Sugar gliders have quickly become a popular pet. While these exotic animals aren’t as easy to take care of as your average hamster.
In fact, a sugar glider requires about as much care as a cat or dog! – they make wonderful pets due to their uniqueness.
First, sugar gliders are one of the few marsupials in the world. Due to the fact that outside of Australia this is a rare trait.
In fact, in North America, the only natural marsupial is the possum – that already makes them unique.
That’s not it, though! Sugar gliders, as their name suggests, love both sugary snacks and gliding from high places – whether that be a tree, our curtains, or your head!
Hi, my name is Megan. I’ve raised a lot of animals in my life: from chinchillas to hamsters to cats to pigs. Each animal is unique in its on way with different needs and wants and desires.
Like all animals, sugar gliders need the basics to survive. While it’s often not thought about, making sure your sugar glider is happy is another important aspect when keeping him or her healthy.
How to Keep a Sugar Glider Happy?
Happiness can directly relate to your sugar glider’s health. Like humans, they can develop depression and fall ill. One of the best ways to keep your sugar glider happy is simply to bond with them.
These social little marsupials are full of love and quality companionship.
In the wild, sugar gliders mostly group in either pairs or colonies, so, if you’re unable to keep at least two, then it’s important that you step in to make sure they don’t get lonely.
How you bond with your sugar glider depends on how long you’ve had him or her and how acquainted you are.
If you’ve just recently brought gone your sugar glider, he or she will most likely be a little wary.
Start small. Keep a few small scraps of fabric with you for a few days to get your scent on it, then place it with your sugar glider.
These animals are highly scent oriented so having your scent within their home will help then adapt. After they grow to trust you a little more, you can purchase a bonding pouch.
This will allow you to carry your sugar glider with you during the day, and, though they will mostly be sleeping, it will help them become more comfortable around you.
Just be careful to not bump them around too much. After your sugar glider is used to you, you can handle then more directly, allowing you to entertain them.
How to Entertain a Sugar Glider?
Another leading cause of depression and illness in sugar gliders is boredom. Sugar gliders love to play with each other and their humans, and lack of entertainment can really dampen their spirits.
After your sugar glider is comfortable enough around you that you are able to handle them directly, you can begin to play with them.
One of the best things you can do is secure them an area where they can play safely and freely.
You can secure the area by making sure a towel is placed under the door, windows are shut, and, if you are in the bathroom, the toilet is shut and drains are plugged.
From there, it’s safe to let your sugar glider roam – so long as someone is in the room at all times to supervise him or her.
You’ll find that your sugar glider enjoys climbing the curtains, exploring under the bed, and gliding from high areas such as your shoulder.
Even when your sugar glider isn’t out of their enclosure, you can keep them entertained.
By investing in quality, safe toys that your sugar glider enjoys, you can keep him or her entertained for hours even if you aren’t home!
What Types of Toys Do Sugar Gliders Like?
When it comes to toys, sugar gliders are similar to your average rodents such as hamsters and mice. In general, you can group their favorite types of toys into 5 categories.
Hiding toys tap into your sugar glider’s natural instincts as both prey and foragers.
This can include houses, tunnels, and even tents and some carriers. Hiding toys can also provide privacy while they sleep and rest.
Sugar gliders love cuddling up with soft, plush toys when they sleep. In the wild, they live in pairs or colonies where they are used to be surrounded by warmth and companionship.
A sleeping toy can help replicate this environment and make your sugar glider feel more secure.
There are few things that sugar gliders enjoy more than climbing. Ladders are a good example of this toy, and they can be paired with most hiding toys.
Hamsters aren’t the only small pets that enjoy running wheels. You can place a wheel in your sugar glider’s cage to encourage them to exercise.
All-natural woods and specially designed chews offer both entertainment and health benefits by giving your sugar glider a healthy outlet to vent stress and keep their teeth in good shape.
6 Best Sugar Glider Toys
1) Emours Small Animal Hideout
Type(s) of toy: Hiding, climbing, sleeping, chewing
It’s built with natural wood so that it is safe for your glider to chew, and it has multiple features such as a feeding trough, a ladder, and a clubhouse.
When it comes to the time for transporting or cleaning the cage, the emours hideout can be folded up.
This hideout is a little on the small side, however, so make sure to thoroughly check the measurements.
For its inexpensive price, this hideout is a good choice for novice sugar glider owners who aren’t sure what their pet likes yet.
2) JEMPET Hamster Chew Toys
Type(s) of toy: Chewing
If you’re looking for more traditional toys that you and your sugar glider can play with together, JEMPET offers many bundle options, including a 5 piece pack, 7 piece pack, and 10 piece pack of wood toys.
Not only are these toys, but they’re also molar tools that can help your sugar glider keep their teeth healthy.
They’re made of all-natural and safe wood that is fun to play with and easy to clean.
The seven-piece pack includes a watermelon ball, a small and large bell roller, a dumbbell, a unicycle, a molar block (with a rope), and apple tree branches.
Even if your sugar glider doesn’t enjoy playing with these toys as toys, he or she will enjoy chewing on them.
3) BWOGUE Hamster Chew Toys
Type(s) of toy: Chewing, hiding, climbing
These toys are made out of applewood and pinewood and offer a fun outlet and a molar tool for healthy, strong teeth.
This ten pack includes a bell swing, a bell roller, a dumbbell, a unicycle, a wood cask, a rattan ball and string, a squared lava block, an apple stick ring, and a pine cone.
These toys are made out of all-natural wood that has been dried in the sun, so you don’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals.
The only thing to be cautious of is water. If these toys get wet, they will expand and deform, ruining them. This also means that you cannot clean them with water.
Instead, wipe them down with a clean, dry cloth. When your sugar glider is not playing with them, also make sure that you store them in a clean, dry place.
4) Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner
Type(s) of toy: Running
This means that, while your sugar glider may be running and having the time of their life, their noisy wheel will keep you awake.
The Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner offers your glider a chance to run while not keeping you up all night.
It’s also designed to be a safe as possible with an axle-free construction that will keep his or her furry little tail from getting tangled and broken or worse.
This version, in particular, is specifically designed for sugar gliders, but, if needed, you can upgrade it to a large 12” track that can fit even chinchillas.
5) Oncpcare Pet Cage Hammock
Type(s) of toy: Sleeping, Hiding, climbing
Sadly, though, in captivity, unless you have enough sugar gliders to form a colony, your sugar glider will miss out on this natural experience.
This hammock, with its soft, washable material, can help replicate this secure feeling.
It also provides a safe place where your sugar glider can hide from light during the day to sleep. When your glider isn’t sleeping, they can hide in the secure pocket or climb along the outside.
6) Super Pet Kaytee Chewbular Play Tube
Type(s) of toy: Chewing, hiding
Made of safe materials, your glider can play in the tube and then settle down to chew on it without any worries.
It not only comes in a package of four, but this bundle also includes a free sample of bedding material so your sugar glider can fully indulge in their hiding and burrowing instincts.
How to Pick the Right Toy for Your Sugar Glider?
After looking at that list, or searching through the results online, you may be a bit overwhelmed.
After all, with so many options in a variety of styles and price ranges, it can be difficult to know which one is truly best for you and your sugar glider.
The main thing to consider is your sugar glider’s personality. Some sugar gliders prefer to spend their time digging through drawers, sneaking behind the bed, and hiding.
Others prefer to climb up everything from your guests to your curtains. Get to know your sugar glide and learn what he and she likes. Once you know that, then you can pick out the perfect toy.
You should also take into consideration the quality of the toy – as you should with every pet. You don’t want to invest in a toy that will break off or harm your sugar glider.
For hiding, my top pick would be the Emours Small Animal Hideout. I like the fact that it offers many other features besides a hiding hut, such as a ladder and a feeding hut.
I also think that it makes a cute decoration in any enclosure, adding a touch of aesthetic.
For sleeping, I chose the Oncpcare Pet Cage Hammock as my top pick.
I think that the soft material and the darkness offers a safe, secure area for your sugar glider will need when sleeping during the day.
I think that the climbing and hiding aspects of it make it functional as both a much-needed bed and a toy
My top pick for this category goes to the BWOGUE chew toys. With so many pieces at an inexpensive price, I think it’s definitely a great bundle for novice and veteran sugar glider owners alike.
The fact that it’s all-natural with no harsh chemicals is also a nice bonus that allows your sugar glider to play worry-free.
Not only is the Oncpcare Pet Cage Hammock my top pick for sleeping toys, but it’s also my top pick for climbing toys.
Since you secure it in the corner of your sugar glider’s cage, it offers a platform of sorts that they can climb on and, if their age is big enough, glide off of.
It’s also big enough that your sugar glider can climb and play on it without jumping off.
Silent, safe, and successful – three words that describe why the Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner is my top pick for this category.
Two of the biggest complaints about ‘hamster wheels’ are that, first, they’re extremely loud, especially in the middle of the night, and, second, they’re dangerous.
Some pets have even lost tails and limbs to wheels. The Exotic Nutrition wheel is designed to remove both of these problems and that’s why it wins the running category.
After making two appearances on my Top Picks list, it’s no surprise that the Oncpcare Pet Cage Hammock is the toy I chose as my overall favorite.
While it may not seem like a traditional toy such as other choices, I think that this toy meets the most of your sugar glider’s needs while offering a unique experience.
I also think that, of all the other toys listed, it helps your sugar glider feel like they are in their natural habitat the most.
The runner-up for overall would have to be the Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner just because of how safe it is for your sugar glider.
Sugar gliders have quickly become a popular pet, but, due to the fact that they are exotic marsupials, they require different care than your average cat or dog or hamster.
They need a safe place to sleep during the day, toys to chew on, and a source of companionship. That’s why investing in quality toys is so important.
Your sugar glider depends on toys to fulfill the needs that they have met in the wild through their colony and the abundance of nature to explore.
There are other ways to keep your sugar glider happy, though. One of the best things you can do is spend time with them.
If you do choose to buy some toys, it’s important to take the time to get to know your sugar glider so that you can purchase toys that they will actually like.
You also need to make sure that the toys you do end up choosing are safe. Both my Overall Pick and the runner-up are designed to fulfill your sugar glider’s needs while being safe.
However, whatever toy you decide to purchase, just know that your sugar glider will greatly appreciate the time you’ve taken in making sure that they are as healthy and happy as possible.