasses can make a great tube network, as can Chewbulars or ceramic aquarium fish tubes if you want to go the store-bought route. Just make sure the tubes are big enough so your degu can pass completely through the tube without getting stuck.
Make Sure Your Degu Has a Hiding Area!
Your degu may decide to choose its own hiding place out of a cardboard box or tube, but you should always be sure that at least one option is available for the choosing. You can also purchase sturdier hideaways or caves, but just make sure there is no way your degu could get poisoned or stuck.
We’re always concerned about the chemicals that are in the products that we use with our pets, so we looked around for this one. It’s also really nice for your degu to have an actual grass house instead of just another piece of plastic or cardboard to hide under.
Do You Like Laying In A Hammock? Turns Out Your Degu Does Too!
As it turns out, degus like hammocks as much as humans do. You may need to ration out use due to chewing, but they are a great enrichment addition.
Having a Perch or a Ledge Helps Fulfill Natural Instincts!
These typically look like larger, flatter bird perches or basking ledges. Degus enjoy climbing and leaping from one perch or ledge to the next, which is also great exercise.
Your Degu NEEDS Dust Baths
Degus need to have a dust or sand bath at least a few times per week just like they would in the wild. You can buy chinchilla dust or bathing sand and even little bathing tubs that are suitable for degus’ dust bathing needs. Only use unscented bathing dust or sand. You can reuse the dust or sand so long as you are quick to pick it up post-bath but before-potty.