Sugar gliders are small marsupials that are wildly popular as companions. The time and effort put into them is reciprocated ten fold. Gliders form a deep bond with their human owner and enjoy spending hours climbing around or sleeping in their owners clothing.
What is a Sugar Glider?
Small soft marsupials that form a deep bond with their human owner and enjoy spending time climbing around or sleeping in their owners clothing. Gliders are nocturnal which means they are asleep during the day and awake during the night.
Are they the same thing as a Flying Squirrel?
No, they are completely different and are not even related! Sugar gliders are marsupials and flyers are rodents. Sugar Gliders have a foul smell and scent glands and flyers do not. Gliders breed all year round and will breed very well and easily in captivity, Flyers breed once a year and are not very successful when paired and bred in captivity. They have different diets, fur color fur texture, smell, and noises. The only things they share is that the both glide, they are the same size and they both form deep bonds with their owners.
Average Lifespan: 10-12 Years
Diet: We feed our gliders new world primate biscuits, our insectivore diet Pokey Crunch, fresh fruits and veggies, gliderade and rotating meats, yogurt and glider supplements.
Size at Adulthood: 8 " long including the tail, and weigh between 4- 6oz.
Living environments: A good cage is a medium size bird cage, at least 2'x2'x4' but the bigger the better. Bar spacing should be no more than 1/2" wide. Provide plenty of non-toxic branches, hanging pouches and sleeping areas for them.
Bonding: It is important to acquire your baby glider as a baby and carry them in your shirt pocket or in a bonding pouch for several hours a days for at least two to three weeks.
Owning a Sugar Glider
Gliders can be affectionate and loving pets if cared for properly and acquired at the right age. It is relatively easy to bond with a new baby but is very challenging if you receive an older adult who is not bonded to you. Each glider can have their own personality but generally they are attention seekers and affectionate with their humans.
Do they bite?
My answer to this question is simple, anything with teeth can bite. Anything handled from a young age and generally domesticated and treated as a pet more than likely will not bite. I would rate them as 95% bite free. I have found that they can bite fingers, if they are poked at, scared, or if you startle them in their nest box or pouch.
Preparing for a sugar glider:
Before you bring your baby home, you should have its habitat ready.
When your baby is ready for a big cage, line the bottom of the cage with a few sheets of newspaper. Fill the water bottle and attach it to the side of the cage. You can also put non-toxic branches for them to climb on. Place the sleeping pouch somewhere up high on the side of the cage. Place toys and wheel inside with enough room for it to move around and be comfortable. Changing the newspaper should be done once or more a week.
Remember to locate a vet experienced with exotics and that is willing to see your baby BEFORE you get your baby. Before the big day, schedule an appointment for your baby be seen within 72 hours for our health warranty. Have your vet give a general examination and let them get familiar with you and your baby in case of an emergency or routine visits in the future. You should take your baby in yearly for annual checkups.
How much time does a Glider require?
The first few weeks it is critical to spend as much time as possible with your baby to bond with it. Carry it around in a pouch or shirt pocket and introduce it to lots of people. Several hours a day is required the first 2-3 weeks. After bonding is achieved, it would still be best to spend as much time as possible, but at least an hour every evening would be great for your glider baby.
Bonding is a very special characteristic of the Sugar Glider. Bonding occurs during the first few weeks of ownership and can last for the life of your glider. Begin the bonding process by gaining your baby’s trust. Carry your baby in a bonding pouch or in a loose shirt pocket. This will let your baby become familiar with your smell and voice. In the evenings, when your baby is awake, spend time feeding it, playing with it and giving it attention. The feelings will soon become mutual.
We give our gliders a dry bowl with one tablespoon Mazuri New World Primate biscuits and one tablespoon Pokey Crunch hedgehog food. We also give them a wet bowl with all of their fresh foods. The "wet bowl" changes almost every day with new and different foods including insects, fruit, veggies, meat, yogurt, etc.
Gliders are very active will require exercise and activities to avoid becoming overweight or sick. A solid plastic wheel in the cage is a great exercise tool. You should spend time with your glider as often as you can outside of their cage. Never take your glider outside to play, they may jump into a tree and never come down.
Living with a sugar glider:
Gliders most definitely become part of the family quickly, they have cute antics and individual personalities. They love to nuzzle in your clothing all day and will entertain you all night running around and investigating everything.
We recommend having at least two gliders because they are social and can get lonely which can lead to behavior problems. This is not a requirement, we have many clients with only one glider that lives happy and healthy.
Overall they make excellent pets, can be handled and cared for by the whole family.
Sugar Gliders at Janda Exotics
Our gliders are in 2-5 member groups with breeding focusing on health, temperament and color. Our glider moms raise their babies while we handle them, we do not pull babies to hand feed unless medically necessary.