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How Much do Degus Cost? (2023 update)

By Eddie Chevrel


Updated on

Buying degus is going to involve purchasing some essential items that will make your degus feel more at home. These items all help them to lead an active and low-stress lifestyle, yet can also be highly entertaining for you to make their habitat more ideal.

How much does a degu cost?

Standard colors$20-100 USDblack, dark brown, agouti
Mutation colors$100-150 USDchampagne, blue

Degus will come in a handful of colors that are typically rodent-like. This chart gives you an idea of what separates the cost of degus based on their color. These prices aren’t written in stone since you can also find a bargain from private breeders who are willing to lower their prices if you buy more than one pet from them.

Additional costs of owning a degu

Degus are well-known for being social animals, but since they can also be complex little critters, they do need additional items that keep them from being bored. They also need a cage that gives them personal roaming space.

On top of this, they will like chewing on everything in their cage so their teeth don’t grow too long. Because they have curious personalities, they need habitat toys and exercise wheels to give them daily activities. They will also need a dust bath so they can groom their fur and keep their fur soft and fluffy.

An Overview of the Associated Cost of owning a Degu

Cage$100-200 USDincluding a glass water bottle
Hiding house/nesting box$15-30 USD 
Hay feeder$20-30 USDcan be more depending on the style
Hammocks$15-25 USD 
Toys $15-30 USD 
Hay$20-25 USDper 9Lb bag- enough for 6 months
Pellets$20-30 USDper 10Lb bag- enough for 6 months
Dried snacks and goodies$15-40 USDcollected from various sources
Grooming supplies$15-20 USDper kit
Dust bath$10-20 USDper 2Lb bag/ depending on the type of sand for one year
Dust bathhouse$10-15 USDdepending on brand and style

Cost of Owning a Degu – Initial, weekly, monthly and yearly overview

Initial start-up costs$400-500 USD one degu, housing and accessories
 $60-80 USDfood and snacks for the first 4 months
Week Less than $1.00 per dayfor 2 degus
Month$10-12 USD for food monthly on-going cost
Year$150 for foodmore depending on food quality

What are some degu health costs?

The first thing you want to do when you buy degus is to take them to a vet to get a check-up. If you can afford it, you will want to set a time to get them fixed so they don’t reproduce. You need to choose a vet that knows how to treat degus if they get sick or need special treatments.

Vet costs$50-100 USD per yearalso consider the initial visit is the same
Injections$15-20 USDfor vitamin shots due to not eating. Otherwise, they don’t need vaccinations
Supplements$15-50 USD 
Various treatment$200 (or more)for any emergency visits (jabs, parasites, etc.)

Other factors that will influence the price of a degu

Buying a degu from a private breeder: $40 – $100 USD

It shouldn’t be a surprise that degu breeders are going to come up with breeds that are more attractive for buyers. Degu breeders will advertise their degus very privately and through their private websites. If you happen to see degus advertised on the internet it will be also through degu forums that are usually privately sold.

Some breeders will favor specific colors such as blue or champagne colors, while colors like brown and tan are pretty common. Breeding is the result of careful pairing that requires the right type of genetics based on the adult colors of degus.

Degu prices will also depend on the state you live in

As mentioned earlier, degus aren’t allowed in certain US states and aren’t excepted because they can become a threat to local wildlife. In states that do allow degus, you might have to apply for a permit. This has created a market that is secretly selling degus under the radar.

Perhaps it’s not worth the fines that are often included if you do get busted for raising degus in captivity. These costs for these fines greatly outweigh the cost of raising degus unless you’re raising them for film and television animals. In states where they are considered legal, degus are easy to buy just like hamsters and gerbils.

Is the price of degus much different in other countries?

  • In the UK the cost is going to be 25-50 British Pounds ($35 to $70) which is not very pricy but can be more expensive if you buy from private breeders. In comparison to the US prices, this is cheaper on average.
  • In Canada, the cost of the average degu will cost a Canadian 20-200 CAD. This translates to cost an average of $16 to $160 per degu.
  • Australia doesn’t allow degus since these are considered an animal that isn’t indigenous. If this animal got loose, it could change their ecosystem and take away food that is meant for animals that live there already. This is one country that is very serious about what kinds of animals are permitted on their shores.

Price of an adult degu VS a baby degu

You can rarely buy adult degus unless they’re being sold by an owner who doesn’t want to own degus anymore. Grown degus will have a harder time adjusting to a new owner which is also why you don’t see adult degus being sold very often.

The only degus being sold will be very young and the prices are all based on what the selling price is listed at. So effectively, you don’t see differences in prices since the bonding period is so crucial for every owner.

How do degu prices compare to other exotic pets?

Cost of Degu VS Chinchilla

The first thing you will notice is the size of the cage and the cost difference between degus and chinchillas. The cheapest chinchilla will end up costing 80 dollars and reach up to 400 dollars at high-end prices.

Interestingly, degus can eat chinchilla food without any problem since they have similar eating habits, so you won’t see much of a difference in terms of price for food.

Cost of Degu VS Guinea pig

A guinea pig is closer in costs related to degus with an average cost of 10-40 dollars for basic pigs. The case size and start-up costs will be about half the amount you would spend on degus as well. Many items including dry grass and guinea pig pellets can also be fed to degus.

Cost of Degu VS Hamster

Hamsters are way cheaper than degus and will cost only $5-20 USD for any kind of hamster. The cage cost setup will also be half of what degus cages tend to require. Hamsters are also just as popular and tend to be more suitable for younger kids.

What are the steps to buying a degu?

Before you buy a degu, you should look for the outward signs that they are sickly or suffering from a skin condition. This will include a quick checklist so you can decide if your future degu is healthy and acting normal. Here are the signs you should look for.

  • Skin problems/foot sores
  • White goop in the eyes
  • Signs of shedding or hair falling out
  • Overly nervous or shaking
  • Good teeth and nails
  • Not acting slow or overly sluggish

Should I buy two degus?

Two degus are better if you want to have a content couple that is housed in their habitat. It is better if they are all the same sex so there isn’t fighting that can result. You can neuter degus, but it is also possible to simply separate males from females if you have a mixture that you keep in separate cages.

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About Eddie Chevrel

Eddie Chevrel is an animal journalist and the founder of ThePetSavvy. He's very passionate about exotic pets and spends most of his free time doing research, meeting, and interviewing people working with animals. Learn more about The Pet Savvy's Editorial Process.