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

Suitable Diet

Degus are generally very fussy eaters, so it depends on how much food they get from you. This will also affect their lifespan (partially).

Strava osmák deguMain food

  • Compound feed – this is probably what you think is the most suitable and least demanding food. However, this is not true, because for the octodons these mixes should not be the main source of food. These mixes contain large amounts of fat (most of these mixes are generally composed mainly of oilseeds), which cause the octodons to become obese. It is best to mix this mixture of chinchilla pellets and mixtures in a 3:1 ratio
  • Vegetables and all fresh food – Vegetables should make up about two sixths of an degu’s entire diet (the rest split below), the most suitable vegetable you can feed an degu is carrots. Other suitable ingredients include cucumber, peppers, Chinese cabbage and other common vegetables. Other green food ingredients should be mainly grass, this must be picked in places where it will not be contaminated by dogs, farmers or otherwise polluted! It is not a good idea to pick grass to stockpile, as it can get scorched and make your degu’ intestines “feel” pretty bad. You can also give them a variety of leaves, perhaps from oak or other deciduous trees. Again, choose a place where the leaves won’t be contaminated (e.g. by car traffic or something).
  • Hay – should be about the rest so about three-sixths of the ration content. You can buy hay, they usually have it in pet centres, pet shops or hobby markets, so 20 litres of hay costs about 20 CZK (Baumax).
  • Pellets Another component of the diet is pellets for chinchillas or guinea pigs. Prefer chinchilla pellets. But many breeders mix the two types of pellets in a 1:1 ratio. There are many different products to choose from on the market. Pellets can be bought in pet shops and specialist pet shops as well as in ordinary supermarkets.

Strava osmákaTreats and treats

Once or twice a week, give your degu something from the following list.

  • A piece of apple or other not too sweet fruit
  • Dried carrots – I’ve found that sometimes the 8th graders don’t want fresh carrots at all, but they really like dried carrots (just cut them into rounds and let them dry for about 3 days). Carrots do contain some sugar, but not much, so you can give your 8th graders this treat several times a day
  • Chloupek or Zoubek – crisps in the shape of rounds, green with vegetables, yellow with cereals, red with carrots, see the list of specific products for more information
  • A few sunflower seeds or a few maize seeds
  • Any nut, preferably in the shell
  • A few burizones (not the sweet ones, of course)
  • A piece of hard bread

Branches to bite on

Branches should be a commonplace of indoor “furnishings” degus get important tannins from them. Branches should be given with leaves and buds, but beware of poisonous trees and never give them branches from conifers, bad luck will probably make their mouths and stomachs quite sticky. You should mainly give them branches from fruit trees, but you probably wouldn’t like a garden with trees without branches.

The best branches for degus are from oak trees, which are usually quite nice in shape, and the leaves of oak trees are tasty to degus. You shouldn’t pick the leaves by the roadside as these leaves are heavily polluted.


Water must ALWAYS be available to Eights. Glass droppers with a tube and suction cups are suitable for aquariums (and perhaps there are no others), these must be placed so that the Eights cannot reach them, only the tube. You also shouldn’t put branches around them or they’ll get to them too. Water bowls are absolutely useless, the eighth graders will throw shavings or knock them over.

You put a plastic drip pan with an iron drinker in the cage, the drip pan is on the outside so the octodons can’t get at it = they can’t destroy it.

Mineral stones

It’s also good to buy them mineral stones, eight-year-olds love them and especially sharpen their teeth and claws on them. They don’t like salty stones.

Food bowl

It’s not necessary, it’s just an aesthetic accessory to make it look a little bit. Because the 8th graders spread everything everywhere anyway in a matter of minutes, especially the hay.