Sugar Glider Toys: Everything that you need to know to keep them happy & healthy!
Sugar Glider Toys
Well, here we are almost at the end of our first 30 days of “new parent” emails. Like I said earlier, historically, we’ve found that almost everything you need to know about raising happy and healthy Sugar Bears is best learned during the first 30-60 days with your new baby(ies) – and from there on as long as you actually APPLY this information – it’s usually smoooooooooooooth sailin’ for the next 12-15 years :-)
Anyway, the topic of today’s “tip-o-the-day” is about what kind of TOYS to give your Sugar Bear(s) and what factors are important when trying to decide which ones are safe…
Before we dive into today’s subject matter, you may be wondering why – since these little guys are SO naturally playful – we waited this long into the 30-day email series to talk about this subject. Well, the short answer is this…
For the first SIX WEEKS you have your new babies, we generally do NOT encourage getting any toys (except the Run-O-Round exercise playwheel). Especially anything that could create ANY kind of obstruction in the cage (ie branches, etc.) – or something they could crawl into and hide (hanging pouches, nesting boxes, “houses”, etc..). That’s because we want them to be focused on bonding with YOU and your family during this crucial “phase” of their lives – and the harder it is to get them out of the cage each time (ie. hiding, running behind things, etc.) the more traumatic the experience is for both of you – and it slows down the bonding process.
Keeping all this in mind then, the whole subject of “Toys” is pretty straight-forward, so this is gonna be a short email. YEAHHHH!
Here’s the “rule of thumb”….
Generally speaking, pretty much any NON-EDIBLE toy that is made for a cat, dog or bird is fine for Sugar Bears too. Nowadays, almost all pet toys are made from non-toxic materials, so you don’t have to worry about them getting poisoned from this kind of toy.
Having said that, since these fuzzy little buddies are SO ingenious and good with their hands, you always want to look at ANY new toy with the following FOUR things in mind:
- Is there anything they could possibly untie or tear off that they could choke on?…
- Is there anything potentially toxic that could poison them if accidentally eaten or licked?.. (ie. colorful little fuzzy “pom poms” commonly used in making crafts, etc..)
- Is there anything they could possibly unravel or somehow get tangled up in and choke?..
- Is there anything they could get their tails caught in?..
If a new potential toy passes these preliminary tests – chances are it’s probably fine.
One way to be EXTRA sure that any toy you get your baby(ies) is safe is to just get toys made specifically for human babies. These are a little more expensive in some cases, but the regulations surrounding these toys are SO strict that they are all pretty-much inherently safe.
However, when introducing ANY new toy, always WATCH your baby(ies) pretty closely for the first couple days and examine the new toy to see if your baby(ie) have thought of any clever ways to get in trouble with it (that you maybe didn’t think of). Like I said earlier, you just might be surprised how ingenious these little guys can be…
That being said, let’s take a couple quick seconds to discuss specific toys to AVOID…
Now, a couple specific notes about WOODEN toys….
While it IS true that Sugar Bears don’t instinctually chew on things like a rodent – depending on their individual personalities – they just might be what we call a “nibbler”. This simply means that they like to NIBBLE a lot and “test” new things with their teeth.
Sometimes, nibbling can be a sign of “boredom”, but it could also be that your baby just LIKES to taste things :-) Either way, in the odd circumstance that you do have one or more “nibblers” in your new “colony”, just replace their toys when it makes common sense. Even very active “nibblers” usually won’t try to eat a wooden splinter, so they aren’t really in danger of choking.
Now, the BIGGER concern with wooden toys, and pretty much anything in their cage, is that they should be WASHED every couple weeks or so because our little buddies tend to sometimes PEE indiscriminately (Weeeeeee!) as they are FLYING FREE in their cage at night :-) Generally speaking, while this isn’t necessarily an urgent health issue, eventually it can become a sanitary one, so when you are cleaning their cage every couple weeks or so with dish soap & water – just give their toys a quick soak and scrub too. Then, once every 90 days or so, be sure to sterilize them all with Squeak-E-Clean. :-)
One last thing in regards to a lot of questions we normally get from new moms & dads – and that’s pertaining to EXERCISE WHEELS…
Overall, one of the BEST “toys” you can possibly ever give your baby(ies) is an exercise wheel. However, having said that, the bottom-line is that – when it comes to Sugar Bears and their safety – all exercise wheels are NOT created equal because of their long, semi-prehensiled tails…
Over the years, we have tested many, MANY wheels – and for Sugar Bears – the best one out there BY FAR is the Run-O-Round. In fact, it’s SO perfect for our little buddies that it’s the ONLY wheel we sell on our website. This is because:
- It’s an enclosed wheel so multiple Sugar Bears can have a BLAST in it,
- It’s safe because their tails can’t get caught in it, and
- Compared to other wheels on the market out there, it’s pretty quiet (a BIG plus at night)
If you don’t already have a wheel and would like to get one, just check out our website at – and we’ll be sure to get one right out to you :-)
OK, well that’s about it for now. When it comes to the subject of “toys”, about the only thing that IS “for sure” is that they ALL will eventually wear out – so just use common-sense on this issue – and try to rotate as many different toys in/out as you can every few weeks in their cages. They LOVE variety!
ALSO, don’t forget to try the “knotted rope” thing we’ve talked about in several previous emails. You’ll be very surprised at how smart these little guys can be when it comes to untying knots :-)
As always, give us a call or shoot us an email with ANY questions :-)