There isn’t always a need to get specialty treats for your degu when you can often find some treats appropriate for your critter in and around your house, much of which is a great snack for yourself too!
- Cherry or grape tomatoes (sparingly)
- Dandelion leaves
- 1/2 of a baby carrots
- Slice of cucumber
- Lettuce, especially romaine
- Alfalfa or broccoli sprouts
- Apple Stems (sparingly)
- Grape Stems (sparingly)
When giving your degu treats from your local grocery or market it’s best to buy organic, that way you know no pesticides are in the product. Non-organic is okay too, just be sure to wash the surface of any dirt and possible pesticide residue as you would when about to eat the raw vegetable yourself.
When plucking things from your yard like dandelion leaves or clover be sure that you only pick flora where other house pets don’t use the bathroom, and where no one has sprayed to reduce weeds, pests or mosquitoes. You should also always rinse off in warm water anything you bring in and give to your degus.
Stay away from fruits, the high sugar content isn’t good for their systems. When I get apples from the store I tend to find ones with good stems and leaves attached to the stems, the degus really seem to enjoy the stems while I enjoy my apple!
Fruit wood, especially fresh from your apple or bunch of grapes can often have a higher sugar content than other woods so dispense them to your degus very sparingly.
Maybe it depends on the degu but my four tend to only like foods that are dry, if a carrot or tomato is too moist they’ll tuck it in a favorite hiding spot, or in the food dish and wait for it to try out before devouring it. If that is the case, make sure you take the food out if they don’t eat it in a couple hours. You don’t want rotten food in your lil buddy’s home!
If your degus are fussy like mine, I recommend dehydrating their snacks. To dehydrate in the oven you’ll need to have it on from 6-9 hours and that’s a waste of energy unless you are mass producing dehydrated treats. Instead consider one of the inexpensive counter top dehydrators. I’ve found a bunch on Amazon that are heated from the top (which makes for easy clean up) and seem to have positive reviews.
Oh and you could make yourself some healthy treats this way too!