Sugar gliders are those adorable little creatures that resemble squirrels and leave many people wishing they could get their hands on one after seeing one in a picture, a video, or on the internet. However, due to their delicate nature, these animals have very specific requirements for their care, and not everyone is equipped to meet those requirements.
Sugar gliders are extremely sensitive to stress, and subjecting them to an environment that is not suitable for them can cause them to suffer from poor health and a shortened life expectancy. If you are considering bringing a sugar glider into your home, you should ensure that you are prepared to meet the special requirements that these animals have. These sociable creatures have the potential to make wonderful pets if they are given the right attention.
In the 1990s, these teeny-tiny marsupials made their way into the exotic pet trade in the United States. Their natural habitats are Australia and New Guinea. Their endearing demeanor contributed to their meteoric rise in popularity, and they have maintained their position as one of the most popular mammals available for purchase as exotic pets, competing with the likes of prairie dogs, hedgehogs, and ferrets. Because there are still some illegal activities in the trade of sugar gliders, you should always make sure that you purchase one from a reliable source. Sugar gliders are adorable little animals.
The average lifespan of a sugar glider ranges from 10 to 15 years, making ownership of one a commitment for the long haul. Sugar gliders kept in poor conditions for their entire lives have a life expectancy that is significantly lower than the average of between five and eight years. They have a body length of about 5-6 inches, but their long tails add another 5-6 inches or so to their total length. The average weight of a sugar glider is between four and five ounces.
They typically have a body that is beige, gray, or brown, and their markings are tan or tawny in color. Sugar gliders can also be albinos, in which case their fur is white and their eyes are red or pink, and leucistic, in which case they have completely white fur and their eyes are either black or brown.
DO SUGAR GLIDERS MAKE GOOD PET?
Although sugar gliders are highly sociable creatures, keeping one as a pet isn’t always the best idea. It is best to keep them in groups or pairs, as this is how they naturally interact with one another in the wild. Even with the company of humans, sugar gliders that live alone frequently experience feelings of isolation.
The fact that sugar gliders are nocturnal and do not like to be handled during the day is a challenge that many people face when attempting to care for these animals. Sugar gliders that are stressed are more likely to bite, so it is important to slowly build trust with your sugar glider and avoid forcing stressful interactions with it.
Because they are nocturnal, it is not unusual for these animals to be at their noisiest during the night. These animals are known to make a noise that is similar to barking. They require daily care, which includes having access to clean water at all times, as well as fresh food twice daily, and consistent social interaction in order to develop trust and fulfill their social requirements.
Being sugar gliders can be smelly and messy, it is ideal to perform spot cleaning of the enclosure every day and a full cleaning of the enclosure once per week in order to maintain optimal health and hygiene.
HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST TO OWN A SUGAR GLIDER?
It is possible for the price of a sugar glider to range anywhere from one hundred to five hundred dollars, depending on the animal’s age, where it was born, and color. Sugar gliders need quite a large enclosure that is quite tall and gives them plenty of room for climbing. In addition, they need bedding, decorations, and enrichment activities, all of which can add up to an additional $200 to $300 in costs. When caring for a young sugar glider, it is best to begin with a smaller enclosure and gradually upgrade to a larger one as the animal matures. You should budget somewhere between $20 and $30 per month for your food and supplements.
You should make an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as you bring your sugar glider into your home. The cost of this visit, which can range anywhere from $50 to $75 or even more, will depend on the region in which you live. It is recommended that sugar gliders see a veterinarian once a year to ensure that they are in good health; the cost of this visit should be comparable to the initial visit. In order to avoid unplanned pregnancies, which can cost as much as $200, many people who keep males and females together have their male pets neutered. In the event that an unexpected illness or injury occurs, it is always a prudent idea to have some money set aside in case of an emergency.
SUGAR GLIDER NEEDS
Your sugar glider must have the ability to jump and climb inside the enclosure. It is recommended that you have an enclosure that is at least 3 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 3 feet high at the very least. We advise using metal cages with bars that are spaced no more than one and a half inches apart. The greater the distance between the bars, the greater the potential for escape. In a perfect world, the door to the cage would be lockable.
- SLEEPING POUCHES
A fabric bag or pouch that can be hung near the top of the enclosure in which you keep your sugar glider should be included in the enclosure. During the day, you can sleep soundly here because it is protected from the elements. This pouch ought to be substantial enough to obstruct the majority of the available light while still being flimsy enough to permit adequate air circulation.
- TOYS AND ENRICHMENT
Sugar gliders ought to have access to a large number of branches and other places where they can jump and climb. Sugar gliders can enjoy and learn from a variety of toys, including ladders, bells, and hanging bird toys. An enclosed exercise wheel that prevents their tail from becoming entangled is another beneficial toy for these animals.
THE SUGAR GLIDER’S DIET
Since sugar gliders are omnivorous, their diet needs to include both plant and animal-based foods in order to be balanced.
Fruit should make up approximately 25 percent of their diet, while 25 percent of their meals should consist of protein, and the remaining 50 percent of their diet should consist of either commercial sugar glider food or a homemade version of the Bourbon Modified Leadbeater’s diet.
Grapes, bananas, mangoes, peaches, and melon are some of the fruits that can be safely consumed by sugar gliders.
Corn, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach are some examples of vegetables that sugar gliders can eat. Sugar gliders can get their protein needs met with things like cooked eggs and lean meats that have not been seasoned.
The Bourbon Modified Leadbeater’s diet, also known as BML, is a homemade diet that includes items such as baby cereal, honey, peeled hard-boiled eggs, reptile vitamin supplements, and high-protein baby foods like chicken.
You can gradually socialize your sugar glider by feeding it and cleaning its tank until they are comfortable enough to start being touched and handled by you. Sugar gliders have a tendency to form attachments to particular people, particularly the people who are responsible for their care and feeding. When they have formed a strong bond with their owners, sugar gliders take great pleasure in riding around in their pockets and quickly become at ease when introduced to new people.
The introduction of sugar gliders to one another or to any other animals that live in the home should be done cautiously and gradually. Some cats, dogs, and other pets get along well with sugar gliders, but the introductions should be done cautiously and slowly, and the animals should never be left unattended. Sugar gliders are social creatures and should never be left alone.