Feeding Your Degu Properly to Promote Good Health

If you’re looking for an unusual pet to welcome to the family, consider a degu. These small rodents are native to the West Andean region of Chile and live together in communal groups, which is why some experts recommend that you get two or more together if you are going to have degus as pets. Most are very tame when they are domesticated at a young age, and they love to explore, which makes them fun pets for families. If you choose to have degus, then the first step is making sure that there is a veterinarian in your area that offers exotic pet care, so that care is there when you need it. You will also need to learn about their diet and make sure you have access to the right kinds of food to keep them healthy. Here is what you need to know about feeding your degu a healthy diet.

Native Diet

In the wild, about 60% of a degu’s diet consists of fiber. They eat the vegetation that grows in the Andes and the surrounding plains. They typically spend hours each day scavenging for food. In addition to vegetation, they will eat bark, seeds, and shrubs, depending on the season and what is available to them. In the wild, degus need a large amount of calories to prevent weight loss, so they often forage for food and store it in their burrows for times when they cannot otherwise find an adequate supply.

Degus at Home

Degus that are pets need far fewer calories than wild degus. Feed your pets a mixture of guinea pig food and hay, or look for a food that has been specifically crafted for degus. Avoid foods that contain molasses or sugar, as degus are very prone to diabetes. Your veterinarian can recommend the right mix of food and hay to ensure that your degus stay healthy.

At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, many of our veterinarians have special training in exotic animal care, and we love to welcome your degus, snakes, ferrets and other pets to our animal clinic. Schedule an appointment at our animal clinic by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.

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