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 amazing small creatures, they’re so cute and cuddly, and people continue to love them as pets.
That said, if you’re a new owner of one, you should know more about the sounds they make, especially the barking one, which sometimes freaks people out.
But you shouldn’t worry that much as it’s only trying to communicate, and we’ll answer some questions that you might be wondering yourself.
So read on! To know the answer to the question “Why does my sugar glider bark at night?” and more below.
What’s a Sugar Glider?
A sugar glider is a marsupial that’s from Australia and Southeast Asia. However, the tiny creatures became a favorite pet in the USA for a few decades.
Nocturnal by nature, these tiny animals have a fold of skin under their arms that let them glide in the air, hence the name.
The sugar part of the name, on the other hand, comes from their love of sugary fruits like grapes, apples, and peach, to name a few.
Since they aren’t rodents, they don’t scurry and run away when with their owners. Instead, they form a strong bond and like to be around them more.
They bond with their owners for life and, if taken care of properly by their owners, can live from 10 to 12 years.
They communicate with other sugar gliders and their owners using a range of sounds, each with its distinct purpose.
What Sounds Do They Make?
Sugar gliders make four different sounds, each with its own characteristics and reasons for emitting them.
Much like how cats purr when feeling safe and comfortable with their owners, sugar gliders do the same.
Emitting a soft and sweet purr; it isn’t as loud as cats’, but it’s still audible by human ears. Their purrs mean they’re relaxed and having a great time, so if you have a sugar glider and it’s purring, good on you!
Continuing with the cat theme, sugar gliders similarly also hiss, but unlike cats, their hisses don’t always mean that they’re threatened or aggressive.
Sugar gliders’ hisses are a way to communicate with others, either with their owner or other gliders.
They can mean anything from “hello” to “get out of my way,” making it hard to differentiate. Making context within the situation is key to understanding why they’re emitting the sound.
If it’s nighttime and you hear a high-pitched noise, don’t worry! It isn’t a ghost, but rather, it’s your sugar glider trying to get your attention.
A sound usually described as similar to that of a swarm of locusts; unfortunately, it means that your sugar glider isn’t happy.
Sugar gliders tend to crab when they feel stressed, uncomfortable, or unhappy with their situation.
If you hear it, check up on the little guy/girl and see if they’re doing fine, it might be nothing or something as minor as trying to get accustomed to their surroundings.
Sugar gliders emit this sound early in their life. However, they tend to stop crabbing once they’ve bonded with their owners well enough or get accustomed to any new companions in the same cage.
So if you have a young sugar glider that’s crabbing, bond with it more, and the tiny animal will phase it out eventually.
Finally, there’s barking, yes, sugar gliders bark too, but theirs sounds closer to the sound of a small dog such as a chihuahua or small puppy.
So if you’re asleep and you hear a small dog barking and don’t have one, it’s most likely your sugar glider barking for you,
Why Does My Sugar Glider Bark at Night?
Sugar gliders are social creatures, and they mix sounds to communicate with others or their owners; one of those sounds is barking.
As we mentioned earlier, sugar gliders’ barking sounds similar to a small dog’s, so it won’t be as harsh or as loud as a canine’s.
Like crabbing, sugar gliders’ barking can have multiple different meanings.
Why They’re Barking
If sugar gliders were in the wild, they’d bark as an alarm system to warn others of a predator nearby. However, they’re in captivity, so they’ll apply the same instinct but in a different context.
For example, instead of a predator, they’ll use their barking to warn others that they’re seeing someone they’re not familiar with in the room.
If their cage is close to a window and they can see a natural predator outside that window, they’ll start barking too.
Sugar gliders also bark to grab your attention; it can be a multitude of things, but they don’t do it without reason.
The little guy/girl could either be bored or barking to get your attention, with the hopes that you come in and play with them.
They might also be asking for affection, or simply talking to another sugar glider in the same cage about whatever it is that sugar gliders talk about.
Why at Night
As for why they bark at night, sugar gliders are nocturnal creatures which means that they’re mostly active at night and sleep during the day.
Sugar gliders being nocturnal is also why night owls like them more than early birds since it won’t mess up their sleeping cycles, and they can enjoy their company more.
What to Do When Your Sugar Glider Barks
If your sugar glider starts to bark for intermittent periods of time, go check up on them!
The main reason behind their barking can be as trivial as not having enough food or water, or their cage being near a window and them seeing a predator outside.
There are things you could do, which can calm your sugar gliders.
One such thing is to change their surroundings to a more familiar one, They might be barking because they feel unsafe in this new place you’ve put their cage in.
So the best solution for that is to move their cage to another room that they’ve been in before, once they recognize their surroundings, they’ll calm down.
You can also double check if they have food and water or not; if they don’t refill their water source and give them fruit to munch on.
They might also be looking for some affection from your end, to solve that situation, provide them with some snuggles, playtime, and pets; they’ll start purring in no time!
they’ll appreciate those tender moments and strengthen their bond with you.
Like with any pet, sugar gliders need love and attention. If you take care of them the right way, you won’t have any issues.
In the end, you need to remember sugar gliders are nocturnal creatures and will be awake most of the night.
Their activities at that time will make them noisy, and if you’re a person who needs that time for, let’s say, sleep, a sugar glider might not be the best pet for you.
On the other hand, you can preemptively prepare for these situations by making sure they have a companion to keep them busy, food, and water before going to bed for a quiet rest.