Are you considering getting a sugar glider but are concerned about all the noise they make? You’re probably wondering if they make good pets and if they really do bark as much as people say.
Sugar gliders do tend to bark and make other noises a lot of the time. But there are certainly some things you can do to help them feel comfortable and happy so they bark less.
Sugar gliders make fascinating pets if you can get one, but they do require a certain level of care and attention to keep them happy and barking less. And there are some other sounds they make which you’ll just have to learn to deal with.
Why Is My Sugar Glider Barking?
There are many reasons why sugar gliders bark. Here are the most common reasons:
It’s how they communicate. Sugar gliders communicate mostly through noises — and they are very social, chatty creatures so there’s bound to be a lot of noise. And if two or more sugar gliders are playing together there will likely be quite a bit of noise as they play and communicate with each other.
They want to get attention. If you haven’t been paying enough attention to the sugar glider or if they’re hungry or have some other need they will bark to bring attention to the matter. If they are in a cage and drop something out, they will bark so you can retrieve it — but watch out because this can soon become a game for them!
There’s danger. Especially in the wild, sugar gliders will bark when they feel scared or confused. Even sugar gliders kept as pets will bark if they’re feeling frustrated or confused.
They’re bored. If your sugar glider hasn’t been out of their cage in a while or they’re simply not feeling stimulated they’ll bark because they’re bored. Let them out to play for a bit and give them some needed attention and they’ll likely stop the boredom barking.
They may be sick. If nothing you’re doing seems to help stop the barking consider the fact your sugar glider may have a health issue. Check for any changes in their behavior, glazed over eyes, lethargy, or changes in sleep or eating habits. If you notice anything out of the ordinary seek help from a veterinarian who has experience with sugar gliders as soon as possible.
Because sometimes they just bark. If your sugar glider is still barking and you’re sure they’re not sick, bored, feel in danger, or have any needs you may just have a sugar glider that likes to bark. Like dogs, some sugar gliders like to bark more than others and you may just have one that does.
Why Do Sugar Gliders Bark At Night?
Sugar gliders are nocturnal creatures so they’re prone to being active at night. Some sugar gliders who are kept as pets will learn to adjust to your noise and the brightness of daytime and sleep at night, but most will remain nocturnal and play during the night — wanting attention and likely barking and making a lot of noise.
What Does A Sugar Glider Bark Sound Like?
When sugar gliders bark it does often sound a lot like a dog. However, how their bark will sound can depend on what they want and the urgency of their demand. Their barks can sound shrill and high pitched — almost like a yipping sound — or it can occasionally sound a bit deeper depending on if they’re happy, frightened, or simply needing attention.
What Do Sugar Glider Noises Mean?
As mentioned above, sugar gliders bark for a variety of reasons. And it can be often difficult to know exactly what they want. However, there are some common sounds they make in addition to barking, which typically indicates different needs.
Hissing. Repetitive, short bursts of snake-like hissing can mean a few different things. Often sugar gliders hiss when they’re frightened or agitated, but occasionally it can be due to pain. And sometimes they will simply emit a low hissing noise while they’re wetting their hands to bathe themselves.
When you hear your sugar glider hissing take a look at what they’re doing to determine why they are doing it. If they appear to be straining to go to the bathroom or look uncomfortable in any other way it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.
Chattering. Sugar gliders generally tend to chatter when they’re happy or excited. This noise will resemble small squeaks and the sound of chattering teeth. They may also do this when they eat their food or when they first see you after you’ve been away for a while.
Screeching. If your sugar glider lets out a shriek you can hear clear across the house you should find out what they want immediately. This high-pitched sound can be short or long, and often ends with a gurgling sound. Often it is a cry for attention but occasionally it can mean they are agitated about something or sense danger nearby.
If they make a screeching sound while you are walking towards them, STOP! Since screeching can mean fear this could mean they are frightened of you — this isn’t uncommon if you’ve just brought them home or done something to break their trust. Back up and give them some space for now.
Purring. Much like cats, sugar gliders will often make a sound that resembles purring when they’re happy and content. Unlike a cat, however, the purring is generally so quiet you need for them to be right next to your head to hear it. Purring can sound very similar to a cat’s purr or it can sound more like a drum beating quite fast.
Crying. A whining or crying sound made by a sugar glider typically means they are upset about something. Although it can be heard from sugar gliders of any age it’s generally made when they’re new to your home and missing their families.
Singing. Although they may not carry a tune very well sugar gliders may sing a tune when they’re happy. They will make different sounds and pitches during their “songs”. If you have more than one sugar glider or a mom and baby you may hear this more often as one will sing it to others to provide comfort.
Do Sugar Gliders Scream?
Screaming is one of the most common sounds you will hear from a sugar glider! These piercing screams can be short or long and mean you should attend to your sugar glider immediately. These screams mean they need attention — which could mean they have been bored or hungry for a while or that they sense danger and are scared and/or warning you.
How Do I Stop A Sugar Glider From Barking?
Barking and making other noises is how sugar gliders communicate so stopping them from barking can be difficult. If you can figure out why your sugar glider is barking you can help to reduce the amount of barking they make. Ensure they’re fed, have plenty of water, are in a safe space, and are entertained to prevent them from barking for attention. And seek the advice of a vet if they look like they are barking because they’re in pain.
As mentioned above, sugar gliders are nocturnal so they will likely make most of their noise during the night. If you find they are still barking at night although all their needs are taken care of and there’s no danger, consider moving them out of your bedroom or use a white noise machine so you can drown out most of their sounds and get some sleep.
Do Sugar Gliders Make Noise When They Mate?
Sugar gliders may make some barking or other yipping noises when they’re seeking a mate. And if you have a male and a female sugar glider together who are breeding age and you hear what sounds like fighting — it’s most likely them mating. Try not to disturb them unless they truly appear to be harming each other.