As you may know by now, Sugar Gliders are very social animals. While in the wild they live in cohorts of 7-9 animals. Their habitats often encompass about 1.2 acres of land. Since they are nocturnal, in the wild they forage for food and shelter at night. While in your home, their cage or enclosure is considerably smaller. Even if they are brought out of their cages for you to spend time with them (and I hope they are, remember how social they are), this is still much smaller than their typical natural habitat. There is also no need in captivity for them to forage. Their food is supplied by you, and so is their cozy, warm, fleece bed.
So, what do they need?
Sugar Glider Toys! They need something to do, some stimulation when you’re not able to have them out of their cages and playing with them. Even a pair needs toys to play with together. They need things to swing from, jump to, and forage. We have a plethora of Toys designed just for Sugar Gliders. You may even want to buy a few toys and rotate them in the cage. Like anyone, the same thing everyday gets boring. Every week or so, trade out a toy or two to give them something new.
I get them out of their cages, why is this so important?
Life happens. Sometimes you go on vacation. Sometimes you have late days at work. Sugar Gliders need the stimulation for when you can’t be there. In fact, if they don’t get the stimulation they need, you are setting them up for disaster. When they’re bored, have pent-up energy, and are spending time in their cages they are prone to over-grooming and other health issues. They will expend that energy somehow, and you want it to be productively.
You may feel like the cost of Sugar Glider toys is prohibitive. Certainly, when you’re just getting started the start-up costs can be significant. Buy a few toys when you get your animals to get you started, and work on your bonding (see previous blog post for information about how to bond with your new Sugar Glider). Then commit to buying one a month for a few months and rotate them in the cage. The cost of toys is a lot less than the vet bills that come with problems boredom can bring. You want a healthy, happy pet and friend with a long lifespan!