Information for current and future keepers of the popular rodent - the common degu.

Habitat and Suitable Toys


You can choose either a terrarium or a cage as a home for your octodon. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and the choice is yours. A terrarium has the advantage that octodons don’t make as much mess, as they often throw out what they can get their paws on. Also, their observation is much better, which is not disturbed by the bars of the cage. On the other hand, the cage is more airy and the degus can climb on the mesh, which they really enjoy.

Obydlí pro osmáka degu


Should be wood shavings or wood wool, sawdust is not suitable as it can get into their eyes and lead to blindness or small particles – which in shavings – can get into their respiratory tract and they could even choke! Straw or hay should be mixed in with the shavings, the degus will eat it or make a den out of it. Occasionally put a napkin, piece of cloth or toilet paper tube in the bedding they will tear it up and make a nest.


Branches are not only used by degus for biting but also for climbing. Oak or hazel branches are good for this. You can also add platforms on the branches for the degus to rest and sleep on. Eventually they will chew them up anyway (like almost everything) but the branches should be changed at least a couple of times a year.


Stones complete the atmosphere of the steppes where the degus live, they can be bought in shops or you can take them somewhere in the forest, but you have to wash them properly. Don’t use bricks, the degus can cut themselves on them.

Little house

This is what the degu should have. They will use it as a shelter, but they will rarely sleep in it – only when the female is pregnant, for example. They prefer to sleep on branches and other elevated places. The house should be wooden, plastic will chew up quickly and you will have to buy a new one. A wooden one will get chewed up, but not as fast.

A bowl with sand

The sand bowl is used to keep the degus’ coats in shape. You should make sand available to them about 3 times a week for about 15-20 minutes, sand can be bought in pet supplies it’s called chinchilla sand. Put this in a heavy bowl, 2-3 cm of sand is enough.