What is the best sugar glider wheel on the market? When you first bring home a sugar glider, you know that one of the best accessories you can get for them is a wheel. However, when you start to look up wheels online, you get bombarded with tons of different options, from the wheel size to the material it is made of. Needless to say, it can be hard to figure out which ones are better.
In this article, we are going to go over everything that you need to know about sugar glider wheels, from what they are, to safety features, to cost, along with a guide to the six best sugar glider wheels currently on the market.
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- 6 Best Sugar Glider Wheels Available Today
- Why Do Sugar Gliders Need a Wheel?
- Can Sugar Gliders Use Wheels Made For Other Rodents?
- Things to Consider When Buying A Sugar Glider Wheel
- What Type Of Cage Setup Do Sugar Gliders Need?
- What Are Wheels With Nail Trimmers About?
- Wheels VS Saucers: Which One is Best For A Sugar Glider?
- Exercise Alternatives For Sugar Gliders
6 Best Sugar Glider Wheels Available Today
Now that you know what you are looking for when it comes to sugar glider wheels, let’s take a look at six great options for you to consider. The six different wheels are all at different price points and come with unique benefits and disadvantages, all of which we will talk about in the reviews. Most of them come in different sizes, but at least one of the sizes for each wheel is big enough for sugar gliders.
When looking at each wheel, you can consider what is important to you in a wheel. Consider things like safety features, price point, and noise (all of which we cover in the buyers’ guide)
If you are concerned about the noise level, the Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner Small Animal Exercise Wheel might be the perfect option for you despite the premium price tag. The creators of this wheel claim that it is a completely silent wheel. They have managed to achieve this level of quiet by utilizing a double-bearing system rather than a center axel.
It does come in three different sizes, but you will want the medium size (which is 12 inches in diameter) for your sugar glider’s comfort and safety. It is a freestanding wheel, but it is heavy-duty in order to prevent any wobbling or falling.
The biggest potential problem when it comes to this wheel is that the front is not completely open, which can be dangerous if your sugar glider hits it while jumping in or out. However, the front is removable, which will solve this problem.
- Designed to be extremely quiet to avoid annoying squeaking at night
- Does not have a center axel
- Heavy duty to avoid wobbling
- The front cover is a potential hazard for your sugar glider
There are many benefits to the Wodent Wheel for sugar gliders and other small rodents. First of all, it is an 11-inch wheel, which means that it is big enough for most sugar gliders to use comfortably. It also has a removable nail trimming liner that you can take in and out whenever you want. The benefit of this nail paper versus others is that it is actually designed to protect your sugar glider’s paws while he jumps and runs in the wheel.
However, just like the previous wheel, it does come with a closed cover which some sugar glider owners find to be dangerous. Once again, it is removable, but it is not necessarily designed to be used without the cover. It is worth mentioning that the cover does provide some extra durability, so the wheel may last longer than some open wheels.
- 11-inch size is big enough for your sugar glider to run comfortably
- Nail insert is designed to keep your sugar gliders paws safe
- It is an extremely durable and long-lasting wheel
- The cover can be dangerous when sugar gliders jump in and out of the wheel
If you are interested in getting a saucer for your sugar glider rather than a wheel (or perhaps looking for something at a lower price point), the Ware flying saucer is a great option. It comes in three different sizes, though most sugar glider owners find that the medium size works best for sugar gliders. It also comes in a variety of colors (blue, purple, green), but you do not get to pick the color.
Additionally, it is designed with both your sugar glider’s safety and your comfort in mind. It is designed to spin super quietly without any annoying squeaking that would keep you awake at night. It is also specifically designed to prevent your sugar glider’s toes and tail from getting caught anywhere.
- On the lower end when it comes to price
- Designed to not squeak when your sugar glider is running
- Safe for your sugar glider’s tail and toes
- You do not get to pick the color of the saucer that you get
Kaytee is an excellent brand when it comes to products for small animals, and that remains true with their silent spinner exercise wheel. Just like the name implies, it is designed to spin super quietly so your sugar glider can exercise at any time of day or night without being a noise disturbance. Additionally, it does not have any cover that could be a danger to your sugar glider.
One of the more unique features of this wheel is that it is designed to work as either a fixed or a standalone wheel, so you can set it up in whichever way works best for you or even switch it back and forth if you need to. It is also super safe, though you may want to add some sort of lining on the inside to give your sugar glider something to grab onto when he is hopping on the wheel.
- Silent design so your sugar glider can exercise while you sleep
- Can be set up as either a fixed or standalone wheel
- Supersafe and sleek design
- No lining for your sugar glider to grab onto, which could be an issue for some sugar gliders
Having some sort of tread or lining for your sugar glider is a great way to ensure that they are safe. The Ware Tread Wheel is a great option when it comes to that because the surface is specifically made for your sugar glider to easily grab onto it when he runs and hops.
It does come in two different sizes, but you want to get the larger, 11-inch size wheel to ensure that your sugar glider can run without having to bend its back. Additionally, it is made out of metal, so you can feel confident that it is durable and will stand up to any nibbling and chewing that your sugar glider might do. The one potential problem to keep in mind is that there is a bar that stretches across the opening, which can be dangerous if your sugar glider hits it.
- Designed to be easy for your sugar glider to grab onto
- Big enough for sugar gliders to run without bending their back
- Metal is durable and will stand up against chewing and nibbling
- The stand does connect to a bar that goes across the opening
If you like the Niteangel brand but want a wheel that already has some sort of lining or track for your sugar glider to grab onto, the Niteangel Super-Silent Exercise Wheel is a great option. It comes in different sizes, though the largest size (11″) is necessary for sugar gliders. Additionally, it comes at a very reasonable price point, despite not being the cheapest on the list.
Furthermore, the front of the wheel is completely open, which is usually considered best for sugar gliders, and the track will keep him from slipping and sliding even at high speeds. The one downside is that it is a bit rickety, which means it might clatter and clank when your sugar glider is running on it – but you can always get a replacement if that’s the case.
- It can be used as a freestanding or fixed wheel
- The ridged surface is great for your sugar glider to grip onto
- Big enough for your sugar gliders to run on it comfortably
- Sometimes a bit noisy when your sugar glider is running on it
Why Do Sugar Gliders Need a Wheel?
Sugar gliders are very active creatures, so sugar glider owners need to provide their animals with a way to get out all of their energy and stay in shape. Even without a wheel, sugar gliders will spend lots of time running and gliding around their enclosure, but those activities alone will not offer enough exercise to keep your sugar glider happy and healthy.
Some owners solve this problem by letting their sugar gliders roam around the room for most of the day, but if you cannot be home all of the time, this might not be a great solution for you.
If you are looking for a way to provide your sugar glider with more exercise and play inside of his enclosure, you might want to consider getting your sugar glider a wheel. A sugar glider wheel is very similar to wheels that you would see in the cage of other small rodents like a gerbil or a hamster.
Wheels are usually made of a plastic or metal material, and they give your sugar glider a place where he can run for an unlimited amount of time or at least until he expends all of that energy, since sugar gliders are very active, high-energy, and sociable creatures.
A healthy and happy sugar glider will want to spend a lot of his awake time climbing, running, jumping, and gliding. Of course, you should provide your sugar glider with a big enclosure, so he has plenty of space to play, and you will want to give your sugar glider time to play and exercise outside of the enclosure, but a sugar glider wheel gives them one more way to expend some energy.
Can Sugar Gliders Use Wheels Made For Other Rodents?
When you are trying to pick out a wheel for your sugar glider, it matters less what the label says and more that it has all of the necessary safety features that sugar gliders require. If a wheel made for another rodent passes all the following safety requirements, you can feel good about using it for your sugar glider.
1. The inside of your sugar glider’s wheel should be obstacle-free: A lot of hamster wheels or rat wheels have bars down the middle of them. Because gliders do more hopping and bouncing than actual running, they could hit the bar and end up with an injury. You also want to ensure that there are no rotating bearings on the inside. Once again, because sugar gliders hop more than run, their tails could get caught in these bearings and lead to an injury.
2. There should be some mesh for your glider to grab on: Often other rodent wheels have a solid inner surface that is impossible for your glider to grab onto. This track should not be made out of entirely nail trimming paper either as constantly landing on rough trimming paper can be painful.
3. The front of the wheel should be open: Any kind of covers or obstacles could get in your glider’s way when he jumps in or out. Hitting the cover could also lead to injuries, so it’s generally best to remove the cover before use.
4. The wheel should be big enough (at least 11 inches) so he can bounce and run without having to bend his back.
Things to Consider When Buying A Sugar Glider Wheel
Of course, the most important thing to consider when buying a sugar glider wheel is safety. But beyond safety, there are other things that you will want to consider. Below we are going to go over some of the decisions you will have to make when picking out a wheel for your sugar glider.
1. Durable material
Pretty much all the wheels that you come across are going to be made of either plastic or metal, and there are pros and cons to both kinds. First of all, metal wheels tend to last longer than plastic wheels. They tend to be much more durable and are pretty much impossible for your little sugar glider to chew through.
However, metal wheels are also typically made out of rungs. If your sugar glider gets a leg caught in one of the rungs, it could break one of their legs or injure them in some other way. Plastic wheels, on the other hand, are typically made out of one single piece of plastic, which is a lot less likely to cause injury.
2. Correct size
The exact size of the wheel that you get depends on your sugar glider’s size and the size of the enclosure. As a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid any wheels that are smaller than 11 inches because if the wheel is too small, your glider will have to bend its back while running.
3. Freestanding or Fixed
When you start looking at sugar glider wheels, you will notice that some are freestanding while others attach to the cage or are fixed. Once again, there are pros and cons to both options. Fixed wheels tend to take up a lot less space in the enclosure and, as long as they are attached correctly, can be harder to knock over or down.
On the other hand, free-standing wheels tend to be quieter, which is great because sugar gliders generally use their wheels at night when you are trying to sleep.
4. Noise levels
Since sugar gliders use their wheels most at night, it can make a squeaky wheel very annoying. The good news is they actually make wheels that are designed to be quieter or even silent, but they are usually a little bit pricier.
Most of these wheels use some kind of bearing or double-bearing mechanism that prevents metal from rubbing against the wheel, which is usually what causes most of the noise.
5. Price tag
There are quite a few expenses associated with owning sugar gliders, When you start to look at sugar glider wheels, you will notice that they come in an array of different prices. After you ensure that a wheel is safe for your sugar glider, it is up to you what features and benefits you want to pay extra for.
Some owners prefer to spend a little bit of extra money to ensure they get a really durable and quiet wheel, while others need to stick with a strict budget, so they go for the cheapest (safe) sugar glider wheel that they can find. How much you end up spending is completely up to you.
What Type Of Cage Setup Do Sugar Gliders Need?
While this article is mainly focusing on sugar glider wheels, let’s take a look at what else you might need to know about a sugar glider enclosure. First, you want to make sure that you get a big enough cage. You want to get an enclosure that is a minimum of 24 inches wide, 24 inches long, and 36 inches high. However, when it comes to sugar gliders, bigger is always better, and you want to make sure they have plenty of climbing space.
Additionally, you want to make sure the bars are no more than a quarter of an inch apart. Sugar gliders are expert escape artists and may be able to wiggle themselves through bars that are too far apart.
Once you make sure that you buy the right kind of enclosure, you can start setting it up. You want to add your wheels, food and water dishes, a nesting box or two, sleeping pouches, toys, and places for your sugar glider to climb and perch. You also want to cover the bottom with a substrate or bedding. Do not use wood shavings.
What Are Wheels With Nail Trimmers About?
There are some sugar glider wheels that come with nail trimmer paper linings. There are mixed opinions about these wheels amongst the sugar glider community. Generally speaking, as long as the nail paper is not covering the entire wheel, they are perfectly safe. However, most people find that they are not all that great at keeping your sugar glider’s nails short.
Wheels VS Saucers: Which One is Best For A Sugar Glider?
Some people decide to get their sugar glider saucers instead of wheels. These are generally open circles laid almost on their sides. While they may look more dangerous than a wheel, they are actually perfectly safe for sugar gliders.
However, they do tend to take up more space, and some sugar gliders still prefer wheels and therefore may struggle to make the switch. Essentially, neither option is necessarily better, so it really depends on what works best for both you and your gliders.
Exercise Alternatives For Sugar Gliders
If you are looking for alternatives to wheels, there are some other toys and accessories that you can get. For instance, putting ladders and climbing perches in your sugar glider’s enclosure will give them more places to play and exercise. You can also get tubes or PVC pipes to put around your sugar glider’s enclosure to give him something to run through.
Other things like swings or treat-hiding toys can also give you more ways to stimulate your sugar glider both physically and mentally. Don’t forget to check out our selection of the best sugar glider toys and accessories!
Resources and further reading:
- Sugar Glider Care Tips, BirdExoticsVet