Are Sugar Gliders Good Pets For Kids?

Sugar Gliders And KidsIn general, sugar gliders are not good pets for kids. Sugar gliders are exotic pets and have more complicated needs than your average small pet, such as a guinea pig. It would only be advisable for kids to get a sugar glider if they have a responsible parent who is willing to take on the major responsibilities of owning a glider.

First, there is a financial commitment that your parents must be willing to take on. Sugar gliders are expensive pets when you consider all the costs involved. It is not recommended to get a single glider, so can you afford to purchase two gliders? After the expense of the gliders themselves, you will need to purchase a suitable cage, pay for vet bills, and then there is the cost of food.

Second, there is a major time commitment involved in owning sugar gliders. Sugar gliders can live up to 15 years, so are you prepared to commit to taking care of your sugar gliders for that long? A lot can change in the next 15 years. You will be going through a lot of lifestyle changes in that time and a sugar glider may not fit into your lifestyle.

Sugar gliders are nocturnal, so you should also consider that and take a look at your own schedule. Sugar gliders often do not wake up until after 11PM to play. Most kids are already asleep by that time and will not have any time to spend playing with sugar gliders. It is very important that you have time to play with them in order to bond with them.

The bonding process can also be very difficult for kids to handle. Some sugar gliders bite before they are bonded to you, and you will have to be prepared to take the bite. This is an important thing to do if you want to teach your sugar glider that biting will not get them anywhere. Some kids may not be mature enough to handle this and might react by harming the glider.

Another issue is that sugar gliders require a nutritionally balanced diet of 50% protein, 25% fruits, and 25% vegetables. Are you responsible enough to make sure that they are fed a proper diet? Usually, it is the parents that do the grocery shopping anyway, so you will need to have your parents on board to make sure you can keep proper foods stocked up on a regular basis.

You will also need to educate yourself on the dos and don’ts of a proper diet, because there are certain foods you will need to avoid. Sugar gliders need to maintain a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 2:1, so you will have to learn which fruits and vegetables have a good ratio.

Hygiene is another important responsibility to consider. Are you willing to keep your sugar gliders cage clean on a regular basis? If not, are your parents willing to do it for you?

Another thing to consider is whether or not you would be able to take your glider to a veterinarian in an emergency. You will need to locate an emergency veterinarian clinic and have a plan in place should an emergency ever arise. Kids who are too young to drive would need to discuss this with their parents and make sure they would have a ride to a veterinarian in case of an emergency.

For kids, the responsibilities of owning a sugar glider are too much to handle on their own. If the parents are on board and are just as committed to owning sugar gliders, then it will work out just fine.

Q&A: Are Sugar Gliders Good With Kids?

Sugar Gliders And BabiesQ: My fiance and I have recently acquired 2 sugar gliders, one is 10 months and the other is 11 months. We got them given to us as a bonding pet for our baby that is due in June. Any advice as to get them bonding better with us because weve noticed they tend to bite now and again. It doesnt hurt or break skin but it wouldnt be good for our babies new ‘little friends’ to be biteing him.

Oh and another question about my cage. It’s about 3 – 3 1/2 feet tall, 2 feet long by 18 inches deep. Is that a good size for them?

A: This is an interesting question.  I have heard of sugar gliders bonding well with children, but I don’t know anything about babies.

What I do know is that there is no sure-fire way to make sure your gliders do not bite.  Gliders bite for different reasons, being out of fear or curiosity.  When they give you little nibbles, it is their way of checking you out (my sugar glider does this to me even after 5 years of bonding).  They will want to do this with a baby, I imagine.

Another thing I would be concerned about is that you cannot control what your baby does, either.  If your baby goes to grab the glider or does something frightening, the glider could bite your baby out of fear.  I would be more worried about this because this will be a hard bite.  Also, depending on how well you can groom your glider, I’d be afraid of their sharp nails.  If you are going to let the gliders crawl on your baby, your baby could get seriously scratched.

After having said this, I will say I don’t think it’s impossible to have a baby and sugar gliders at the same time.  But I would recommend you keep them separate at least until your baby is old enough to understand the dos and don’ts with sugar gliders.

Check out my post about bonding with sugar gliders.  I talk a lot about how I bonded with my glider and you can get ideas on how to bond with yours.  I have a single glider so my bonding experience will be a little different from yours, but in general the idea is the same.  The more time you spend with your gliders and interact with them, the better and faster you’ll bond with them.

I think for now, because your gliders are young, your cage is a fine size.  But in a couple of years, you might want to look into getting them something a little bigger, especially if they spend a lot of time in their cage.

I hope this is helpful.  Please keep us all updated on how it goes over with your gliders when your baby arrives.  Good luck!