Q: People say it’s bad for sugar gliders to sleep in a nest box. Is a pouch really better?
A: Sugar gliders in captivity choose to sleep where they find it to be cozy, warm and dark. Most sugar glider owners provide either a nest box or pouch for their pet, and sugar gliders have adapted equally to both options.
There are various advantages and disadvantages to either nest boxes or pouches for sugar gliders.
A nest box made of wood absorbs odor that can be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Sugar gliders tend to chew on a wood nest box, which can pose hazards from splinters or ingestion. Moisture can also pose a mold issue in an enclosed wood box. Some wood can be toxic to sugar gliders. A better option would be a plastic nest box with fleece strips provided for comfort. Plastic can be cleaned much easier, however, it might not be a favorite spot for a sugar glider if given other options. Condensation in a plastic nest box may or may not be an issue.
Pouches are a popular alternative for sugar gliders. They are washable and different choices of pouch style are abundant. Sugar gliders occasionally chew on their pouches, and chewed pouches must be replaced. A well-made pouch has no loose stitching or threads, and has hidden seams for additional safety. Fabric pouches must be checked often for any safety hazards. Another difference using a pouch as opposed to a nest box is the breathability of the fabric.
Whether using a nest box or a pouch, the decision remains with each person about what works best for them and their particular sugar glider. It is more a choice of preference and sugar glider habit, than an issue of good or bad.