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Housing Degus

When housing your Degu, you should get the biggest cage you can afford, or that is practical. Degus are lively animals that love to jump around and play. Limiting this will not make your Degu happy, so a large cage is vital! Of course, some Degu's that are allowed outside their cage frequantly will not require a cage as large as a Degu that is only allowed outside occasionally so this can be taken into account. The minimum size cage for 2 Degus is around 70Lx70Hx44W CM. Chinchilla type cages are the best, and these are usually redily available at pet stores worldwide. If you live in the UK, a good pet store that sell nice cages is www.petsathome.co.uk these can be bought online and in-store. Below is a good example of a suitable cage:
As you can see, it is constructed of wire with a pull-out metal base and wooden shelves. Shelves are required as Degus are very active pets and love jumping as mentioned earlier.
 
CAGE FURNISHINGS
 
Degus, much like Chinchillas will occasionally enjoy a dust bath. Chinchilla sand, available from most pet stores is suitable for this and a small amount should be poured into a container large enough for the Degu to get in and roll around easily. Food bowls should be heavy, or some cages have a metal bowl attatched to the side. Both these are suitable. A water bottle attatched to the side of the cage is the best way of providing water as the bottle will keep it more fresh, plus your Degu can't attempt to step in it etc.
 
Some type of Cage Litter should be used in the cage to maintain a good level of hygiene. In my opinion, the best substrate to use is probably sawdust or woodshavings (Pine wood). Both are safe for your pets and are warm and comfy. Do NOT use cedar chips, as these have been proven to be harful to some small pets so these are not recommended. Woodshavings or Sawdust should not be used if your Degu has a respiratory problem in which case, Hay Or Chopped straw is probably the best. Some people use shredded newspaper as a substrate, alough make sure it is plain paper only as ink can be harmful.
 
Toys are vital for Degus. They love to play and if they don't have toys available they may become depressed. A running wheel is highly recommended because it not only provides hours of enjoyment but it's great for exercise, which is important. Other toys are usually available from pet stores, some good some not so good. Pine wood toys that aren't coloured are usually good. Avoid plastic at all times as if your Degu digests this it will make him ill.
 
   
 
A nest box is required - In the wild Degus would normally sleep in burrows, and so a nest box stimulates this envioronment. They should be made from Kiln Dried Pine as this is safe for your Degu. Your Degu will soon learn that his nest box is a comfy, safe and warm place to be and will retreat to it when he feels scared etc.
 
 
 
 

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