The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Sugar gliders are one of the most unique and exotic animals that one can keep as a pet and still enjoy holding and interacting with. These little creatures, if they are cared for correctly, will appreciate being by your side and even hanging out in your pockets as you walk around the house.
With that being said, though, because sugar gliders are notably exotic animals, it is crucial that you do some research to make sure that you can provide everything they need. Because they are not your standard pet, such as a cat or dog, it can be hard to find the right amount of research on these little guys and what kind of home you need to provide for them.
One of the best ways that you can learn about what sugar gliders need is to learn about their natural habitat and how they live out in the wild. While you may not be able to recreate that environment entirely, at least knowing what these creatures have adapted to over the years can give you a good idea of what you need to provide for them.
For example, sugar gliders come from a fairly warm environment, meaning that their ideal temperature range may not be what you expect it to be. If you are going to provide sugar gliders with a suitable home, one thing that you need to make sure of is that you can keep their environment a comfortable temperature.
The Environment of a Sugar Glider
Out in the wild, sugar gliders live in the forests of Australia, Tasmania, Papua New Guinea, and areas around this part of the world, where it tends to be warm all throughout the year, even during the nights when the sugar gliders are at their most active.
Because of this, they tend to require somewhat warmer environments than most other marsupials do, and this is especially important for people who live in colder climates.
A sugar glider’s preferred temperature range is from 80 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (about 27 to 31 degrees Celsius), although they can tolerate temperatures in a range between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (about 15 to 32 degrees Celsius).
This means that you should do what you can to keep the room that your sugar gliders are in above 60 degrees at all times, though if you want your sugar gliders to be even happier, you may want to keep it even warmer than that.
For most people, keeping a room at this temperature is pretty easy during the summer as it is often in this temperature range throughout the day and night or not too difficult to keep it at such. The problem really comes in during the nights and especially during the winter months, when temperatures can dip far below what a sugar glider is accustomed to.
A sugar glider’s core temperature already dips low enough that it has a tendency to shiver when it wakes up, meaning that if the temperature is below 60 degrees, then it may become even colder to the point where it can even become unsafe for your little friend.
Because of this, you are going to want to think of ways that you can keep your sugar glider warm all throughout the year.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that if you cannot provide an environment that stays above 60 degrees throughout the winter, then a sugar glider may not be the pet for you, as they do not do too well in cold environments and it can drastically affect their health.
Part of caring for an exotic pet such as a sugar glider is accommodating some of these more specific needs of theirs.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a sugar glider will still do well and remain healthy if the room it is in stays in the 70s throughout the year. Temperatures in the 80s are preferred and it will thrive in these temperatures, but it doesn’t necessarily require strict temperature maintenance in the way that cold-blooded animals do.
Keeping the Room Warm
There are a few different ways that you can go about keeping a single room warm. Some of these methods will be more accessible and affordable than others, and the one that suits you best will depend on how your house is set up and how far you are willing to go.
The easiest way to keep your sugar glider warm is to keep the whole room that it resides in warm, either through a central heating unit or through portable heaters. Central heating is easy and accessible for most people, but keeping it in a sugar glider’s preferred range year round is impractical and expensive, meaning that portable heaters are going to be the best way to go.
Portable heaters are a great way to keep a single room at a higher temperature than the rest of the house, and while they can cost some money to maintain, it will be far more affordable for most people than keeping the central heating on would be.
You need to be mindful of the safety measures of the portable heater, such as how long it can safely run and that your animals don’t have access to the heater, as they can severely injure themselves.
You can also purchase blankets and warm pouches for your sugar gliders, especially if the temperature is only problematic at night. These can be helpful as they do not require constant power in the way that heaters do, though they can’t do much when there is too much of a temperature difference.
Sugar glider pouches can be made and purchased in a variety of materials, meaning that you will likely be able to find some that are of a material that can keep your sugar gliders warm, since they naturally want to huddle in their pouches when they are cold.
If you add soft material and blankets in the enclosure for them to stay warm, make sure that they are blankets that you can easily wash as sugar gliders will urinate on them without discretion.