These are many of the commonly asked questions about Sugar Gliders. If you have additional questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
What is a sugar glider?Sugar gliders are wonderful little animals who love and bond to their human friends. They have only been in the United States since about 1993. They can live 12-15 years in captivity.
Where do sugar gliders come from? Where do wild gliders live?Sugar gliders in the wild live in the rainforests of Australia, New Guinea, Tasmania, and Indonesia.
What do wild gliders eat?In the wild, the sugar glider diet consists mostly of gums and saps from trees, nectar, and insects. They are also known to eat eggs and small invertebrates.
Are gliders rodents?No. Sugar gliders are marsupials (mammals that carry their young in a pouch); they are in the same family as the koala bear and the kangaroo.
Do gliders make sounds?Sugar gliders are very social creatures and make many sounds, including barking, crabbing, clicking, and chattering.
Can gliders swim?No. Gliders can drown.
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With over thirteen years of experience under our belts of caring for sweet, healthy sugar gliders, the folks at The Pet Glider have to come understand deeply these wonderful animals. Whether it be their breeding, health concerns, diet, bonding information, shipping, or anything else, we have a wealth of knowledge at our disposal, and we love to share! We realize that sugar gliders are still a relatively new introduction into the pet world, and so there are quite a few questions out there about them. For the starting sugar lover and the grizzled glider veteran alike, we aim to provide the information and support you need for the animals you love. On this page, you'll find a list of commonly asked questions and their answers, broken up into categories for your convenience. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. We'll be more than happy to answer any questions you have, and it will help us keep our list up to date! Glide on!
Q: What is a sugar glider? A: A sugar glider (petaurus breviceps) is a small, nocturnal marsupial. Sugar gliders are in the same family as the kangaroo and koala bear, so they also have a pouch in which their babies grow. They get the name "sugar glider," from two facts: They feed on sweet gums and saps, among other things, in the wild, giving them the first name, "sugar." The "glider" portion comes from the distinctive flap of skin (patagium) connecting their front and hind legs on both sides, allowing them to glide surprising distances from branch to branch among the trees. They are social animals that live in colonies and love communicating with their colony mates, so we recommend that they live with at least one other sugar glider. Q: Are these the same animal as "sugar bears"? A: Yes, they are. The term "sugar glider" is the commonly accepted name for the animal around the world, while "sugar bear" is more of a marketing term used by particular businesses and organizations. When searching for supplies and support for these animals, we highly recommend searching under "sugar glider," as this provides a wider, and often more accurate, source of information. Q: Do sugar gliders make good pets? Are they like a dog or cat? A: They do make excellent pets and loving members of the family, but they are "exotic" pets, they are a unique pet, and very different from a dog or cat. Like a smaller pet, such as a rodent or bird, they should be kept in a cage at night for their own safety. Because of their size, they should always be supervised if they are around other pets. They require more time and understanding than a "traditional" pet. Through your care & attention sugar gliders will love and bond to you. They will joyfully nap in your pocket or on your shoulder, and love to take treats from your hand! Q: Sugar gliders are nocturnal? Does that mean I can't spend time with them during the day? A: They are indeed nocturnal, meaning that they sleep during the majority of the day and are active at night. This does not mean, however, that you will not be able to spend a good deal of time with them. They can adjust themselves somewhat to your schedule, and would be sleeping during the majority of a traditional "work day." Towards the late afternoon and evening, they wil become active and playful. This is an excellent time to bond and spend quality time with them. Q: Since sugar gliders are exotic, does that mean they're difficult to care for? A: Not at all! Though they do require more care and dedication than your average, "normal" pet, once the initial investment is made with supplies and the gliders have settled into your home, they will become a regular part of your family. They do have special dietary needs. and we take great care to make sure that our recommended Pet Glider Fresh Diet for Healthy Sugar Gliders is easy to follow. A healthy and well cared for sugar glider can live up to 12 - 15 years. Q: Since they're "exotic" pets, can anyone have a sugar glider? A: For the most part, sugar gliders make wonderful pets for everyone who truly wants to embrace this animal. We do recommend that younger children, below age 12, have parental supervision when handlng sugar gliders, however, given their small size. There are also a few restrictions based on your local state laws. California and Hawaii are among a few states that prohibit sugar glider ownership. Please check your local and state laws before considering adopting a sugar glider. Q: How do I get a sugar glider? A: The Pet Glider is based in Houston, TX, and has over ten years of experience in safely shipping sugar gliders around the world. If you're able to make the visit to our Houston office, you can pick up your sugar gliders and all the supplies you need from us. We are also able to ship our sugar gliders to a major airport as close to you as possible. We can also ship our supplies, such as cages, food, and more, to your home through both the United States Postal Service and UPS. Q: What do I need to get started? A: There are several basic necessities that are needed to welcome a sugar glider in your home, such as a cage, glass water bottle, glider safe excercise wheel, and more. We'll be going over getting your home glider ready later on in this FAQ, but for now we do offer starter basics, in Basic and Deluxe flavors, that offer everything you need to get started and more! Q: Now that I've decided to own sugar gliders, what is my first step? A: After verifying your local and state laws regarding sugar gliders, your first step is deciding which sugar gliders you want. The Pet Glider offers a wide variety of sugar gliders of different ages, colors, and genetic backgrounds, and we can find you the perfect furry friend to fit your needs. Q: What kinds of sugar gliders do you have? I didn't realize there were options! A: There are indeed a wide variety of options when it comes to buying a sugar glider! For the pet owner, there are a number of different colors to choose from that have arisen after years of breeding. Descriptions of those colors can be found here. For breeders, in addition to colors, there are gliders that are "heterozygous" for a certain color, meaning that genetically they cary the possibility of producing offspring of that color. You can find a list of our available sugar gliders here, and we do have others available that aren't listed to fill your specific needs. Q: If I get a male sugar glider, should I get him neutered? A: There are differing opinions on this, and that decision ultimately lies with what you want to do with your gliders. If your male sugar glider is with a female in his cage, unless you want to breed them, we recommend that you have him neutered. Otherwise, that is a personal choice. Here at The Pet Glider we love our male gliders either way, while some people do find neutered male gliders make better pets. Neutering diminishes their natural bald spot, and if done early enough, a bald spot will never develop, or may go away once they are neutered. It also reduces some minor odor that results from marking behavior, and can lead to gentler, more docile males. For more information about our neutering service, offered through our glider experienced local veterinarian, please click here. Q: Can I buy just one sugar glider? Are they better in groups? A: While you are able to buy a single sugar glider from us, we do highly recommend that you buy two or more if you don't already have one at home. Sugar gliders are social animals, and truly thrive in the presence of other gliders. They can groom each other, play, and snuggle up to a warm compantion while you are away or asleep. A single glider requires a great deal more attention than a group, and there is the possibility that they will become depressed if left alone for extended periods of time. Q: How do I get my sugar glider? Do I have to pick them up from you? A: The Pet Glider is based in Houston, Texas, and if you're able to make the visit to see us, you're more than welcome to pick up your glider and all the supplies you need there. We can also ship your sugar glider to a major airport near you, and have been safely doing so for over ten years. Q: How does shipping a sugar glider work? Is it safe? A: The Pet Glider has been safely shipping sugar gliders for over ten years, and we take great pride in our shipping methods. Once a glider is purchased and the payments are made, we will contact a number of trusted, pet safe airlines in order to schedule a flight to a major airport as close to you as possible. While we may not be able to ship directly to your city depending on the airport size, we strive for at least a few hours' drive near you. The shipping cost is $149 to ship through United Airlines and $239 to ship through Delta and American Airlines, and this covers up to four sugar gliders. The airline that we used can vary based on your location, so please contact us if you want to know which airline would be used. This includes the flight, a safe shipping crate, an adorable travel pouch, plenty of tasty, hydrating food for the journey, and covers up to four sugar gliders. There is an additional fee for shipments outside of the contiguous US. Once the gliders have been shipped, you can pick them up from the designated area at the airport and take them home! Be sure to have your identification on hand when you pick them up, as airports require that before they can release your gliders to you. Q: What other supplies do I need to have when buying a sugar glider? A: As your average pet store isn't equipped with the latest in sugar glider supplies, it's mportant to have everything you need ahead of time so that you're not waiting for items to come in the mail! Here at The Pet Glider, we recommend new glider owners have at least the following items ready for their new arrivals at home:
- Excercise Wheel
- Sleeping Pouches
- Glass Water Bottle
- Nutritional Package
- Prepared Food from the Pet Glider Fresh Diet
Q: Since sugar gliders are relatively uncommon, do I need to go to a special veterinarian? A: It is true that many veterinarians have not worked with sugar gliders before, which is why it is important to research your local vets to find those with exotic animal experience. When it doubt, give them a call and ask a few questions. It will be a great relief to know you have someone available should something unfortunate happen. For a list of veterinarians with sugar glider experience, please consult Sugar Glider Help's Vet Database. Q: Does my sugar glider need vaccinations? A: No, a sugar glider does not need vaccinations, and is not a typical carrier of disease. They can, however, become ill for many of the same reasons that other animals do, so be aware of common dangers or signs. With a healthy diet and clean environment, a glider should rarely become ill. Q: How can I tell if my sugar glider is sick? A: Sugar gliders are a prey animal, and take care to hide their illness to as to not signal predators that they are weak. This means that it can be difficult to tell that anything is wrong until the late stages of whatever may be affecting them. A sugar glider should have perky, upright ears, wide eyes, a clean coat, and be fairly active. If your glider has drooping ears, eyes that are "droopy" or continuously half-shut, cracked fur or balding patches, appears dehydrated or is generally listless, you should consult your vet immediately. Q: How can I tell if my sugar glider is dehydrated? A: There is a "pinch test" that you can perform with your glider to check if they're dehydrated. Much like human skin, a glider's skin should be fairly elastic, and snap back into place if pinched and pulled up to form a small tent. If your glider's skin is very slow to return to its shape, or stays tented, your glider is likely dehydrated, and requires medical attention. Until you are able to get them to the vet, they can be given water, or unflavored Pedialyte, through a small syringe to tide them over. If they are dehydrated, oral hydration will not be enough, get them to your vet for immediate treatment to rehydrate, and diagnose what is causing this to happen. Q: I only have one sugar glider, and he is biting himself! What is happening? A: Sugar gliders are social animals, and are much happier in groups of two or more. A single glider is a lonely glider, and that can actually lead to depression and self-injurous behaviors. While it is possible that over-grooming and self-mutilation can have other causes, it is very possible that they need a companion. Read More ...
How should I pick up my glider?Gently place your hand in a cup shape under your glider's tummy and lift.
What is the best way to get my glider out of his sleeping pouch/bonding bag?Take out the whole pouch, and entice your gliders out of their bag with a mealworm.
What should I do if my glider won’t come out of a small space?First of all, do not get your face or fingers near the glider, as that can frighten him. Instead only look at your glider from the corner of your eye, and try offering your baby a mealworm or papaya treat. Also, be sure that the lights are dimmed, as the bright lights can also frighten your glider.
What precautions can I take to ‘glider-proof’ my home?There are many things you can do to make your home safe for your sugar gliders. Read more about Glider-Proofing your home at Glider University's website.
Is it possible for my gliders to escape from their cage?If you keep the doors closed and purchase a cage that is specifically made for sugar gliders from The Pet Glider, your gilder will not be able to escape. You must, however, always inspect the cage before you leave, to insure that all the doors are properly closed.
Can my glider travel in a car or plane?Gliders can be transported in a carry cage in your car, and there are certain airlines that will accommodate gliders, however, The Pet Glider does not recommend transporting gliders by air, unless it is a short, non-stop flight.
What is the safest way to move my glider from one location to another?The best way to transport a glider from one place to another is by using a carry cage, which can be purchased at The Pet Glider Online Store.
Can I take my glider outside?No. Because of the dangers, it is not recommended that you take your glider outside. If you are transporting your gliders, be sure that your gliders are safely secure in a carry cage. Read More ...
What kind of cage do my gliders need?A proper cage may be purchased from The Pet Glider Online Store.
Can I put my gliders in a birdcage, aquarium, or hamster enclosure?Absolutely not. To put a sugar glider in this type of enclosure would be cruel.
How often should I clean the habitat, pouches and toys? What kind of cleaner should I use?Cages, toys, exercise equipment and pouches should be cleaned weekly. If you have a male, it may be a good idea to clean each part of the habitat on separate days, to avoid excessive scenting or marking of the area. Cages should be cleaned with mild dish soap and water, toys can usually be run in the dishwasher, and pouches can be laundered with mild laundry detergent. Change the papers or pee pads in the bottom tray two or three times weekly, depending on the number of gliders in one cage.
What are some particular dangers I can help my glider avoid?To learn more about dangers you can help your gliders to avoid, visit Glider University's website.
Where will my gliders sleep?Your gliders will usually sleep in a pouch. You may also purchase play logs, hammocks, and other specialty items that gliders will use for napping. These can be purchased at The Pet Glider Online Store.
Do my gliders need any special bedding materials? Can I use wood shavings?Our bedding material of choice is a square fleece blankie, measuring about four inches square. Never use wood shavings of any kind, as the oils can produce toxins that are deathly to sugar gliders. For the bottom tray of your cage, you can line it with puppy pee pads, found at Wal-Mart or pet stores, which are economical and easy for cleaning.
What temperature is best for my glider’s environment?A temperature between 75° to 80° with about 50% relative humidity is a good glider environment.
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Do gliders bond only to one person?It is a popular misconception that gliders can only bond to one person. In our experience, however, gliders, like people, can bond to those whose hearts are truly given to them.
How can I help my glider get used to me?It is a good idea for your glider to get used to your scent and your voice. Place you gilder habitat in an area in which they will get used to you being around. Offer mealworms and other treats to let them know that you can be associated with good experiences. Don't look them directly in the eye, or get your face close to them. Make sure when you approach your gliders with your hands, that your fingers are close together, so you don't look scary! Be gentle, calm and patient, and your gliders will get used to you!
If I have two gliders will my glider bond with its friend instead of me?No matter how many gliders you have, if you are truly their friend, they will bond to you just as much (or sometimes even more than), each other. You will soon become, to them, just an oversized member of their glider colony.
What is a bonding bag? What are bonding treats?A bonding bag is sometimes used by people who want their glider to get used to their human scent. The bag is worn with the gliders inside during the day, while the gliders are sleeping, around the human companion's neck. Bonding treats are just shameless bribery to let your gliders know they can associate you with good things (like yummy mealworms.
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How often should I feed my gliders?The gliders should be offered dinner in the late afternoon or early evening. The remaining dinner (if there is any leftover!) should be removed early the next morning. A staple, such as sugar glider cereal, should be available at all times.
Are there any foods my glider shouldn't have?Do not feed your gliders junk food, and stay away from any foods that are high in chemicals or preservatives. Nuts should be avoided, as they are high in fat, and may cause impaction. Other foods your gilders should not have: fruit pits (these are toxic), raw eggs, beef, onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, peanuts. If you are in doubt, please check first.
What is the best source of calcium?The best source of calcium in any diet is calcium that comes from the foods your gliders receive. Try to give your gliders foods that have a higher amount of calcium than phosphorous. Because it is not feasible to obtain all the calcium from the diet, no matter how much we try, The Pet Glider Complete Multivitamin contains enough calcium in a highly absorbable form to keep your gliders healthy and happy.
What is the best type of water dispenser?The Pet Glider uses a water cup, but a small water bottle that attaches to the cage is good, as well.
How important is protein?Sugar gliders need protein to maintain a balanced diet. This is especially important in a pregnant or lactating female. If you follow the instructions in the Sugar Glider Exotic Diet, your gliders will receive enough protein.
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Does my glider need baths?No. Gliders are naturally very clean. In fact, gliders excrete a cleaning substance from their eyes that they use to clean themselves. If a glider has been ill, wounded, or neglected, take a warm, damp cloth, and gently clean the glider.
What about nail trimming?When you trim your glider's nails, please do not trim them all at once, as it will make it difficult for them to climb and hold on to things. Be careful not to cut them too short, as you can cause bleeding if you are not careful.
Do the males give off a bad odor?Males naturally mark their territory, but it does not give off a bad odor. Bad odor coming from a sugar glider is an indication of illness or malnutrition.
Does my glider need something to chew on? What is safe?Gliders in the wild chew on branches and strip bark off trees. Your gliders can use manzanita branches, available at The Pet Glider Online Store or branches that have not been in contact with pesticides or other chemicals.
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Can I neuter or spay my gliders?You cannot spay a female sugar glider without great risk to her, therefore, neutering is the option that works best. Find a veterinarian who is experienced in doing this, and who will use the least invasive procedure possible.
How do I know if my glider is a boy or a girl?A glider male will have a "bald spot" on top of its head, if not neutered, and will also have a "pom pom" located on his underside. A female will have a pouch visible on her belly.
What type of nesting places do my gliders need?Gliders love their pouches, and it is always nice to have more than one pouch available to them.
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Why do I need more than one gilder?Gliders are social animals who live in colonies in the wild. If they are kept alone they become very lonely, which can lead to mental illness. Always keep gliders in at least pairs.
I already have one glider, can I still adopt another glider from you?Yes, gliders can be introduced to each other slowly and will get along.
What is the best way to introduce gliders to one another?Place their cages side by side for about a week. I may be able to do it here at our facility while you are here.
How can I help my other pets adjust to my gliders?Give them time for the excitement to wear off. Let them see your glider but keep them apart
How old should a child be to have pet gliders?Gliders should be considered a family or adult pet. A child should be around 12 or older and always have the joint help of an adult. A child should not be given complete responsibility for a sugar glider, an adult should also share this responsibility.
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Do gliders require any vaccinations?No.
Can I give any preventative care?Common sense, the Sugar Glider Exotic Diet, coupled with The Pet Glider Complete™ Multivitamin, is the best preventative care you can give your sugar glider. With this nutrition plan and care, sugar gliders are very healthy, resilient animals. They are truly amazing!
Should I be aware of diseases common to gliders? Symptoms?For a listing of common glider ailments, visit the GU Sugar Glider Medical Reference Read More ...
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Special for Adopted Male Gliders
We offer neutering by our vet for only $49 per male, or two males for $75. Click here for more information.
Neutering has been found to decrease health problems, eliminate testicular cancer and decrease aggression.