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I cannot stress enough, how important it is to NEVER feed your Degu any sugar.  Unlike many small rodents, they cannot breakdown the sugar in their bodies, and if their diet contains sugar they develop diabetes very quickly and die.  This means they cant eat any fruit.

There are some new foods now entering the marketplace that are specifically designed for Degus, but please take care when purchasing, that you check the sugar content of these foods, as some producers still havent got it quite right!


Here is a good list of suitable food for your Degu to eat:

  • Guinea Pig mix
  • Chinchilla mix
  • Rat mix
  • Dandelion leaves (as a once a week treat, a leaf from somewhere free of pesticides and herbicides)
  • Lettuce (again not every day, but as the occasional treat)

Whatever food mix you end up getting for your Degu, you will need to remove some of the sweet corn, as although they can eat a little of it, too much is harmful to them.  Any Locus beans will have to come out, and most of the sunflower seeds.  The Degu is one greedy little critter, and will eat anything, good or bad! So it is up to you to make sure they only get the good!

Degus will also need a supply of hay, that is given fresh as a food source, as well as something they can sleep in.  I use a wire bird feeder from a Garden Centre attached to the cage with bag ties where they cant be reached by nosy Degus!  This can then be easily filled with hay from the front.  It is something more interesting to play with if you are a Degu, and means that the hay stays in one place, fresh and clean. I give the Degus more hay to use as bedding.

There seems to be quite a bit of debate as to what water your Degu should have.  Some people say they should have no chlorine in their water, and so use bottled water, while others say that tap water is ok.  I have always given mine normal tap water and have seem no problems with it, but having spoken to my vet, I am now adding vitamin C in soluble form to the water, as they cannot get this vitamin in anything else.


beware, a dropped bottle ALWAYS breaks at the spout!One problem you will rapidly discover is that if you put the drink bottle within the cage, your Degu will have great fun in chewing it to bits.  This is an expensive option! instead, when I used an aquarium, I had a mesh cage around the bottle, with just the spout sticking through.  Now I use the cage, the bottle is on the outside sticking in. Much easier!


Click here to download the video of feeding time in the Degu household!

Click here to download the video of Charlie hiding his food. A good thing to do when someone else might steal it!