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Sugar gliders have become increasingly popular pets in recent years. Many owners take to social media to post pictures of their exotic friends. In some cases, you will notice the sugar glider in a photo with other pets, such as dogs. This might bring you to ask if sugar gliders are good with dogs?
Sugar gliders can cohabitate with dogs, depending on the situation. Some dog species have natural hunting instincts and may hunt sugar gliders. Some sugar gliders also have a more nervous temperament, meaning they stress easily. However, in some cases, sugar gliders and dogs are great companions.
Introducing a sugar glider and a dog can be risky, as you never know how they will react to each other. However, depending on the dog and sugar glider’s temperament, they can live happily together.
This article examines the risks when introducing a sugar glider to a dog. We will also discuss what precautions to take when introducing the pair and how to manage their social interactions.
Can Sugar Gliders Live with Dogs?
Sugar gliders are extremely social animals. Therefore, they often seek interaction with other animals in your home.
You should have two sugar gliders because they live in large colonies in the wild in Australia and New Guinea. However, suppose you only have one sugar glider. In that case, you may consider introducing it to your other pets, such as a dog.
From social media, you can see that this pairing has the potential to work, but only under the right circumstances. For example, certain dogs, such as most terriers and certain other breeds, have natural hunting instincts and may view the tiny sugar gliders as prey.
In addition, because the sugar gliders are such active animals, their fast movements might overstimulate your dog and cause it to get excited or upset.
Some sugar gliders also have a nervous temperament and meeting a bigger animal, such as a dog, might cause them a lot of stress. Therefore, you must take the proper precautions when introducing your dog to a sugar glider and vice versa.
In the wild, sugar gliders would never interact with other animals, such as dogs. Therefore, this is a somewhat unnatural occurrence and has the potential to go disastrously wrong. However, if you are fortunate, your dog will learn to accept and love your sugar glider. In return, your sugar glider may also come to see your dog as part of its family.
In this case, the two can have a happy relationship, but you should always exercise proper precautions when the two are together. Regardless of how well they interact, the dog can easily have a lapse of judgment or play to rough and injure the sugar glider.
Therefore, you can never leave your sugar glider and dog alone together. In addition, keep the sugar glider’s cage in a separate room to have a safe space to retreat to when the sugar glider feels threatened or distressed.
So, under the right circumstances, sugar gliders can live with dogs. However, never introduce a dog to a sugar glider under one of the following circumstances:
- If the dog has aggressive tendencies or is known to attack other smaller animals, such as squirrels.
- If the sugar glider is not properly tame and moves rapidly when you remove it from the cage.
- If the sugar glider tends to be nervous around you or other pets.
- If the sugar glider has had a previously bad experience with dogs or other pets.
In any of the above cases, the introduction between your dog and sugar glider will likely end in disaster. In this case, it’s best not to adopt a sugar glider or the other way around.
Likewise, don’t adopt a sugar glider if you cannot introduce it to other pets. This will result in the sugar glider spending too much time alone in its cage, which is detrimental to its health.
We have determined that a sugar glider and a dog can live together under the right circumstances. However, you might want to know how to introduce your sugar glider to your dog.
This can be a frightening thought, but you can easily manage the introduction if the proper precautions are taken.
How to Introduce a Sugar Glider and a Dog
Once you have established that your dog will not hunt the sugar glider or act aggressively towards it, and the sugar glider won’t feel overstressed by your dog, you can attempt to introduce them to each other.
It’s important to know that the sugar glider and dog might not get along, even if there are no prior indications. However, here are some tips and the steps for introducing a dog and a sugar glider.
1 – Keep Calm
This is the most important thing to do when introducing your dog and sugar glider. Both animals will sense if you are nervous, which will make them nervous, too, causing them to react in unexpected ways. Therefore, regardless of what happens during the introduction, you must keep calm and respond calmly.
This will help assure the pets that this isn’t a dangerous situation, and they too are more likely to be calm around you and each other.
2 – Play with the Animals Separately
Play with each animal separately before introducing them. This will tire the animals out, making them less excited and less likely to make sudden movements when they are introduced.
While playing with them, you can also introduce some of their toys or wear the same clothes. This will introduce the dog’s scent to the sugar glider and vice versa.
However, note that the dog’s scent on your clothes might cause the sugar glider to become stressed. Therefore, it is better to allow the dog to smell the sugar glider’s scent on your clothes, but don’t introduce the dog’s scent to your sugar glider right before introducing them.
3 – Restrain Both Animals
Ensure both animals are restrained when you are ready to introduce your sugar glider and dog to each other. Your dog should be on a tight leash, while the sugar glider must be held tightly.
However, don’t leave the sugar glider in its cage. In this case, the sugar glider will retreat to its pouch, and you won’t be able to introduce the animals properly.
You should ask a friend or family member to assist you during the introduction phase. One person takes the dog, and the other holds the sugar glider. It’s essential that the other person also remains calm and that your dog and sugar glider both know and trust the second person.
4 – Move Slowly
When you are ready, move into one room with both animals. This should be a big room so the animals can observe each other from a distance. Ensure the room has a lot of open space, so the sugar glider and dog can see each other clearly. However, don’t move closer to each other too quickly.
First, stand at the room’s entranceway and watch how the sugar glider and dog react to each other. If you observe the following behavior from your dog, don’t move closer to the sugar glider:
- Ears pulled back
- Alert and on guard
If the dog practices this behavior, it is not comfortable with the sugar glider and might try to attack it. In this case, remain in the same place for a few minutes to see if the dog calms down. Suppose it doesn’t stop the introduction process and try again at another time.
5 – Use Treats
However, if you don’t notice any strange behavior from the dog or sugar glider, you can move closer to each other one step at a time. Then, when the dog remains calm and focused on you, give it treats to reward it for its good behavior.
In addition, you can give it some commands, such as “sit” or “paw,” to ensure it is focused on you and not the sugar glider.
There isn’t much you can do to control the sugar glider’s behavior. However, keep it calm and hold it tightly to prevent it from trying to escape and making quick movements that can upset the dog. You can also feed the sugar glider some treats to help keep it calm.
6 – Let The Animals Smell Each Other
If you have made it to the point where the dog and sugar glider are close to each other, it is a good indication that they will get along. You can now give a little room on the leash so the dog can carefully smell the sugar glider. You should still hold the sugar glider at this point and avoid any quick movements.
If the animals appear calm, you can let go of the sugar glider and let it walk around you or in the room. Suppose you don’t notice any aggressive behavior from the dog or sugar glider.
In that case, you can let the two get acquainted with each other. However, never leave your dog and sugar glider unsupervised, regardless of how well they get along.
Because the sugar glider is so tiny, it can easily get injured, even if the dog doesn’t mean to harm it. In addition, the sugar glider can make a fast, unexpected move which causes the dog to react.
However, if you are lucky, the dog and sugar glider will accept each other, and you can play with the two together.
Although it isn’t a natural occurrence, sugar gliders can live with dogs. However, it depends on the dog’s temperament and the sugar glider’s nervousness.
For example, some dog breeds are trained for hunting and are more likely to attack your sugar glider. In this case, don’t adopt a sugar glider as it can cause various problems.
We have also discussed the steps for introducing your dog to your sugar glider. Here, the most important thing is that you remain calm and always move slowly.
The animals will sense if you are stressed, and it will cause them to react. If one animal reacts badly, stop the introduction, and retry at another time.