Are Sugar Gliders Good Pets?

A sugar glider might be your perfect pet if you cant have a cat or dog, but you fancy something more interactive than a stick insect or a pet tarantula.

These tiny marsupials, native to the forests of New Guinea, Indonesia and Australia, grow to about the size of your hand. Generally healthy, sturdy little critters, sugar gliders tend to have few medical problems.

Part of the problem is that many are illegally taken from their natural habitats and sold on the black market for pet trade. Animals that have been taken from the wild and sold to unsuspecting people as pets are often problematic. All things considered, yes, a sugar glider could be a good pet for you but they are not as low-maintenance as hamsters or gerbils .

Photo: Eugene Sergeev Curious, intelligent and active, sugar gliders love to play with people. They bond deeply and enjoy spending time with you by engaging in fun activities. Theyll also climb just about any vertical surface just so they can jump down in their trademark glide position, which almost looks like flying .

Place several feeding stations in your sugar gliders cage and make sure to freshen up the drinking water often. Sugar gliders are competitive when it comes to their food, so having numerous feeding stations will eliminate potential problems among cage mates. A sugar glider will be happier and much less troublesome in an even larger area so if your home permits, get a bigger habitat.

Just buy a birds nesting box at your local pet shop.

Are sugar gliders affectionate?

The fact is, Sugar Gliders are just very affectionate animals who love company. … They also tend to make excellent full-time companions for seniors who live alone and want a loving, relatively low-maintenance pet to keep them company.

Do pet sugar gliders bite?

Sugar gliders bite for various reasons ranging from fear, unfamiliar smells or self defense. Biting is the prime source of defense when a sugar glider feels threatened or trapped. … However, once you earn their trust and form a bond with your glider(s), this type of biting rarely happens.

Do sugar gliders recognize their owners?

Sugar gliders can make good pets. They are lively, inquisitive, playful and intelligent. Socialized sugar gliders enjoy cuddling and often will curl up in the safety of a shirt pocket. If given lots of attention, they will bond strongly with their owners, although they are often tentative around strangers.

Are sugar gliders expensive?

You will usually find that an adult sugar glider costs between $100-$150, whereas infants can go for up to $500 in some cases. We highly recommend purchasing a pair, as Gliders are highly social animals, so your initial purchase cost will double.

Sugar gliders, aka sugar bears, may steal hearts online and in person, but their very appeal is also their downfall. Shoppers may buy these social and sensitive animals while walking around in the mall and seeing them being peddled at a kiosk. But often impulse buyers quickly realize that they are unprepared for the responsibility of caring for these active, inquisitive, nocturnal animals.

Sugar gliders are popular exotic pets (considered to be any pet that’s not a cat, dog, or farm animal). They’re small, cute, and unique little marsupials that are native to Australia and parts of Indonesia. Their bodies are similar to a squirrels with gray fur and black markings. They also have a gliding membranea thin, skin-like structure that extends from the front to back limbs on each side almost like wingsthat helps them travel among trees.

Allowing a sugar glider to ride in your shirt pocket or in a pouch that hangs around your neck is an easy way to interact with it throughout the day. Bigger is always better, and the height is more valuable than the floor space due to the climbing and gliding activities of these little marsupials.

The interior of the cage should contain lots of toys and a closed exercise wheel (so the glider’s tail doesn’t get caught). Place a nest box near the top of the enclosure as a spot where your glider can go to feel safe and sleep. Jason Meredith / Flickr / CC by 2.0 Sugar gliders have fairly strict dietary requirements .

For pet sugar gliders, variations of the homemade Bourbon’s Modified Leadbeater (BML) diet are very popular. Honey, calcium powder, and baby cereal are often used in these recipes to provide proper nutrition to your glider. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be offered in moderation, less than 10 percent of total diet, because many lack essential vitamins, minerals, and protein and contain mostly water.

Consult your veterinarian on the best quantity to feed your glider, as this can vary based on age, size, and activity level. Most bacterial and parasitic infections occur due to underwashed fruits and vegetables, so thoroughly clean any foods you feed to your sugar glider.

This article is for those of you who are considering getting a sugar glider or know someone who has one as a pet. However, these animals are not pets and are unfortunately not treated well by people who keep them as pets. Owning a sugar glider is a bad decision that will not end well, considering the specialized care they require.

Sugar gliders are small marsupial animals native to Australia, Indonesia, and the surrounding areas. They require specialist care, a lot of space, and do not make good pets for beginners or children.

Enclosure: People often build indoor aviary-type cages or use very large vivariums that are at least four feet high and twice as wide. Food: They require nectar drinks, water, protein, fruit, vegetables, vitamins, supplements, pollen, etc. They are highly social animals and to keep one alone is very cruel as it can lead to depression, emotional distress, physical illness, weight loss, and even a shortened lifespan.

Their teeth are very sharp and can cause a lot of harm, which means you should be very careful and be fully vaccinated before owning them. Imagine those indoor habitats you see at the zoo where they keep SGs and flying squirrels. Sugar gliders are very active and very sociable creatures that enjoy climbing, running, jumping, and, of course, gliding.

Sugar gliders should be housed in their own habitat, preferably one that closely resembles an aviary with climbing apparatus. Hamsters are classed as exotic due to their metabolism, small size, and difficulty of treatment, but suggies are even harder to take care of. It can be very difficult to diagnose and treat them correctly without causing them serious distress, harm, or even killing them.

Suggies have not been kept as pets for enough years or on a common enough basis for us to do thorough research on suitable treatments for them. Mites, fleas, and skin problems are very common in these creatures, and people often find that regular small mammal ointments will not work or will cause negative reactions. Backyard breeders will overbreed and inbreed the animals and sell them for either very low or very high prices just to make some money.

Overbreeding animals can result in severe health problems and trauma to both the male and the female being bred. Along with inbreeding, it can produce sickly animals with behavioral problems, shortened lifespans, genetic disorders, mental instability, increased risks of diseases, dwarfism, dead babies, and infertility. In the U.K. or the U.S., you will likely be banned from keeping animals and receive a hefty fine or a jail sentence.

SGs are no exception to these rules as they can carry harmful bacteria and negatively affect the local wildlife. In the U.K. and the U.S., very few pet shops sell sugar gliders, and the law does not offer them protection from cruelty. This is why SGs are often sold in dodgy backyard sales by people who should be reported for cruelty but are not because there is a demand for sugar gliders.

If they are sold at a very low price, it is likely that they are either inbred or illegally imported, or the seller is urgently trying to get rid of them because there is something wrong with them. Their bodies are fragile, and they do not have strong immune systems, so keeping a clean habitat, giving them a healthy and proper diet, giving them regular health checkups, and handling them properly are all very essential to maintaining their health. Make sure you have the money and the time to give sugar gliders proper care for 15 years.

As I mentioned above, it can cost a lot of money to keep them healthy, and they do require very specific foods. The number one problem vets report is health issues related to diet. Suggies are fragile and need to be monitored constantly for signs of health problems.

Unlike a dog or even a rabbit, you can’t leave sugar gliders with a neighbor or enlist a friend to care for them when you go away. Most people don’t want to take the time to prepare specialized meals for someone else’s pets while they are off having fun in the sun. Mara or Cavy: These large rodents can live indoors or outdoors, though they tend to be pretty messy inside, so keep that in mind.

Kinkajous are used to living in a tropical rainforest, so they will require a cage that will allow them to climb around on various objects. If you still want a pet glider, make sure you do your research and get one from a reputable breeder that will give you a good quality animal. The only thing we can do is advocate against unethical breeding and educate people about why they should not be purchased and kept as pets.

It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Want some real info, message me and I’ll set you straight, i’ll provide sources and everything and MAYBE we can correct your terrible misinformation. 4) Just because they arent nocturnal doesnt mean they wont make great pets.

Such as their cage, their water bottle and food dishes and their pouches or fabric things( THESE STUFF CAN BE CLEANED). Now totaling the cost of food of my diet I use yogurt… for a container $7 at most (it last 2 weeks or more). Also even spoiling your sugar gliders normally you wouldnt even reach the $1000 mark with their stuff as I recall horses have so much more they need and its so much more expensive

Their teeth are very sharp and can cause a lot of harm, which means you should be very careful and be fully vaccinated before owning them. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO VACCINATE YOUR SUGARGLIDERS, the chemicals will kill them if any vet tells you you need to DO NOT GO TO THEM, they clearly dont know. The author is obviously on some high horse hay and has never owned or experienced a sugar gliders.

Sounds to me like the author needs to do a little more research before putting there opinion for the world to read!! I have a friend who goes all over to rescue them and they play and love on them just like they do with other pets… so please dont put an article out there till you know what your talking about! I am sorry, but this article simply misses out on the real FACTS of the sugar glider community.

A good option is to call the vet and see what kind of service they offer. Due to the growing glider community and demand, there is now an instant diet that, though it is not the same as most pet food, is complete with everything they need. If you have a family member who is an adult and who has lived with you and your sugar gliders—in my case, my mother—and now knows how to care for them, you can leave them to pet sit.

If you’re leaving for an extended amount of time, one of the advantages to sugar gliders is that you CAN take them on vacation. Most small pet owners both accept this and know how to deal with it—it’s not quite as gross as it sounds. Cats, dogs and children will vomit, poop and pee on you or your stuff at some point.

Heck, I remember holding my best friends hair off her face as she splattered puke all over!! Yes there teeth are sharp, but they dont bite very hard.there nails leave a little in-print in your skin but its not painful at all. This is so misleading and untrue I own two of the babies and they are by far nasty I have on the bottom of the cage dog pads and they climb down and use them and go to their normal routine of eating and coming out to play.. these animals deserve to be pets just like everything else.. if you think about it way back when everything was considered wild even the dog laying on your lap or the cat behind your head.. these animals are very intelligent and if give the proper attention and live like any other animal make great loyal loveable pet

What if I took YOU and stuck you in a cage with nothing but bags of shrimp flavored Top Ramen, sweet pickles and diet Tab and woke you up at 3 am every night to play? Most cats live to be older than these guys, not to mention there are numerous animals that require large spaces (you really shouldn’t be keeping a hamster in a 10 or 20 gallon aquarium). You never mentioned that in your article, let alone took into account that most exotic owners are fairly well versed in their animal’s needs especially when they come with a hefty price tag.

Sugar Glider Controversy

The controversy of whether sugar gliders should be kept as pets has been going on for years.Part of the problem is that many are illegally taken from their natural habitats and sold on the black market for pet trade.Animals that have been taken from the wild and sold to unsuspecting people as pets are often problematic.

Do Sugar Gliders Make Good Pets?

All things considered, yes, a sugar glider could be a good pet for you — but they are not as low-maintenance as hamsters or gerbils.A sugar glider will require almost as much care as a cat would.Not only will you need to feed your glider, but you will also probably spend good money creating a suitable habitat for a sugar gliders (see our advice below). These are social creatures, and they need companionship.Because they live in colonies, sugar gliders should not be alone. Give your glider a buddy. Same-sex gliders make the best pairs and groups, because males will become aggressive and territorial if females are part of the group.Sugar gliders are considered rare and exotic animals in the United States, so they are not legal in every state.

Sugar Glider: A Playful Pet

Curious, intelligent and active, sugar gliders love to play with people.They bond deeply and enjoy spending time with you by engaging in fun activities. If you want to take your well-socialized buddies on outings, they love to cuddle in a warm pocket.They’ll also climb just about any vertical surface — just so they can jump down in their trademark “glide” position, which almost looks like flying.They also like to explore, so supervise their activities and keep track of them.

What to Feed Your Sugar Glider

What do sugar gliders eat? They eat vegetables, fruits, protein, insects and a host of common household foods, such as scrambled eggs, yogurt, nuts and fruit juice.You can also find formulated sugar glider food online.Place several feeding stations in your sugar glider’s cage and make sure to freshen up the drinking water often.Sugar gliders are competitive when it comes to their food, so having numerous feeding stations will eliminate potential problems among cage mates.

Sugar Glider: Preferred Habitats

Sugar gliders need a habitat that will be healthy and interesting to them, especially if they were once out in the wild.Please take care in creating the perfect environment for your new pet. Keep the following advice in mind.

Where to Place Your Sugar Glider Habitat

Many people think that just because a sugar glider is a tiny creature that they can keep it in a cage that people use for hamsters or gerbils. However, a sugar glider must have room to keep itself busy and move around freely.We like this sugar glider cage on Amazon because the bars are not too wide, and there’s plenty of vertical room.

Sugar Glider Bedding

Sugar gliders make their beds in hollow logs when they live in the wild. It’s best if you can give yours a similar place to sleep.How to do this? Just buy a bird’s nesting box at your local pet shop.

Room to Jump and Climb

It’s important for the health and happiness of your sugar gliders that they have the ability to jump and climb around their habitat.They will want to jump from tree limbs and climb all over the place. So go to the pet store and buy some pieces to add to the habitat that will encourage them to exercise.

Sugar Glider Behavior and Temperament

Many people find pet sugar gliders to be endearing and entertaining. They are quick, love to climb, and will glide from place to place if their space allows it. Plus, as nocturnal animals (meaning they’re most active at night), they like to cuddle up in a nest during the day to sleep.Because they are social animals, it’s usually ideal to have more than one sugar glider, one male and several females. However, it’s typically best to keep them away from pets of other species in the household, as they might injure one another.Regular human interaction is very important if you want your glider to bond with you. Allowing a sugar glider to ride in your shirt pocket or in a pouch that hangs around your neck is an easy way to interact with it throughout the day. If your glider isn’t used to being handled, it can take some time for it to become cuddly with you. Sugar gliders generally are not aggressive pets, but they will bite if they feel threatened or frightened. So it’s key to be patient and gentle when handling them.Furthermore, sugar gliders are rather vocal pets and have various noises to tell you when they’re upset, frightened, hungry, and more. They typically will give an audible warning when they are angry before attempting to bite. You might hear this sound if you wake a sleeping glider.Sugar gliders generally can’t be potty trained, but they are otherwise fairly clean pets. Once you have their enclosure set up, it’s pretty easy to maintain. Their greatest care needs are maintaining a balanced diet and socialization.

Housing the Sugar Glider

An enclosure that’s 36 inches wide by 24 inches deep by 36 inches high is a good minimum size for a pair of sugar gliders. Bigger is always better, and the height is more valuable than the floor space due to the climbing and gliding activities of these little marsupials.The cage wire spacing should be no more than a half-inch wide, and the bars should be horizontal to facilitate climbing. The interior of the cage should contain lots of toys and a closed exercise wheel (so the glider’s tail doesn’t get caught). Branches, ropes, and ladders will also provide opportunities for climbing, play, and exercise. Place a nest box near the top of the enclosure as a spot where your glider can go to feel safe and sleep.The latch on the cage door should be secure, as gliders are clever and have been known to learn how to open simple latches. Line the bottom of the cage with newspaper or other recycled paper product that is nontoxic if ingested. Avoid cedar shavings, which have a strong scent that can cause respiratory irritation in small animals. Replace the shavings and clean surfaces and toys in the cage with soap and water at least once a week. Most illnesses that affect sugar gliders are due to unsanitary living conditions.Keep the cage away from direct sunlight and drafts and maintain a room temperature between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Food and Water

Sugar gliders have fairly strict dietary requirements. In the wild, a sugar glider’s diet includes nectar and sap from trees. But sugar gliders are omnivorous, meaning they eat plants and animals. So in addition to the nectar and sap, they also consume fruit, insects, and even small birds or rodents.For pet sugar gliders, variations of the homemade Bourbon’s Modified Leadbeater (BML) diet are very popular. Honey, calcium powder, and baby cereal are often used in these recipes to provide proper nutrition to your glider. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be offered in moderation, less than 10 percent of total diet, because many lack essential vitamins, minerals, and protein and contain mostly water. Many owners put out meals in small food bowls in the morning and at night. But some sugar gliders tend to graze, rather than eat a full meal at once. So don’t be concerned if you see some food leftover, but do discard leftovers prior to the next meal to prevent them from spoiling.Consult your veterinarian on the best quantity to feed your glider, as this can vary based on age, size, and activity level. And always keep a water dish or bottle in the cage, which should be refreshed at least daily.

Common Health Problems

Sugar gliders are very susceptible to stress if awakened and taken out of their cages in daytime hours. They have even been known to self-mutilate (bite and scratch themselves) under stressful conditions. Housing sugar gliders that don’t get along or providing too small of an enclosure are two major stressors for these small, sensitive creatures. If you notice any signs of self-mutilation, such as missing patches of fur, consult your vet immediately. They can help to determine the issue and suggest lifestyle modifications.Sugar gliders also are prone to some bacterial and parasitic infections. For instance, giardia, a protozoan parasite, can cause dehydration, lethargy, and weight loss. Most bacterial and parasitic infections occur due to underwashed fruits and vegetables, so thoroughly clean any foods you feed to your sugar glider.Moreover, many issues arise in sugar gliders due to malnutrition. A malnourished glider might be thin, lethargic, and have pale gums. Low calcium and blood sugar are commonly the culprits. This often results in anemia and can turn into more serious health issues, such as kidney, liver, and metabolic bone disease (which can cause bone fractures).Furthermore, dental disease is common in sugar gliders because of their sugary diet. If your glider is having tooth problems, you might notice it is eating less or has a bad smell coming from its mouth. A teeth cleaning with your veterinarian will likely be in order, and your vet can advise you on oral hygiene tips.Before acquiring a sugar glider, it’s imperative to make sure there’s a veterinarian near you who can treat this species. An annual wellness exam is recommended.

Purchasing Your Sugar Glider

Sugar gliders are illegal in a few states, including Alaska, Hawaii, and California. But even if your state allows them, make sure they are legal at the local level. Plus, in some locations, they require permits to keep.Look for a reputable breeder or rescue organization to acquire a glider. A breeder should have a U.S. Department of Agriculture license. Avoid purchasing over the internet where you can’t interact with the animal before you commit. And try to speak with other people who also have gotten an animal from that seller.The seller should be able to provide thorough information on the animal’s origin, health history, and temperament. Ask to visit with the animal before you take it home and look for any red flags, such as lethargy, trouble moving around, or abnormal feces. Expect to pay between $100 and $500 on average; young gliders are more expensive.

Sugar Gliders as Pets

This article is for those of you who are considering getting a sugar glider or know someone who has one as a pet. However, these animals are not pets and are unfortunately not treated well by people who keep them as pets. Owning a sugar glider is a bad decision that will not end well, considering the specialized care they require.

Reasons Why Sugar Gliders Make Bad Pets

If you want to learn more specifics about sugar gliders, you can check out this article.

Most People Can’t Offer Enough Space

The care of a Suggie is much different than the care of a hamster, a rat, or even a dog. They require a lot more space and an enclosure that is 100% secure and locked.

How Much Space Is Needed?

A large rat or degu cage is not enough. Sugar gliders should be housed in their own habitat, preferably one that closely resembles an aviary with climbing apparatus. While they are not large creatures, they need the space to get enough exercise and to keep themselves healthy. Because they cannot be kept alone, the space should be multiplied per glider. Most households cannot offer this vast amount of space. You should have a cage that is at least 24 inches deep by 24 inches wide by 36 inches tall at a minimum.

The Legality of Owning Sugar Gliders

SGs should only be purchased from a licensed, professional breeder or adopted from a shelter. There aren’t a lot of good breeders around, but if you really want to find one, you should look for the following:A dismissive breeder is someone who is willing to hand sugar gliders off to anyone and asks few or no questions. They will also seem to be mostly interested in money. You do not want to purchase from these breeders.

Regulations on Importing Sugar Gliders

In most countries, it is illegal to import or export these creatures due to laws that protect against disease, animal importation, and risks to the environment and public health. SGs are no exception to these rules as they can carry harmful bacteria and negatively affect the local wildlife.In the U.K. and the U.S., very few pet shops sell sugar gliders, and the law does not offer them protection from cruelty. This is why SGs are often sold in dodgy backyard sales by people who should be reported for cruelty but are not because there is a demand for sugar gliders. It is likely that the sugar glider you purchase is an illegal import riddled with disease. Owning, importing, or releasing an SG could lead to serious penalties.

Are Sugar Gliders Legal in the U.S.?

For those living in the United States, each state has its own regulations regarding sugar gliders. It is illegal to own a sugar glider in California, Alaska, and Hawaii. States such as Georgia, New Mexico, and New York have special regulations that you should look into before trying to get a sugar glider. The remaining states do allow people to own sugar gliders, but they may require certain permits, so be sure to check what kind of regulations your state has.

Vet Bills Are Costly

Vet bills for these creatures are also horribly expensive because they have to see an exotic vet who will often have trouble treating them. They are also not included in insurance, so if they need surgery or specific treatment, you will be paying out-of-pocket. You can’t get these animals “on the cheap.” If they are sold at a very low price, it is likely that they are either inbred or illegally imported, or the seller is urgently trying to get rid of them because there is something wrong with them.

You Won’t Be Going on Holiday

It is very hard to maintain their diets. As I mentioned above, it can cost a lot of money to keep them healthy, and they do require very specific foods. The number one problem vets report is health issues related to diet. Suggies are fragile and need to be monitored constantly for signs of health problems.Many suffer malnutrition, weight problems, deficiencies, and poisonings. Many foods are also toxic to them, so you will need to thoroughly research the correct amount of food to give them, how to feed them correctly, and what they eat. This can be quite strenuous and complex.

They Will Relieve Themselves on You

This is a big issue for many people. Suggies tend to poop and urinate on just about everything. They are messy, and they can be very smelly. Don’t forget, they also have scent glands that they can and will rub on you. I have also seen cages where they have splattered their poo everywhere.They are definitely not on the list of hygienic pets. They can also transmit disease, especially Salmonella.