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How transporting / traveling with a degu

The degu is a small, fast, and agile rodent. During transportation, regardless of its duration, it is important to transport it safely in a suitable cage. Additionally, it is necessary to follow certain guidelines, especially during periods of high heat.

octodon degus enclos

Transport cage

The transport cage is essential for journeys. It should be designed for degus and have a secure closure. Feel free to secure the closure system by adding a padlock or tape, for example, to prevent any escape during the journey. The cage must be sturdy because the degu is a determined rodent that could destroy it in a matter of hours. It should provide adequate ventilation for the animal to breathe properly. You can choose a transport cage entirely made of metal, like those used for birds, or a small hamster cage (not made of plastic). Glass should be avoided as it could break and injure the animal. Fabric is also at risk of being quickly chewed through and should be avoided.

The cage should contain bedding; hemp mats are recommended as they do not make the car dirty. You can add some hay so that the degu can nibble on it during long journeys and hide. Water should not be available as the container could leak or tip over. Water should be offered regularly during breaks to prevent dehydration. For longer journeys, an item from the cage (such as fabric or a bit of bedding) can be added to reduce the degu’s stress.

The degu should be familiarized with its transport cage to climb into it more easily. You can offer its meals in the cage during outings in the park so that it associates it with a positive experience.

If multiple degus need to be transported, it is useful to have multiple transport cages. In the event of a sudden stop, the risk of injuries will be reduced. Additionally, fights are also a risk when transporting a complete group.

Photo de A Propos Octodons - Noisette dans ca cage de transport
Photo by A Propos Octodons – Noisette


The degu adapts very well to travelling, whether by car, train, or other means of transportation. However, it is important to ensure its well-being and to regularly check its condition throughout the journey.

If possible, the cage should be secured or wedged in a place where it will not cross the passenger compartment in the event of an accident or tip over. It is useful to be able to keep an eye on the degu throughout the journey to ensure its well-being.

Breaks are essential, at least every two hours, to attach a water bottle to the cage. The use of a bowl is not recommended as it could tip over, and it is necessary to open and close the cage. To minimize the risk of escape, the cage should remain closed throughout the journey, except in cases of vital emergency.

Heat is very dangerous for degus. From 27°C (80°F), they can be in danger. If it is hot, keep a damp towel above the transport cage and turn on the ventilation or air conditioning. Degus are very vulnerable to heatstroke.

How to avoid heat stroke in degus?


  • If your degu is sick, install it comfortably in a fleece fabric to avoid contact with soiled bedding. Except in emergencies, do not leave the cage open during transportation, even if it is not moving. In the event of an accident, you may not find it.
  • Without medical advice, the degu can eat and drink normally before transportation, even for long periods. If the degu becomes apathetic during transportation, especially in hot weather, stop and contact the nearest veterinarian. It could be a life-threatening emergency.
  • During long journeys, prepare a damp towel for hot days, a water bottle and water, as well as something to clean the cage upon arrival.
  • When traveling abroad, remember to check the regulations of the country you are visiting regarding the right to transport and own degus.
  • During hot periods, breaks should be more frequent to check the condition of your animal and offer it water.
  • Never leave your degu unattended in a vehicle, even in winter! Place the cage in the shade inside the vehicle.
  • Direct sunlight can lead to heatstroke. If there is no shade, place a fabric over the cage to protect it from the sun.
  • It is useful to keep a transport cage near the degu’s living area to quickly access it in case of emergency, such as during a fire.

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