The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Sugar gliders are becoming more and more common these days. Many people are starting to keep them as pets because they look rather cute.
It’s easy to see why sugar gliders appeal to people. They’re adorable little creatures, but are they actually good pets to own?
Below, you’ll learn a lot of information about sugar gliders. You’ll learn about things that make them good pets as well as reasons why they might not be right for everybody.
Those who are on the fence about buying sugar gliders as pets will benefit from reading this information. It’ll help you decide what’s best for your home and your family.
Sugar Gliders Are Needy Pets
Before you rush out to buy a sugar glider as a pet, it’s important to take a step back and consider whether you’re ready for the responsibility. Sugar gliders are needy pets when compared to many other popular types of pets.
To care for these pets properly, it’s important to meet their needs. The needs of sugar gliders are a bit more specific than many other pets that you’re likely used to caring for.
For example, you’ll need to do things much differently than you would for a cat or a dog. Sugar gliders need to have the right type of environment, and you need to feed them a specific diet.
There are good aspects of owning sugar gliders as pets. When you meet their care needs, they’re animals that don’t get sick often.
Also, they can learn to be very affectionate toward their human owners. It requires a lot of work on your part to get to that point, though.
It’s also worth noting that sugar gliders are a bit controversial. Many groups feel that keeping sugar gliders in captivity is wrong.
Some sugar gliders are captured in the wild using illegal means and then sold as pets. You’ll have to research the topic yourself and decide how you feel about it.
Just know that these aren’t low-maintenance pets. You will be required to spend a lot of time caring for the pet, and it’ll be necessary to spend money to set things up.
Sugar Gliders Aren’t Legal Everywhere
Keep in mind that you might not be allowed to purchase these animals as pets where you live. Certain parts of the United States have banned these pets.
Those who live in states such as Alaska, California, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania will not be allowed to keep sugar gliders as pets. You should remember that laws can change over time as well.
It’s wise to look up your local laws to ensure that nothing is preventing you from owning sugar gliders. Then you can decide whether it’s wise to own them as pets or not.
There could even be specific cities that have rules against owning sugar gliders. So it’s always best to play by the rules and do the research before making any big decisions.
Do Sugar Gliders Like to Be Held?
It can be difficult to handle sugar gliders at first. When you first get a sugar glider as a pet it isn’t going to be bonded to you yet.
Early on, the pet is going to be very wary of interacting with you. It’s not uncommon to get bitten by sugar gliders during the early days of owning them.
As you build a rapport with the pets, they will start to trust you. It’ll be easier for you to hold them once you reach a certain level of trust.
Holding sugar gliders is a common way to bond with them. You need to be careful how you go about doing this, though.
Once you’ve bonded with the sugar glider, it’ll enjoy being held. You need to start the process off gently.
Talk to the sugar glider in a soothing fashion. Don’t interact with it at first since it’ll need three days or so to adjust to its new environment.
After some time has passed, you can try handling the sugar glider. Bonding is easier if you buy baby sugar gliders.
Tips for Bonding With Sugar Gliders
Bonding with sugar gliders is going to take some time. There are things that you can do to speed the process along.
Above, you learned that talking to the sugar glider gently can help. It’s also good for these animals to get used to your scent.
Try placing an old blanket that has your scent on it in the sugar glider cage. It’ll be a great way for the sugar gliders to get used to how you smell.
This alone is helpful when it comes to keeping the sugar gliders calm in your presence. They will feel as if they’re used to you.
Giving the sugar glider snacks will also be helpful. Try giving the animals little pieces of fruit or other appropriate types of food.
Eventually, you should be able to hold the sugar glider. Do so carefully while avoiding scruffing the necks of the animals.
Many people bond with sugar gliders by purchasing special “bonding pouches” from the store. These are cloth pouches that allow you to carry the sugar glider around with you.
Sugar gliders are marsupials, and they’re used to being carried around in pouches. So this is a natural thing for them and helps them to bond with you.
Do Sugar Glider Bites Hurt?
Sugar glider bites can indeed hurt quite a bit. This is especially true if the sugar glider is biting you because it’s afraid.
If you scare a sugar glider by approaching it aggressively or grabbing it in a way that it doesn’t like, it’ll bite you defensively. This can sting quite a bit, and it’s something you want to avoid.
Earlier, you learned that sugar gliders that haven’t bonded with their owners are more likely to bite. This is true, but sugar gliders will sometimes nibble on their owners even after they have bonded with them.
The nibbling is mostly a way to show affection. It doesn’t really hurt, but it could feel like a pinch depending on how things go.
Some owners like to discourage sugar gliders from doing this while others don’t mind it. Just know that this isn’t unusual behavior for sugar gliders.
Do Sugar Gliders Need to Be in Pairs?
Yes, sugar gliders are social animals that need to be kept in pairs or groups. It isn’t recommended to own just one sugar glider.
Wild sugar gliders are known to live in rather large groups. They live with their families and are used to interacting with others of their kind.
A sugar glider being forced to live a life of solitude would be very bad. Sadly, sugar gliders have been known to die of loneliness.
Being alone will be an extremely stressful situation for a sugar glider. Avoid putting your pet in a bad spot and be sure to get at least two sugar gliders if you’re interested in keeping them as pets.
Sugar gliders should be kept in pairs or in small groups. Of course, you must make sure that you have enough room to house them properly.
Are Sugar Gliders Expensive?
There will be a fair bit of cost involved when you want to buy sugar gliders. First, you’ll need to buy the animals themselves.
You’re supposed to keep sugar gliders in pairs, and that means you’ll need two or more. One sugar glider is going to cost hundreds of dollars, in most cases.
Baby sugar gliders are more expensive than adult sugar gliders. This is because people want to bond with the sugar gliders while they’re still very young.
So baby sugar gliders will generally cost anywhere from $200 to $500 depending on the market where you live. Adult sugar gliders are a bit less expensive, but they can still cost as much as $200.
Once you’ve purchased the animals, you’ll need to buy an appropriate cage. You need a cage that is large enough for the sugar gliders to land and glide around a little bit.
These cages are supposed to be fairly big. They can take up a lot of space in your home and they’ll usually cost hundreds of dollars.
It’s necessary to buy toys for the sugar gliders to keep them occupied, too. People often buy sugar gliders exercise wheels, climbing ropes, and little ladders.
You’ll also need to purchase food dishes, bedding material, food, and so much more. Expect to spend hundreds of dollars before all is said and done.
When you factor in the need to buy a cage, the cost of the accessories, and the animals, you’re looking at spending a lot of cash. You could spend $1,000 or more depending on how many sugar gliders you buy and the going rate in your area.
Do Sugar Gliders Smell?
Many people will think that sugar gliders smell kind of bad. They have a natural smell that is sort of musky.
Even if you bathe the sugar gliders, they’re still going to smell this way. Many people don’t mind it, but those who are sensitive to strong smells might not like owning sugar gliders.
If you want to limit the smell, it’s recommended to keep the sugar gliders on a specific diet. Feeding sugar gliders certain types of non-recommended foods will make them smell worse than usual.
Of course, a sugar glider’s cage can get rather stinky as well. You need to clean the cage on a regular basis to prevent it from smelling horrible.
It’s recommended to clean the cage thoroughly once every two weeks. You can do a bit of spot cleaning daily to clean up minor messes.
Some people litter train sugar gliders, too. This can keep the cage from smelling too bad, but it does take some effort to train the animals.
Are Sugar Gliders Safe for Kids?
If you have young children in your home, you might be worried about whether sugar gliders are appropriate for them. This is a normal thing to worry about, but many people with kids have a great experience with these pets.
Generally, it’s said that sugar gliders do well with kids that are at least six years old. You will need to train the children to interact with the sugar gliders safely, though.
Many parents feel that it’s best to monitor interactions between the sugar gliders and the children. This helps to ensure that all goes as safely as possible.
You can own sugar gliders if you have younger children, too. Just be sure to monitor things and avoid letting kids that are too young handle the pets.
Make Sure You Have Time for These Pets
If you’re a very busy person, it might not be wise to buy sugar gliders. These are social animals that like attention.
Those who work all the time might not be the best pet parents. You will only have so much time to spend with the sugar gliders if you’re working overtime.
Bonding with the pets won’t be overly difficult, but it does require time and at least a bit of effort. If you’re busy, you might want to use bonding pouches so you can handle household chores while carrying one of the gliders with you.
If you spend a lot of time away from home and don’t have time to play with the pets, it might be best to wait. You can return to the idea of buying sugar gliders as pets when you have more free time to spend with them.
Now you know a lot more about sugar gliders and how they are as pets. They can be great pets for many types of people, but they aren’t ideal for everyone.
They need cages that take up quite a bit of space. Also, you need to spend a lot of time with the sugar gliders.
So busy individuals who aren’t home too often won’t do as well with these pets. Regardless, these are cute animals that can be worthwhile when you have the time and the appropriate space to dedicate to them.
You’ll also need to spend a fair bit of cash to buy the sugar gliders. They aren’t inexpensive pets, but many think that they are worth the price due to how fun they are.
Take the information above and use it to formulate your own opinion. You should decide whether these pets are right for your home or not.
If you live in an area where it isn’t legal to own sugar gliders, you won’t get that choice. So be sure to look up the laws in your area to learn if owning sugar gliders is an option in your situation.