Sugar Gliders As Pets

Sugar Gliders As PetsIf you are interested in getting sugar gliders as pets, there are some things you need to take into consideration first. Although sugar gliders do make wonderful pets, they are definitely not the right pets for everyone.

You must keep in mind that sugar gliders are exotic animals and have needs that are specific to their species. Contrary to what some people say, it is not true that sugar gliders can be cared for just like guinea pigs and hamsters. They need bigger cages and have much more specialized dietary needs.

Questions To ask Before Deciding To Get Sugar Gliders As Pets

1. Are sugar gliders legal where you live? First of all, before you think about anything else, you need to find out if it is legal for you to own sugar gliders where you live. You should check state and local laws, and also ask your landlord about the pet policy if you rent your home.

2. Can you commit to owning sugar gliders for up to 15 years? Sugar gliders can live for up to 15 years in captivity, so you need to ask yourself if you are in it for the long haul. A lot can change in your life in 15 years, so think about. It is very much like getting a dog in that you have to be willing to commit to owning this pet for quite a long time.

3. Would you be willing to have more than one glider? Sugar gliders do much better if they have at least one other glider companion. If you are only willing to get one glider, then you should think about getting a different pet. Having more than one glider will mean the difference between surviving and thriving, so it is much better to get a pair of gliders at a minimum.

4. Can you handle the cost? Having sugar gliders is not cheap. Beyond the initial cost of the gliders, you will have to purchase a cage, cage accessories, food, and veterinarian services. Just keep in mind that these things can add up.

5. Is there a veterinarian in your area who treats gliders? It can be difficult finding a veterinarian near you who has experience treating sugar gliders. It is wise to find one before you commit to getting sugar gliders as pets.

6. Are you willing to feed them a proper diet? Feeding sugar gliders is not as easy as feeding a dog or cat. You cannot just open up a bag of dry food and plop it in a bowl and be done. They need a nutritionally balanced diet of protein and fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. You also need to make sure they get enough calcium. Educating yourself about their dietary needs is very important to keep your gliders healthy.

7. Are you willing to have a nocturnal pet? Sugar gliders are nocturnal, so they sleep during the day and are active at night. Think about whether or not this will work with your schedule. If you go to sleep pretty early and would not have time to interact with your gliders in the evening to feed them and give them play time outside their cage, then sugar gliders are not good pets for you.

8. Do you want a pet that can be messy and smelly? Sugar gliders definitely have a distinctive odor (some are smellier than others), and they mark their territory with urine. They also cannot be potty trained, so expect accidents.

9. Will it bother you if your sugar gliders are noisy at night? Sugar gliders bark and make all sorts of noises in their cages as they climb and jump around. If this would bother you at night, then sugar gliders are not the right pets for you.

10. Do you have other pets? It is a common misconception that sugar gliders can bond with your other household pets. This is not true. It is not a good idea to mix sugar gliders with dogs and cats. Sugar gliders are prey to cats and dogs, so it can be life threatening to let them interact. Sugar gliders are very small and vulnerable, and animals are unpredictable. Even if you have the most mild mannered dog, I’m betting it still likes to chase squirrels. A sugar glider is not going to look any different from a squirrel to your dog when it is running and climbing around the room.

I hope you will give these questions some serious thought before you decide to get sugar gliders as pets. All too often these wonderful animals end up abandoned because people get in over their heads and were not prepared for what it takes to keep an exotic animal.

Sugar Glider Care

Sugar Glider CareThe decision to get a sugar glider as a pet is one that you should consider carefully.  Although they make wonderful pets, you should remember that they are exotic animals and have specific needs that are particular to their species.  Sugar glider care is not difficult, but they are not going to be the best pet for every person or household.

First, it is important to realize that getting any pet is a commitment, and you should be aware of the life expectancy of the animal as you weigh your ability to honor this commitment.  It is easy to get carried away by a cute little critter, but remember that you have to be in it for the long haul.  Sugar gliders have an approximate lifespan of 8-15 years when they are in captivity.  They do not live as long in the wild.

Once you decide to get a sugar glider, the basic things you need to learn about in order to care for it properly are what kind of housing and toys it will need, what kind of food it will need to stay healthy, and how to socialize and bond with your glider.

They do require a certain amount of attention because they can become lonely and depressed.  If you do not think you will have at least two hours a day to spend playing and bonding with your glider, you could get two gliders so they can keep each other company.

You should be aware that sugar gliders are not the kind of pets that you can leave in a cage all the time.  You must be able to take it out and let it run free and play in a glider-proofed room.

Sugar Glider Housing

You will need to get a cage that is no smaller than 36 inches high X 18 inches deep X 30 inches wide. You need a cage that has plenty of room for your glider to jump and climb around.  The bigger the cage is, the better, so get the biggest cage that you can afford and that you have room for.  It is better to go with a taller and narrower cage rather than a shorter and wider one because sugar gliders like to climb.

It is important that the cage be constructed of pvc or vinyl coated wire.  Gliders need to be able to climb, but bare wires can harm their delicate feet.  Additionally, pvc or vinyl coated wires are easier to clean, will not rust, and will be a lot quieter as your glider climbs around the cage.

You will also need to have a nesting box or a hanging pouch in the cage where your glider can sleep.  Other necessary things to have in the cage are non-toxic branches and perches, a hanging food dish and water bottle, various toys, and some non-toxic bedding for the bottom of the cage.

Sugar Glider Diet

There is a lot of information available about sugar glider nutrition and you will likely find different opinions.  Since sugar gliders are omnivores, they eat a wide variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, and proteins.  It is recommended that you feed your sugar glider 50% protein, 25% fruits, and 25% vegetables.

Sugar gliders eat insects in the wild, so they really enjoy eating live insects such as crickets and mealworms.  You can also get freeze-dried insects if you do not want to buy live ones.  Make sure the insects have not had any exposure to pesticides because this can be very harmful.

All foods you give your sugar glider should be as low in fat as possible because they do not handle fat well.  You should also add a calcium supplement to their diet to prevent hind-leg paralysis.  Sugar gliders can also lose interest in foods if you do not switch them up, so be sure to try out different choices and rotate them often.

There is a lot more information about sugar glider nutrition that will be covered in more detail on other pages.  The more you know about proper nutrition, the healthier your sugar glider will be and the longer it will live.

Sugar Glider Socialization and Bonding

Sugar gliders are very social, so you will need to spend a lot of time playing and bonding with them.  If you isolate a sugar glider, it will become depressed and could develop health problems and even die.  For this reason, you must be able to bond with your sugar glider or get two sugar gliders to keep each other company.

When you first get your sugar glider, they will have to take some time to get used to you and the new environment.  Bonding is a process that develops over time, and there are several things you can do to make it progress smoothly.

When your glider is sleeping in its pouch, you can carry the pouch on you to keep it close to you.  You can also leave a piece of your clothing with your scent on it in the cage because gliders bond by scent.

The more time you spend with your glider, the better the bonding process will be.  Spending two to three hours a day playing with your glider and letting it climb on you and around a glider-proofed room will help you develop a strong bond.