Chinchilla vs Degu: How Do They Compare?

Small rodents known as chinchillas and degus have recently gained popularity as domestic pets. Even though they are considered relatives, the two pets differ in a few ways that set them apart. 

Therefore, before picking which of these cousins to adopt as a pet, it is a good idea to become familiar with them. You can learn everything there is to know about these adorable animals and their distinctions by reading the material provided below.

Chinchillas vs Degu: Basic Distinction 

 Degu, also known as Octodon Degus, has some distinctions with chinchillas, even though they are similar. The average lifespan of a chinchilla is 10-15 years, whereas the average lifespan of a degu is 6-8 years. A chinchilla’s average height is 9-19 inches, and the average length of a Degu is 10-12 inches. 

The average weight of a chinchilla is 8-3 pounds, and the average weight of a degu is 6-11 ounces. The average cost of a chinchilla if you’re purchasing it from a breeder is $80-$150. The average price of degu costs $641-$1080. 

Chinchillas need larger cages because of their larger size and weight. Chinchillas have denser fur and fluffier tails than other rodents. Chinchillas are more shy, reserved, and reluctant to be handled. Degus are active during the day, whereas chinchillas are active at night. Degus often live half as long as chinchillas do.

chinchilla vs degu

Chinchillas Vs Degu: Key Differences


There will always be differences in the personalities of degus and chinchillas. Both occasionally exhibit extreme nervousness and are on the lookout for strange noises. They cannot be made to stop worrying about what they see as potential predators; it is simply in their nature to do so.

Since they need to understand you are not a threat based on scent and scheduled recurrence, you must gain your degu’s trust on their terms. With time, chinchillas will be simpler to bond with because they are more laid-back. 

Family pets like cats or dogs will not be popular with degus or chinchillas. They will screech in fright in their presence because they perceive these as predators.

Food & Nutrition

The numerous meals you can feed degus. Vegetables, fruits, pellets, hay, and water are a few healthy choices. Degus must always have access to fresh water, so make sure they do.

Additionally, chinchillas require a varied diet. Hay, pellets, vegetables, and water are some healthy options for chinchillas. 

Chinchillas need constant access to fresh water, just like degus do. Degus can be fed to chinchillas, but there are a few precautions. You should ensure that any chinchilla pellets you give your degu don’t contain molasses or other components heavy in sugar because degus are even more sensitive to sugar. 

Healthcare & Vet Needs 

Chinchillas are typically in good health and don’t need much grooming to stay clean over time. They, like degus, require regular access to dust for bathing. Brushing or bathing them is unnecessary; chinchillas should never be given a bath in water. With time, they’ll start to trim their nails and ears. 

Degus are typically simple to maintain. They should be fed high-quality commercial food designed for small rodents like degus, chinchillas, and guinea pigs and a sizable habitat to run around and dig in. During training sessions, fresh vegetables can be served as snacks and rewards. 

Fresh, clean water must always be accessible. They take care of the rest of their grooming requirements, but they require regular access to dust baths.

basic habits of chinchilla and degu

Maintainance & Handling 

All ages of individuals who can provide degus with a secure environment to live in might consider getting one as a pet. Even though they may coexist in homes with other animals, it’s best to keep them in their habitat when the others are there to avoid accidents or predator-prey situations. Degus are renowned for needing little maintenance.

Chinchillas can live in most homes if provided with a secure, enclosed, and quiet habitat where other animals cannot get it. Because they are primarily habitat dwellers, they can live peacefully in either a big house or a little apartment. Like it would if you adopted a puppy, it is irrelevant if there is a yard to play in. The diet of chinchillas should resemble that of other rodents; fresh herbs and flowers are an excellent addition to the diet, along with frequent feedings of hay, grasses, and pellets.  

Exercise & Training 

A degu needs at least an hour of rigorous movement daily to maintain happiness and health. They are spirited little creatures. So that they have lots of space to roam and explore, their habitats should be giant and multi-leveled. In addition, toys for them to play with and a spinning exercise wheel for them to use inside their habitat should be supplied. 

As they age, chinchillas need 1 to 2 hours of intense daily exercise to prevent obesity. They require expansive environments to roam about in, like like degus. A wheel for exercising is essential, and time spent outside the cage is always welcome. 

They don’t need to exercise or spend time outside to stay in shape. All the assistance they require consists of access to space and interacting items.

Chinchillas Vs Degu: Which One is a Better Pet for You?

Degus and chinchillas both make lovely pets. They are gregarious creatures who get along well with other indoor animals. They are relatively simple to care for as long as you know how. A degu or chinchilla can be an excellent choice if you’re looking for a new pet.

Of all, these are only a few first inquiries.

By looking at a chinchilla or a degu, you might want to buy one. Or it might depend on what’s available. In either case, it is typically recommended to go to your nearby or local pet store and meet the animals in person.

Final words 

These two creatures are cute little rodents that make lovely pets. Although they are incredibly similar, they also have several significant variances. Hopefully, this article helped you choose the best pet for you.

The degu vs chinchilla comparison should have assisted you in deciding which of these cute small hairy animals is the better pet for you. The good news is that you can’t go wrong, no matter your choice. They both make wonderful pets!