Posted: December 13, 2009, 5 a.m. EST
Q: I recently bought a sugar glider and am noticing some weird things. First, my sugar glider is sleeping in her food dish. Is that common? Second, she is making a whining noise like a dog does. Is that normal or is she mimicking the dog? If you could let me know if I am doing something wrong, it would be greatly appreciated.
A: Sleeping in the food dish is not a common practice for sugar gliders. I suggest first having a wellness check done by your veterinarian to rule out any illness or issues. Very young sugar gliders can sometimes sleep in strange places until they begin to adjust to all the sights and sounds of their new surroundings. Offering several different sleep options usually solves this temporary behavior. Routine is also important in the beginning for a young sugar glider. Following a routine teaches the sugar glider to trust and adapt more quickly.
Sugar gliders bark. This behavior mimics their ancestors in the wild, which bark to warn the other sugar gliders in the colony of possible danger. In captivity, the onset is usually caused by the sugar glider being startled by even the smallest of changes and/or sounds.
Occasionally, sugar gliders bark to call to their human for attention, or just because they can. Very rarely will you hear a sugar glider whine or cry. If a sugar glider was taken from its parents too young, this is normally the reason for whining or crying.
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