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Is It Legal to Own a Sugar Glider? (Breakdown By State)

Is It Legal to Own a Sugar Glider? (Breakdown By State)

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 make for adorable little pets. The nocturnal pet is a wonderful companion, nevertheless, you may be wondering, “Is it legal to own a sugar glider?”

Luckily, most states don’t have any restrictions regarding sugar glider ownership. Only a handful of states have not legalized sugar gliders yet.

It’s also worth noting that some states may not allow you to own a sugar glider without a proper permit. Other states have cities that don’t allow sugar gliders at all or at least without a permit.

Stick around to learn about whether or not it’s legal to own a sugar glider in your state.

Which States are Sugar Gliders Legal in?

Fortunately, several states allow you to accommodate a sugar glider pet. Of the 50 states, 40 of them fully allow you to own a sugar glider without any permit.

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Which States are Sugar Gliders Illegal in?

The exotic marsupial pet is completely illegal to own in the states listed below.

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii

Which States Allow Sugar Gliders Only with Permits?

Some states may give you the freedom to own a sugar glider, provided that you carry a special permit.

  • New Mexico
  • Georgia
  • Pennsylvania

In line with each of the mentioned states’ wildlife codes, you’ll want to have a permit inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture.

How to Get a Permit for a Sugar Glider

The process of getting a permit for a sugar glider differs in each state. For instance, in New Mexico, you need to get in touch with the Exotic Wildlife Department. The permit should entail a $25 fee.

Which States Have Cities that Restrict Sugar Glider Ownership

Some states have cities that ban sugar gliders completely. Other cities require a residential permit to own the exotic pet.

New York

Although sugar gliders may be legal in the state of New York, they’re not permitted within New York City. That includes the five boroughs, also known as, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

Nebraska

All cities in Nebraska allow sugar gliders except Omaha. In this city, you may have to resort to getting a permit.

Minnesota

Minnesota’s city, St. Paul, prohibits the ownership of sugar gliders. They’re banned mostly because the weather in the city isn’t suitable for the little marsupial.

In addition to this, they are particularly high-maintenance pets.

That being so, the animal control department is worried that owners might abandon their sugar gliders out of frustration.

Utah

Salt Lake City in Utah does have restrictions on owning a sugar glider. Since the municipal code of the city identifies sugar gliders as exotic animals, they require a residential permit.

The code states that “Residential permits shall include, but are not limited to, exotic animals.”

Why are Sugar Gliders Illegal in Some States?

Sugar gliders are illegal to own in these states due to the health risks they may carry for wildlife. The marsupial may carry hoof and mouth disease, which could put other wildlife species in danger.

Additionally, sugar gliders can easily escape and if they breed in the wild, then they could potentially become an invasive species.

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Sugar Glider?

Native to Australia and some areas in Indonesia, sugar gliders are becoming popularized as pets. Before you consider owning one, you may want to familiarize yourself with the financial requirements of a sugar glider.

By doing so, you’ll guarantee a healthier and longer lifespan for your marsupial pet. Overall, the cost of owning a sugar glider per year can amount to anywhere between $500 to $1000.

To make things easier to follow, we’re breaking down the costs per each need.

Initial Costs

The first costs of owning a sugar glider consist of how much you’ll pay for the pet, its cage, bedding, feeding plate, ropes, ladders, and exercise wheels. Here’s a run-through of each cost.

Sugar Glider Cost

The price of sugar gliders isn’t fixed. A lot of factors can affect your expenditure on the exotic pet. For instance, if you’re adopting a rescue glider, then it could cost around $50 to $150.

In other cases, if you’re going to a breeder, the price tends to go higher and can even reach $500.

This could mainly depend on the kind of sugar glider you get. A white-faced glider can cost around $300 to $600.

Meanwhile, a more expensive mosaic glider could reach up to $2000 to $3000. Apart from kind, the cost of a sugar glider also depends on age.

Older options are usually cheaper since they’re much harder to train. They can cost about $100 to $150, while baby sugar gliders are priced between $200 to $500.

All in all, the price depends on the rarity and demand of the gliding marsupial.

Another factor worth considering is that sugar gliders, more often than not, need another glider friend to live with. Otherwise, they are more at risk of developing depression.

Living Costs

Before you bring in the glider, you’ll want to purchase their cage. Sugar gliders particularly need large spaces to move around in.

The dimensions should at least amount to 24 x 24 x 36 inches.

It could have metal bars or a wire mesh surrounding it. This can cost approximately $200 to $300.

Besides the cage, the glider’s nesting pouch. Luckily, this supply is cheap and costs about $10 or so. You can optionally provide bedding at an additional cost of $10.

Your sugar glider is also going to need a food and water dish, which both cost about $10 to $20.

Another cost you don’t want to forget is toys. They’re crucial for your sugar glider’s health since they’re naturally active at night, when you may be asleep.

Toys can cost around $20 to $50. You can purchase a wheel, a rope, or a ladder. Alternatively, you can even get a PVC pipe to create a tunnel for your little glider to play around in.

You can also buy hanging bird toys, just make sure they’re not too small, or else your glider might mistake it for a snack.

Health Costs

Sugar gliders don’t normally require vaccinations, saving some costs, but they may need some health examinations done.

You can complete an annual health check-up just to ensure your glider is in good shape. These vet visits typically cost a range between $50 to $100.

In terms of health maintenance, the main issues you want to look out for are obesity and diabetes, in which case, you just need to monitor your pet’s food intake.

You’ll also want to make sure they’re getting enough exercise.

Now, if you want to keep a female and male sugar glider together, it’s best to neuter the male.

Spaying female sugar gliders isn’t a common procedure since it’s relatively complicated. Neutering the male may set you back at about $40 to $50.

Another health concern worth noting is the presence of parasites or ticks.

Broadly speaking, you likely won’t run into such issues since the sugar glider will spend most of its time indoors. Nevertheless, if your glider does happen to need a deworming session, it should cost around $15 to $30.

Having said that, several other health issues may arise for your exotic pet, and their treatments all range in price.

For instance, if the glider suffers from actinomycosis or a lumpy jaw, you may need to pay around $350 to $2000, depending on how advanced each case is.

Plus, the marsupial could get aflatoxicosis, which is a liver disease that may need $1500 to $6000 in treatment costs.

Emergency and Insurance Costs

Any sort of emergency could happen to your glider. That’s why it’s always a good idea to keep an additional $100 to $300 for safekeeping.

Apart from that, you can also opt for exotic pet insurance. We suggest getting insurance as your sugar glider gets older since it tends to be high priced ranging from $200 to $250 annually.

Now, most owners have more than one sugar glider, so costs tend to add up.

If you keep your sugar glider in healthy shape, you may be better off keeping money for emergencies rather than getting insurance.

Food Costs

In the wild, sugar gliders naturally consume tree sap, insects, and small reptiles. As domesticated gliders enjoy an omnivorous diet filled with fruits and vegetables.

For their protein intake, they can eat cooked lean meats and chicken. They can also eat dairy products such as hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and yogurt.

Even though their taste buds can accommodate a variety of foods, their small stomachs can only take so much.

That’s good news for your wallet since you generally don’t have to spend more than $30 per month to feed your glider.

Try not to feed them too much so you avoid obesity complications, which can increase your health spending in the long run.

Travel Costs

If you plan on moving around a lot, you wouldn’t want to keep the sugar glider alone in its cage. To carry it around with you, a travel carrier is a way to go. These generally cost approximately $20 to $50.

Where Can You Buy a Sugar Glider?

If you live in one of the states that do allow sugar glider ownership, you may be thinking, “Where can I buy one?” Well, various breeders and adoption centers would be able to assist you in your purchase.

Buying a Sugar Glider from a Breeder

Fortunately, there are trustworthy breeders you can purchase a sugar glider from.

Janda Exotics

One of the most well-known options is Janda Exotics located in Kingsbury Texas. The animal ranch was founded in 2008 and focuses on creating exceptional breeding programs.

They attempt to recreate a suitable environment for their animals to breed in.

Overall, they would make a wonderful and sustainable choice for a breeder. You just need to pay a $50 deposit to reserve a glider and the amount will then be counted into the total price.

Dragonstone Ranch

Another breeder choice you can resort to is Dragonstone Ranch. They are USDA-licensed and can send the glider to all mainland U.S states.

It’s worth considering that the ranch has a strict policy regarding the number of gliders sold. They won’t sell a single sugar glider unless you already have one at home.

If you order a male glider, it’ll be neutered and you’ll need to sign a No Breeding Contract if you get a female. You can choose to purchase baby, juvenile, or adult sugar gliders.

The best part is that when you buy the glider, you also get a travel carrier, fleece cage pouch, and breeder support.

Glider Pets

Located in Houston Texas, Glider Pets have been around since 2002. The USDA-licensed breeder holds impressive health standards.

The breeding company is periodically visited by vets and even the President of the Association of Sugar Glider Veterinarians, Dr. David Brust.

They ship nationwide through airlines such as United and Delta Airlines for a $250 fee. Once the glider arrives, you’ll have to pick it up from the airport.

Apart from that, Glider Pets offer several kinds of sugar gliders such as Mosaic, Ring-Tail, Platinum, Strawberry, and Ebony Sorong.

Adopting a Sugar Glider

Several adoption centers can provide you with rescue sugar gliders. Keep in mind that it may take a longer time to adopt a glider than shop.

Minnesota Pocket Pet Rescue

Minnesota Pocket Pet Rescue is a tax-exempted adoption center specializing in providing several pocket animals with a home. To adopt a sugar glider, you’ll have to fill out an application on the company’s website.

Once the application has been approved, you then schedule a virtual meet and greet with the center. If all goes okay, they’ll ask you for a picture of the glider’s new home for further inspection.

If it’s not up to standard, they’ll advise you on ways to make it better so you can house the little marsupial.

You should also be aware that this adoption center only accepts applications coming from specific states. The states are North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.

Arizona Sugar Glider Rescue

The Arizona Sugar Glider Rescue organization’s adoption process involves you submitting an application.

Afterward, they’ll contact you back through email to set up an appointment, where you’ll go to their adoption center to meet the gliders.

The center doesn’t ship the gliders, so you’ll have to be at their Phoenix, Arizona location. Having said that, you’ll need to pay a $100 adoption fee for the glider.

Fortunately, the adoption includes a fecal test conducted by exotic vets and the males are neutered as well.

Sugar Glider Guardians

The Sugar Glider Guardians is a non-profit organization aimed at educating others about how to care for sugar gliders.

It offers a few adoption options, where you can get a colony comprised of one to six gliders or a pair.

The organization will not provide one glider unless you already own another one. Apart from that, the process is simple.

You basically need to fill out their online adoption form and complete a questionnaire then confirm.

The glider rescue organization also provides a couple of products for glider care and you can also donate to their cause.

Other Methods of Purchase

Besides breeders and adoption centers, you can get a sugar glider through other means. For example, mall kiosks, social media, and pet expos are all areas you can potentially find one.

That being said, we wouldn’t recommend this means of purchasing a glider since it could be unreliable. Most of these places mainly sell exotic pets for the monetary benefit and may not prioritize the health and well-being of the sugar gliders sold.

That’s why we’d suggest looking at your local pet shops. Although the chances of finding a sugar glider there are small, you never know.

Plus, if they don’t have one, you can always ask them for advice on where to look. They could also provide you with reliable breeder contacts.

Final Thoughts

Is it legal to own a sugar glider? In most U.S states, you can legally own a sugar glider. Only a few states like Hawaii and Alaska don’t permit gliders for wildlife protection purposes.

In other cases, some cities don’t allow sugar gliders like St. Paul in Minnesota.

Other states such as Georgia or New Mexico, will require you to provide a license or residential permit for owning a sugar glider.

Now, before you decide to own a sugar glider, you should be well aware of the costs of caring for one.

Plus, you’ll also want to find a reliable place to purchase the glider such as a rescue center or certified breeders.

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