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How to Potty Train a Sugar Glider (In 4 Simple Steps)

How to Potty Train a Sugar Glider (In 4 Simple Steps)

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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Unlike traditional pets like cats and dogs, potty training a sugar glider is a bit different. Training your glider to pee or poop at specific intervals is possible, but requires lots of patience.

Nevertheless, once you learn how to potty train a sugar glider, it’ll all be worth it. You’ll notice the difference when your little marsupial stops peeing on your hands or shirt.

The training mainly involves a reward system using treats and creating a peeing schedule. Sugar gliders don’t exactly defecate at a particular place like a litter box, instead, they usually do so in the cage.

That being said, stick around to learn more about how to potty train a sugar glider and the tools you’ll need.

What to Consider Before Potty Training Your Sugar Glider

Before you start the training, it’s worth noting that sugar gliders are free roamers. They don’t have a specific space to defecate in.

For example, glider can pee or poop on you. The reason for this is usually because they want to mark you and show their affection.

Otherwise, they could be peeing out of excitement, as some dogs do. Now, sugar gliders do pee and poop a lot, especially when you hold them.

Not to worry though, they only pee a trickle and their poop is solid and tiny, at least most of the time. All things considered, if you have a sugar glider, you’ll most likely get some excrement on you, regardless of any potty training.

How to Potty Train a Sugar Glider

Although the possibility of potty training a sugar glider is debatable, some owners have been successful. Having said that, it’s best to not expect too much from your sugar glider, especially if they’re new to your home.

Correspondingly, you need to have a strong understanding of your sugar glider’s habits and behaviors to properly train them.

Besides that, here’s how you can start potty training your sugar glider.

Step 1: Establish a Defecating Area

Sugar gliders, otherwise known as honey gliders, are smart and organized creatures. They like to establish their sleeping, eating, and playing area.

Once the glider recognizes each area’s function, it’ll rarely go there to poop or pee. Any other remaining area in the cage is likely where you’ll see their excrements.

Wherever you see the little poops, you can lay out some newspaper in that area for easier cleaning.

Since sugar gliders aren’t specific with where they’ll relieve themselves, a litter box is mostly unnecessary.

Step 2: Encourage Your Sugar Glider to Pee in a Specific Area

Sugar gliders have a similar potty schedule to us. As soon as they wake up, they excrete whatever’s built up in their bowels.

That’s when you can condition them to pee in the newspaper area you’ve laid out for them to pee in. All you have to do is grab your sugar glider and get some baby wipes.

Afterward, hover the sugar glider over the newspaper and caress their butt using the wipes. This, in turn, will stimulate their bowel system and allow them to pee or poop.

An alternative method could be to massage their little tummy while holding them above the newspaper.

Your sugar glider may still have some waste it needs to relieve in its system. That’s why you’ll want to move its body around my holding it from hand to hand, sort of like pulling a rope.

This action will stimulate its digestive tract and allow the glider to excrete any leftover waste. You can do this technique for about a few seconds or minutes until it poops out a couple of pellets or so.

Step 3: Repeat if Necessary

After completing the above process, you may have to do it again until the sugar glider is done. This is especially true if your glider is new.

On the other hand, trained honey gliders can take about one to five minutes to relieve themselves. Other gliders can take about five to seven minutes to finish.

This step is crucial because if you stop too soon, then your sugar glider will likely poop or pee on you.

After you’re certain the glider’s bowels are emptied, you can wait about two to three hours before you restart this process again. Unless you want some pellets on your shoulders, you should try your best to be consistent with this training process.

Step 4: Reward Your Sugar Glider

Like any other domesticated animal, a reward system is critical to training your pet. That’s why you’ll want to give a treat to your little suggie once it has done its business.

That way, it’ll be conditioned to recognize which area it can pee in. Speaking of which, if you’re not a fan of newspapers, you can use paper towels or make a litter box.

Nevertheless, the litter box can’t be filled with cat litter since the glider may try to eat it. Instead, you can fill it with shredded paper, grass pellets, or paper pulp.

In addition to this, your sugar glider may not always use the litter box. To encourage it, you can place all the stray poop pellets in the box.

How to Determine When Sugar Gliders Need to Potty

Dogs may sniff the floor and rabbits push their tail out, but what about sugar gliders? How can you know when they got to go?

Well, it’s not so simple since it varies between glider to glider. If it’s in your pocket, it can fidget when it needs to pee.

Meanwhile, other gliders may not show consistent signs of wanting to pee or poop. This tends to make things more difficult.

The good news is that most, if not all, sugar gliders, need to go every time they wake up. Apart from that, you can simply keep track of when you can make them go through anal gland stimulation.

For instance, after your honey glider is done with its morning potty, you can wait a couple of hours before stimulating its bowels again.

This routine will lessen the chances of the glider relieving itself on your shirt. Regardless of that, gliders have highly active bowel systems and tend to pee a lot.

Accordingly, you may want to give your pet some time to get used to potty training.

Can Sugar Gliders Wear Diapers?

If you’re particularly squeamish about your sugar glider pooping or peeing on you, then you may have considered using diapers.

While glider diapers are sold, you may want to avoid them. The diapers can potentially harm the critter’s little patagia or gliding membranes.

Additionally, the little marsupial won’t be able to glide as far while being confined to the diaper. You’ll be better off potty training your exotic pet.

Final Thoughts

The effectiveness of potty training a sugar glider has been widely discussed by several owners. That being so, it’s possible.

It’s also worth considering that bathroom training a sugar glider is nothing like training other pets. In short, you want to encourage your glider to relieve itself onto a paper towel or newspaper.

By doing so consistently, the honey glider will develop an understanding of where to pee or poop. You should also know when it needs to go, which is usually once it wakes up.

Also, don’t forget the treat. Once the glider gets the hang of it, you may not have to constantly change your pee-stained clothes.

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