fuzzy needs a friend!!!!!!!!!!!! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy fuzzy needs a friend!!!!!!!!!!!!

if fuzzy needs a friend then how do you think i should introduce them together? Would a need a bigger cage? More food? well i would really like to know! thanks!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 10:29 PM
 
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there are several past posts on how to do this that i found that would be very helpful.... and it depends on ur cage size, they do like to have some 'personal space' and they also can get annoyed at one another and bicker if they have the same bowl so it's best there are two.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 10:34 PM
 
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What kind of pet is fuzzy?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2006, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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he is a degu.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2006, 02:15 PM
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Iím sorry this is going to be long but there is no quick and easy way to explain how to introduce deguís. So I apologize now for the long post

I've introduced degu's a fair few times with success and fails as well, it varies from degu to degu. This is my guide to introducing successfully. Firstly A few things to consider before getting another degu.

* Be aware there might be a chance that they wonít get along no matter what as degu's can be funny things and you could end up with two of everything. For example two deguís, in two separate cages, two lots of food, two wheels etc... Do you have the space and time to dedicate to two?

* Be aware that itís not as simple as getting another degu and putting them both in the same cage. They will more than likely fight and you could ruin any chances you have of ever getting them together. Introducing deguís takes time and patience. It could take 7 or 8 attempts before they accept each other properly and even then it could fall through and you have to start again.

Is Fuzzy a male or female? Males on a whole tend to take the longest to accept another degu as they can be quite territorial but given the time and patience it can and does work out. When choosing another degu i would get a baby or a younger one as mature adults tend to accept unmatured ones a lot easier than they do other adults as they don't see youngsters as a major threat. With either sex the introduction process is the same.

Firstly, you will need to set up another temporary cage next to your existing deguís cage. This cage will be his/her home for the time being. I suggest putting a little dirty litter out of your existing deguís cage in so the new degu picks up the existing ones scent and starts the process of hopefully being accepted. Once you get your new degu home, I would let it settle in for a few days before preceding any further. The two deguís in this time will have seen and smelt each other and maybe even had a conversation, observing their body language sometimes helps at this point.

Once the new degu has settled in. Proceed with the introduction process. I would swap a little litter between the two cages so they both pick each otherís scent up and get used to one another. I would do this every few days. I would also let them use the same sand if possible so they will start to smell the same. Another trick is to wear a pair of gloves (like the ones you wear in winter) and handle them both so they pick up each otherís scent. I normally carry out this process for a couple of weeks, normally 2-3 weeks before I proceed any further with the introduction.

Towards the end of the second to third week you will need to prepare a batch of vanilla sand for the introduction as this helps by making them smell the same and gets rid of some of the friction. It is simple to do. You will need to mix a bowl of chinchilla sand with a couple of drops of vanilla essence or if that is not available you need to leave a vanilla pod in it for a few weeks. To introduce them you need to find a neutral area, somewhere safe and secure and in neither ones cage or somewhere they class as territory. If you have a bath that is normally a safe area as neither can escape and it is a small enough area for you to handle. Prepare a fresh lot of sand infused with vanilla before hand and a few minutes before the introduction let them bathe separately in it so they smell neutral and then place then bath in the introduction space.

It is important that you let them both out at the same time to prevent anyone staking it as their territory as this could set back the whole process and you could end up having to start from scratch again. So it might be worthwhile having an extra pair of hands on hand to help. Once they are out sit back and observe. Deguís show a lot of how they feel and how they are thinking with their body language. Generally if they sniff one another and walk off, groom each other, share the sand and arenít bothered by each otherís presence it is a good sign, if on the other hand they start teeth chattering, tail wagging and screeching they tend to be the bad signs and show that maybe they arenít ready just yet to be friends if this starts separate immediately before fighting occurs.

You can expect some fighting, as they will have to sort the hierarchy out and find out who is in charge. But at the first sign of any continual fighting or severe fighting (fur flying type) separate them immediately and return them to their respective cages and continue with the scenting process and try again a week later.

If on the other hand things go well and they get along, leave them together for around 5-10 minutes them return them to their respective cages and reward them. It is important you donít reward them together as this could cause them to squabble and set you back once again. Repeat the introduction process again the next day and this time if things are going good leave them together for longer say around 20 minutes. Make sure you observe them at all times. Remember like I said before you can expect some fighting as its natural, all deguís squabble but remember there is a fine line between play fighting and real ďfur flyingĒ fighting so if it goes from a small squabble to full blown fighting separate immedietly. After the 20 minutes again remove each degu back to his/her respective cage and reward. If it all goes well again, the next day I would try them in the same cage and monitor how they get on. Make sure the cage has been cleaned thoroughly beforehand, to remove either deguís scent and create a neutral territory. Make sure all the toys have been washed and rearrange the cage totally to what either degu had before. For a start remove the food bowls as this makes things easier. Again go through the scenting process with the sand and as with the neutral area put them in the cage at the same time so neither can stake claim. Sit and observe how they get along, leave them together for 30 minutes to start with and if everything still seems ok leave them a little longer say 1 hour. If things are still going ok then try giving them a bowl of food and observe how they get along. If things are going good and there is no fighting or friction between the two keep increasing the time and monitoring them closely. If at any point things do turn sour and fighting occurs separate and try again the next day starting over again with the neutral area process and working back up to the cage introductions again. If things are still going good at bedtime, try leaving them overnight but try and make sure the cage is in earshot of your room so if anything does break out you will hear it and stop anything from occuring. Hopefully by morning your deguís will be the best of friends but they will still need careful monitoring for the first few months but hopefully to will have had your first successful degu introduction.

If on the other hand you have tried all of the above and they still wonít accept each other no matter what. I would maybe give yourself and them a break for a week and start over the process again as it sometimes can take a few attempts before you see any breakthroughs. If after 5 or 6 attempts they still wonít accept each other you need to draw the line somewhere and consider from your observations if you think they will ever get on. If the answer is no then for the sake of yourself and the deguís I would stop as its better to have two happy separate deguís then two unhappy ones tearing each other to pieces. Not all introductions work out, every degu is different so if it doesnít work donít beat yourself up but on the other hand if it does give yourself a big pat on the back

Kirsty


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2006, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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thanks ameth
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2006, 04:45 PM
 
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Very helpful advice! I'm going through the introduction process at the moment also and this post has really helped! Thanks Amethystbelle!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 02:51 PM
 
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So what happens if you buy two at the same time? (young ones) Do you still have to go through the whole thing? Thanks for the help.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 03:21 PM
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If they are from the same litter then no, if they are from different litters then sometimes they will accept each other straight away (depending upon how long they have been alone) if they are really young as they haven't matured and see each other as play mates but it varies from degu to degu. It is highly advisable to follow the introduction process to prevent problems further along the line especially with sexually matured degus as sometimes if they aren't introduced properly at the start it can cause problems later on. Degus can be funny old things

Kirsty


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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Thank you Amethystbelle, My 11 daughter has been looking at getting a rat but I found out about degus and they look so cute. Plus on the bonus side they live alot longer then other small animals. We will be doing alot of reserch before we deside on what would be best for her. She is very good with her pets. She has a cockatiel for the past 2 years and fish and one gold fish that she has kept alive for over 5 years that she won at a fair. So I think I am going to go ahead and get her a small furry animal now. Just need to find out what would be best for her.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 09:17 AM
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I always say degus make good pets for older children (11+) if they are responsible and it sounds like your daughter is. It depends on what kinder pet your daughter is after as to whether a degu would be her perfect pet.

Degus make fantastic pets and here are just a few of the reasons why: They are relatively easy to keep and omit little to no smell. They require no special diets apart from one low in sugar. They are relatively easy to handle and are diurnal so they are up and about when you are. For a small animal they live quite a long time with a life span between 5-10 years. They are fun, noisy (they are very vocal) mischievous, loyal, brave, fearless, nosey, intelligent, have big personalities, they do the cutest things, they are agile for their size and when a degu is around life is never dull. The only downsides are they arenít a cuddly pet so if your daughter is after something cuddly, that likes to be picked up and handled a lot then a degu isnít the right choice as they arenít all that keen on being picked up and once out they donít tend to sit still and are on the going exploring all the time and they need quite a large cage.

If you are interested make sure you do as much research as possible before making a decision and if you want any more advice or have any more questions then don't hesitate to ask

Kirsty


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