Sugar Glider Care
Sugar gliders are curious, smart and playful. These marsupials are fairly inexpensive to keep as pets and they can live up to 15 years. Sugar gliders are about the size of a squirrel and they're very popular as exotic pets because they don't have fleas or require vaccinations. When they are fed properly, they do not have a bad smell. With the right care, sugar gliders tend to bond easily with their owners.
Personality & Behavior
Sugar gliders are social creatures. In the wild, they thrive in family units. Socializing is a major part of a sugar glider's day and it keeps it healthy and mentally alert. Sugar gliders do best when purchased in pairs. Young same-sex pairs work the best. If you do purchase a male/female pair, the male should be neutered. Sugar gliders can be purchased as a single pet if the prospective owner has a lot of time and attention to give. These small pets will adopt their human families and expect to be part of day-to-day life. Sugar gliders that are not interacted and played with on a daily basis will grow unhealthy and die.
Feeding & Dietary Needs
Unlike other pets, sugar gliders must maintain a proper diet or they can grow ill. They will need fruit, vegetables and a dry food mix. There is a bit of confusion when it comes to feeding sugar gliders and there are many sugar glider diet options available. Prospective owners should ask the individuals they get their sugar gliders from what diet their specific animal prefers. Whatever diet you opt for, make sure that 25% of your sugar glider's daily food intake is protein. Hand feeding grapes or nuts when they are young can go far in establishing a loving bond. Hamster-type water bottles should be kept in the cage. Water should be kept fresh.
Housing & Cages
Sugar gliders are active climbers. Their cages should be tall and roomy. A cage should be at a minimum of 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Wire cages that have no more than one inch between the bars seem to work best for these animals. They use the bars to hang from and to hold onto as they're climbing. It's very important that the locking system on the cage be strong and secure as sugar gliders are very intelligent and can figure out how to open cage doors. Fir or aspen shavings should be placed in the bottom of the cage and a nesting box/pouch provided. Pouches can be purchased at pet stores. These attach to the side of the cage. They are popular with pet owners because they are machine washable.
Toys & Play Time
Sugar gliders love to interact and play with their owners. When they're left alone, they should have things in the cage that will engage their brains and keep them physically active. Hanging ladders and ropes in the cage is a good idea, as well as placing tree branches in the cage. Sugar gliders enjoy playing with bird and rodent toys, too.
Anyone who is planning to purchase a sugar glider should know they are nocturnal creatures. They are most alert and playful at night. They can adapt and interact during the day, but they may spend much of the daylight hours sleeping. Sugar gliders are not aggressive, but may bite if scared. It's very important that sugar gliders are handled often when they are young so they develop trust in humans and learn how to be friendly. Anyone who plans to purchase a sugar glider should first locate a vet that treats exotic animals.