Can Degus Eat Peanuts – Full Guide


Who doesn’t enjoy a bag of peanuts!

Admittedly, my favorite are salted peanuts, which are probably not going to be a very healthy treat for our pets.

But what about other types of peanuts? Are peanuts ok for degus to eat? Maybe they can even eat salted peanuts.

That’s what I’m going to explore in this article. I’ve done some research on Degus and peanuts to show you whether degus can eat peanuts, which types they can eat, and how many peanuts degus can safely eat.

Degus can eat peanuts. They should only be fed plain peanuts with no added ingredients. Peanuts have a range of health benefits but are also high in fat, so they should only be regarded as an occasional treat for a degu.

Health benefits of peanuts for Degus

Protein

Nuts are known for their high protein content and this can be great for your degu.

Protein helps to maintain and repair cells and other tissues, it helps support the immune system and it aids in generating hormones, antibodies and enzymes.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to neutralize ‘free radicals’, these are atoms that can cause harm to other cells in your degu’s body.

It also aids in keeping a well functioning immune system and good skin health, keeping your degu’s fur nice and shiny.

Vitamin B6

This vitamin helps maintain red blood cell generation and good nervous system function, as well as keeping a strong immune response in the degu.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3 has many health benefits for your degu, including the breakdown of fatty acids which helps maintain an effective metabolism, maintain good cognitive function and ensure a healthy digestive tract.

Health risks of peanuts for degus

High fat content

Peanuts are very high in fat content.

That’s ok as long as your degu doesn’;t eat too many.

Peanuts must only be fed to your degu in moderation and as a treat, they should not be part of a daily diet.

Too much fat in your degu’s diet could lead to them gaining excess weight, high blood pressure, increased cardiac stress and heart disease.

If you do feed your degu high fat treats like peanuts, it’s a good idea to make sure they get plenty of exercise on the same day so they can burn off some of the excess fat.

Excess Protein

Peanuts are so highly packed with protein, vitamins and minerals that it doesn’t take too many to start causing an imbalance in your pet’s diet.

Peanuts are extremely high in protein. As I’ve discussed above this can have many health benefits for your degu and protein is a vital part of a balanced diet for your degu. 

However, as peanuts are so high in protein it can be very easy for a degu to have too much.

Ultimately, when too much protein-rich food is digested by a degu only a certain amount can be digested and absorbed to perform all of those health-beneficial tasks such as muscle repair.

The remaining protein will either be broken down and used as energy or stored as fat.

Peanuts are so high in protein that if you give your degu too many, the majority of the protein will end up being stored as fat.

Added salt

Salt is often added to peanut butter. Salt and peanuts are a classic combination, and although degus do need a certain amount of salt it is only really a very small amount.

If you think about how hard salt is to come by in the wild (except for perhaps at the coast) then you will start to understand how little salt is actually required for a balanced diet. 

The likelihood is that your degu will get enough salt from their normal daily food.

Having too much salt in a degu’s diet could lead to sodium ion poisoning so it is best to avoid foods with added salt in general.

Added sugar

Degus are intolerant to sugar and can become diabetic very quickly.

You need to avoid any high sugar content food. This could include some types of peanuts which are often coated and roasted in sugar to add a sweet taste.

These cannot be fed to your degu and the sugar poses a serious threat to their health.

Can degus eat salted peanuts

Your degu should not eat salted peanuts.

Degus only need a small amount of salt in their diet and will get this from their daily food.

Salted nuts will increase their salt intake dramatically and could unbalance their diet and damage their health.

Can degus eat roasted peanuts

Roasted peanuts have added ingredients such as spices or possibly sugar.

These added ingredients could harm your degu and I would recommend not feeding your degu roasted nuts.

How many peanuts can a degu eat

Peanuts do have plenty of health benefits for degus but they are very high in fat, especially compared to the natural, high fiber grasses they would eat in the wild.

Because of this your degu should not eat many nuts and they should always be regarded as a treat and not a part of a balanced daily diet.

I would recommend feeding your degu no more than three peanuts per week.

It’s also a good idea to make sure your degu gets some out of the cage exercise on days when you feed them high-fat treats like peanuts.

A final note – All degus are different

You should still remember that some degus will find certain food more difficult to stomach than other degus.

Some degus may struggle to digest certain foods, especially older degus.

Wherever feeding your degu a new food, including peanuts, always watch them for a day or so for any signs of digestive issues.

Digestive issues can be hard to spot in degus, but noticeable things could be diarrhea or a sharp reduction in activity levels.

If you notice any unusual symptoms or behavior it’s probably worth not feeding your degu peanuts again and trying a different treat, their stomach just might not agree with it.

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