Sugar Glider Care
Sugar gliders are small marsupials that are a unique type of pet with their depth of emotional bonding and long life-span. These nocturnal creatures have a membrane between their limbs that allows them to leap and "glide" long spans. Incredibly social animals, sugar gliders live in colonies in the wild and both parents are active in raising the young.
Sugar gliders are opportunistic omnivores in the wild and consume a diverse diet as pets. Feeding a pellet diet specifically formulated for sugar gliders is a good start to ensuring your glider receives proper nutrition on a daily basis. A pellet should make up about 1/3 of a gliders daily diet and the rest should consist of fresh vegetables and fruit and insects a couple times a week. Although they love the sweetness of fruit, too much can cause health problems (including obesity) in sugar gliders. Insects contain protein but also a lot of fat, which is why it’s important not to feed them to your glider too frequently. A calcium-based multivitamin or calcium supplement is very important for your sugar glider to develop proper bone strength.
Sugar gliders can dehydrate very quickly and it is incredibly important that they always have access to clean water. Our gliders drink from Lixit bottles and we recommend having more than one attached to their cage in the off chance that one of the bottles could become clogged.
We have a lot of people inquire about sugar gliders after seeing one that is already bonded to a person. These gliders have been worked with for weeks, and possibly months, in order for them to bond with the people they are with but that work is rewarded with a deep bond. Getting a glider at a young age will make the easiest bonding experience. Most of our joeys are available for purchase at 8 weeks of age (out of pouch). Your glider may want to bite, crab (a unique noise they make) at you and seem unsure the first few days you may have them, but it’s important that you continue to work with them in order for them to bond.
We recommend giving your a day to adjust to their new surroundings before attempting to handle them. During this time you can place a piece of clothing with your scent on it in their cage to start the bonding process. When you begin handling your glider, we recommend doing so in a small room where you can easily catch the glider if it gets away from you. When you aren’t handling your glider, wearing them in a bonding pouch is a great way to get them used to your smell and sound.
Sugar gliders are incredibly social animals that live in colonies in the wild. Their emotional wellbeing is directly connected to their physical health which is why we recommend having more than one. It is possible to keep a glider on their own but they will require hours of interaction on a daily basis and isolation can cause them anxiety and distress. Because they are naturally nocturnal, having another glider as a companion will give them plenty to do while you may be asleep. We recommend same gender pairs, unless you plan to have a male neutered, as a male and a female will reproduce constantly even with any offspring they may have produced.
When your glider is just a baby, it might be best to start them off in a smaller cage until they are able to confidently take on larger leaps within its cage. Once they are a little older you can move to a large flight cage with 1/2 inch bar spacing. Wooden or plastic branches on different levels will allow your glider to climb and jump around their cage.
Sugar gliders prefer to snuggle into cozy spaces and providing a sleeping pouch is important to making them feel comfortable.
There are a wide variety of toys available for gliders and and giving your glider plenty of enrichment while they are in their cage will keep them happy.