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WHY BUILD THE WEBSITE?
I built this website because before Gromit came home with us, we had a single male Degu called Gizmo. We had seen him at the garden centre, and after talking to the staff we thought he would be an easy pet to keep. We were very wrong! We relied on what the staff had told us, kept him on his own, and gave him daily treats of fruit. He was dead within a year! Therefore this website is to increase awareness of the Degu as it becomes a more popular pet. And as much as I would love everyone who visits this site to go and get a Degu if they don't already have one, I also want owners to be right for their pets!
So If you are looking for a pet for a young child, or a pet that you want to cuddle lots, then go and get a hamster. A Degu is a very demanding pet of both your time and resources! If you are still interested, then read on!
YES I THINK A DEGU IS RIGHT FOR ME!
I have heard a Chinchilla be referred to as a destructo-rat. Well in that case, the Degu would come in as a close second! The cage is where your Degu will spend most of its time. Meaning it has to be DEGU-PROOF! And therefore made of either glass or metal. Plastic is no good, as they will chew their way out, and while some people use wooden frames, I would be wary for fear they could chew their way out of here too!
WHY MORE THAN ONE?
If you buy a Degu as a baby, it is preferable for the Degu that you buy at least two, as they need company. (in the wild they can live in groups of up to 100) If you do this make sure you get two that are the same sex, because it only takes a second, and you will find yourself in a whole new game! I prefer same sex groups as opposed to neutering one in a mixed sex group, as this is a risky operation which if can be avoided is far more beneficial for the Degu!
I would say that as affectionate as a Degu can be, they are not keen on sitting still for cuddles. They would far rather be off exploring, running around, tasting everything that seems of interest (including fingers and furniture)! And basically doing anything EXCEPT sit still!
Despite all of the time and effort that a Degu requires, they are becoming increasingly popular as pets, however, as many will know, the Degu is still relatively unknown. indeed, if you were to visit your vet they would be able to tell you that the Degu is still currently classified as an exotic pet. Rather than as a "pocket pet" as hamsters and gerbils are known.
GROMIT, MARMALADE AND CHARLIE
As I have already mentioned, our original Degu was kept on his own. When he died we naturally wanted another Degu. This is why Gromit joined us. In my case Gromit was bought on his own as a rescue from a Garden centre where he was being badly treated.
From the pictures on the website you will see he has no tail, this was due to poor care at the centre! Once we had Gromit at home, we began to properly research Degus, not wanting to repeat what had happened to poor Gizmo. So 9 months later we bought Marmalade, and a year after that we brought Charlie, this means that they always have company. As you can see from the picture on the left, Degus adore being together. No matter what size nest box they have, they will huddle as close as they can! And naturally, the Boss (Gromit) gets the highest place!!!
PROBLEMS DO HAPPEN!!!
When Charlie reached adulthood, we began to have some serious problems. It was clear that he was no longer happy at the bottom of the pecking order, and wanted more! For a while, this just meant little bickering fights with lots of squeaking, but just after Christmas something went wrong, and Marmalade ended up visiting the vet with serious injuries to the skin above his eye. After treatment we tried returning him to the cage, but it was clear that he and Charlie just didnt like each other anymore. We tried adding a baby as a companion for Charlie, as it seemed he just wanted to play. But this didnt work, as Charlie was so focused on wanting to be boss. In the end, as sad as it was, we knew Charlie would not settle back into life with Gromit and Marmalade. After removing him to another cage, the others settled down, but poor Charlie was very sad! He has now gone to another home to be with a degu that had lost his brother at Christmas. It was utterly heartbreaking to see him go, and say goodbye, but knowing it was for the best, we did just that. the next problem was that we now had a 3 month old baby degu running around and causing havoc! So it was back to the garden centre, and home with a 2nd baby! So we now have Gromit, Marmalade (Who is still a little battered) and the babies Dylan and Dougal!!! The moral of this story? If you make a commitment to care for a pet, you must see this all the way! Hence our 90 mile trip to re-home Charlie!!!
This one page was designed to put off the people that aren't sure. If you have read all this and are still prepared to care for Degus, then GREAT! Take a look at the rest of the site, and be the best owner you can! Your Degu deserves that from you!