The first rule in caring and handling your degu is NEVER pick him/her up by its tail. The skin on the tail will rub off resulting in pain for your pet and/or a deformed tail.
If your degu is tame, you can pick him/her up by placing your cupped hands on either side of the body and scooping up from underneath. Or, if your degu cooperates, cup one hand behind the front legs and gently place in your lap, still holding your pet.
You can restrain your degu by gently holding the body. Always secure your degu gently, but making sure s/he can’t escape. This is especially important if you hold your degu while you are standing as your pet can attempt to escape and jump and fall, injuring him/herself.
If your degu is not tame, you can start the process by offering him/her a special treat. If your degu doesn’t come up to your hand, place the treat down leaving your hand close by. Don’t make any sudden movements that can startle him/her. Gradually, taking as much time as needed, move the treat onto the edge of your fingers until the degu takes it. After a time, slowly move the treat further onto your hand until your degu will hop on looking for the treat. Be patient and eventually your degu will associate you and your hand with treats and look forward to your approach.
It’s always easiest to tame young degus, but with patience, your oldster will get used to your handling too.