TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU GET A SUGAR GLIDER AS A PET!
Of course you already may know the great
things about sugar gliders: They are adorable, soft , furry,
fun to watch, and can make loving and rewarding pets.
But here is a little checklist of some of
the not so great points about Sugar Gliders. You should be
fully informed before you make a commitment to bring a
glider, or any pet, into your home.
Please make note of all points discussed and
keep an open mind. We do not claim to know everything but
we can share our experiences with you.
How to Buy a Pet Sugar
When we first bought our gliders we were misinformed. My
advice to any potential glider owner is to do as much
research as possible. It can be done on the web, through
books, and now through video and audio. Sadly we do rescue work on
gliders that have been abuse, abandoned, or just can not be
handled. Most of the time it is not the owner’s fault.
were just misinformed and did not do the recommended
research. These little guys are not a pet hamster! They
need a lot more attention, caring, handling, and feeding.
One point we must discuss is your consideration of the
sex. There are lots of varying opinions. I must say that each and
every glider, no matter what sex, has their own
personality. Here at our glidery we have not found one more
sweeter than the other. Like people, these guys will have
their days. Some points to consider: males will mark their
territories and get a bald spot on their heads, unless fixed
from an early age. But make no mistake about it, girls can
also mark their territories, it just seems not to be as
When you decide to purchase a glider please check your
local area for veterinarians. We recommend not waiting
you are in need of one. Another point is to check out the
facility and breeder you are buying from and make sure to
see their USDA License. All breeders must have a license to
Our checklist of items to have prior to bringing home
your glider: a nice size cage with vinyl/pvc coated wire,
cage pouch and/or nest box, 2 food bowls that will not tip
over, leak proof water bottle, bonding/caring pouch, glider
cereal, cage toys, running wheel, branches, ropes and/or
chains for the cage.
Here are some bad
points to consider
Here are some
important points to consider when thinking about buying or
adopting sugar gliders. They are great animals, but not the
ideal pet for everyone.
you feel that you can live with all of these points then you
are that special someone to own a Sugar Glider!
- Gliders usually cannot be house-broken and may carry
somewhat of a smell: these little guys will urinate and
defecate on you without even thinking about it (just
like birds). They seem to do it just because you
are theirs and they want to mark you. Male gliders
mark everything with their scent glands. New gliders and
scared gliders let off a skunk like odor to try and
scare off what they think is trying to hurt them.
They do not smell as bad as a ferret or hamster but they
have a stronger smell then
- Gliders are Nocturnal: what this means is that they sleep in
the day and are up at nighttime. These guys get up
around 10 to 11 at night. They are highly
sensitive to light, and so you must use a low-lighting
in the room where you interact with them.
- Sharp Nails: their nails grow really fast, like
cat's claws. They use these to climb the trees in the wild.
You must keep them trimmed to avoid scratches at playtime
as they are just using you as a tree and climbing all
- Are Sugar Gliders legal in your state? Before you
decide that you want to adopt a glider you must first
check with the USDA (United State Department of
Agriculture). Laws and regulations are different in
each state and rules are changing often so check back
frequently. Another important point is if you decide to
have babies to sell or give away, you must be USDA
licensed, but you do not need a licence just merely to
own a glider.
- Life Span in captivity: Sugar gliders will live for
10-18 years if they are cared for properly. This means
make sure you have no major changes in your life in the
next 10-18 years because gliders bond to their owners
especially when bought young. It is very cruel in a
year or two down the road to sell/give the glider to
another person. They will go into a depression missing
you and can even turn mean and rebel. They start to
groom themselves unmercifully. Some cases of mutilation from depression and
loneliness have been found.
- Cage requirements: Your pet is a tree dweller, so
the larger the cage the better. It should have a lot of
tree branches, toys, and a running wheel (that will not
cause injury to feet or tail), along with a pouch and/or
a nest box. Minimum cage is an 18x18x24 tall.
If you have anything smaller it is just cruel to your
glider. The wider it is along with the height the
better the cage. They love to be
high off the ground.
- Dietary requirements: These little guys are
insectivores. This means that they like to eat
mealworms, crickets and grasshoppers. Cooked lean
chicken and turkey along with a stable dry food called
Insectivore can be fed with a consistent diet regimen of
35-50% protein, 50% vegetables and 50% fruit. So
every night you must cut up fresh fruit or vegetables
along with protein. These little guys can be very
finicky on what they eat. So they might eat it
tonight but not tomorrow. Water should be changed
every night. These little guys can dehydrate
really fast if they do not get enough water during the day.
- Price for Sugar Gliders: Sugar Gliders can be quite
expensive. A single glider can range between $150.00-
$600.00. This price does not even include the cage,
food, accessories, and vitamin/calcium supplement. The
Sugar Gliders are costly to keep so getting a cheap
glider will not help on long term bases. One point that
I am trying to make is if you can not afford the animal
and accessories and possibly pay for emergency vet
visits at any given time, then you can not afford to
have one of these guys.
- Fragile: Even though these guys seem to be sturdy
they are small in nature and have a small skeletal
system. So young children between the ages 4-8 should not handle
since they still love to squeeze their pet that they
love and can cause internal injury. You will not
even know until it is too late.
- Vets: Due to the Sugar Glider being fairly new to
the United States a lot of the local vets do not handle
exotic pets. Finding an exotic vet should be researched
prior to getting a Sugar Glider. This saves time in
case of an emergency.
- Bonding: Since each glider is so different and
independent the bonding process can be different in each
case. Some gliders bond right away and some need a
lot of work and time. You must work every day with
these guys on a set time schedule. This will get them
into a routine. These little guys make a very loud
crabbing noise that sound like an electric pencil
sharpener. They can also lunge and bite at you
sometimes, even as hard as a hamster. Some gliders run
and hide and want nothing to do with you. These will
take months to come around. Do not give up and do not
let them sit in their cage. That is the worse thing you
Bribes work really well. Some people carry them in a
bonding pouch in the day hours while they sleep.
Remember time, patience, and love works miracles.
- Hind leg paralysis: Sugar gliders can get something
called hind leg paralysis. They have found that
this is caused from insufficient calcium in the gliders'
diet. During times of stress this can happen too.
A full dose of calcium is needed daily with a multivitamin
at least every other day.
If you feel that you can live with all of these points
then you are that special someone to own a Sugar Glider.