Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Before You Adopt a Sugar Glider

Like any pet, it's always best to do your research before adopting a sugar glider (or multiple sugar gliders) into your family.

1: they are highly social creatures = they need lots of attention and interaction

Yes, some gliders are more independent than others (thankfully I have one of those) but some have been known to go suicidal because they're lonely.  To counteract this you can...
  • make sure they have a playmate (another sugar glider would be wise)
  • spend at least a few hours daily with them (cuddling, 'wrestling', and playing)
  • put the cage in the main room in your home (so they can see all of the activity) - remember, they're nocturnal so a bedroom isn't wise (unless you're like me and don't even hear a sever thunderstorm or earthquake when sleeping, lol)
  • take your li'l furbat with you whenever possible (and introduce him/her to multiple people and animals to help keep him friendly to all)
2: they require a specific diet.  This is true, a simple kibble won't cut it. 
  • certain people think that anything more than kibble gets too expensive and complicated
  • but there are simple ways of getting them the nutrition they need such as widely recommended diets (I use the HPW diet) - these are often as simple as throwing the ingredients into a blender, freezing the mixture (I use ice cube trays for easy serving), melt, and serve nightly - can't get much easier than that
  • also, depending on where you do your shopping, a fresh diet like HPW can actually be cheeper (don't you love it when nutritional/healthy things are less expensive than the popular unhealthy things?)
Note: like children, Gliders tend to eat the treats first. So make sure that treats are limited.  Also, avoid grape skins, chocolate, pork, and any plants that you are unsure of - if you can eat the plant, it should be fine.

3: since sugar gliders haven't truly caught on as pets (except in CA and FL, from what I can tell) there are not a lot of specialized toys, accessories, cages, etc...  Be prepared to make it yourself, buy baby/other pet toys, and have to order an expensive cage cause a typical bird or small pet cage will NOT work.

4: Sugar gliders can be costly.  They are considered an exotic pet which tends to drive up the price.

With the kibble food option, it generally takes about $5/month per glider to feed them.  However, they are expensive to buy, the 'starter packs' are expensive, and you need a vet who's used to working on them (usually an exotic pet veterinarian).  Costs like that can put a glider out of your budget.

5: It's said that Gliders can get along with most pets.  This isn't necessarily true and you need to keep in mind the temperament of any pets they'd regally meet. 

For example, my mom has a German Shepard with a high prey drive.  He's fine with Fritz except when he thinks Fritz is a toy or Fritz crabs at him.  Now, it's possible that if they lived in the same house together, they'd eventually get used to each other. 

But don't take it for granite that they'd bond with any other pets like they did with you - especially bugs, birds, and reptiles. 

6: Sugar Gliders can live up to 15 years as pets.  They are NOT a short time commitment!  (I have even heard of one living for 18 years!)

They're definitely adorable.  They're definitely rewarding additions to the family.  But they are not for everyone.  Take your time.  PLEASE do not splurge on a Sugar Glider until you're positive that you're fully prepared to be a new mommy/daddy for the fellow. 

Note: there is a lot of conflicting info out there.  Double check your sources, find multiple sources for the same topic, and see if you can ask questions of a local vet who knows them. 

Also, if anyone has any questions, please let me know.  If I cannot answer them, I can definitely pass along your question to the breeder where I got Fritz (Pocket Pets) and get back to you.  The breeder has been the top breeder in the nation for 16 years and they're certified by the USDA which regularly checks up on them to make sure they meet quality standards.

Note: diet section has been updated with improved information.


  1. I am 12 years old and i have been researching the sugar glider all week and was wondering if im old enough to have one as a pet?



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