Sugar Glider Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I keep more than one Sugar Glider?
It is suggested to keep more than one glider together. In the wild, gliders are community animals and they seem to be much healthier and happier while in groups in captivity. Gliders readily adapt to one another's presence and will easily become best of friends. For breeding purposes, it is best to keep one male with two females. We do not suggest putting more than one male with only one female.
2. What should I look for when shopping for a Glider?
The best way to answer this is just to use common sense. You want an animal that is active and will tolerate handling. Signs of good health can be seen through bright, black eyes and a muscular build.
If there is any doubt about the quality or health of the animal, don't buy it. A federal license is required in the US in order to sell baby gliders, so also make sure your breeder is an exotic pet license with the US Dept. of Agriculture. If the breeder is not licensed, don't waste your time.
Baby Sugar Gliders versus Adults
Baby gliders are always preferable to adults, but sometimes availability (and your wallet) can make them difficult to obtain. Babies are preferable because they will be more willing to bond with you. Plus, the bond with a baby glider you have raised will always be stronger than a bond developed with an adult. Adults can come around, but if they haven't been handled much, it can be an uphill battle.
3. Will Sugar Gliders get along with other pets?
As a result of being aboreal, gliders have practically no fear of any land-dwelling creature. You will have more trouble with your other pets not liking your glider than vice-versa. Basically, it all depends on your other pet's disposition(s).
4. Do Sugar Gliders have an odor?
Gliders are very dependent upon their excellent senses of smell to identify other gliders, as well as their owners. The main odor given off by gliders is the usual waste smell, but it's not strong and if their cage is kept clean, you should never smell anything. There are products available to control the odors for your Sugar Glider's waste, including Elimina (removes feces odors).
We should mention here, however, that the males do give off an odor before mating.While not really bad,it is a distinct odor, and may take over a room for a week or two. This mating smell can be avoided if your glider is neutered. Male gliders have two scent glands which they use for marking - one is located on their belly and the other on the top of their head (which accounts for the bald spot).
When males grow accustomed to their surroundings, they will mark objects by rubbing their bellies back and forth upon the object. They will also mark any females in their colony by rubbing the female's chin with their head.
5. What temperature should I keep my Glider at?
The temperature of the room or area should be maintained between 70-90 deg. F. The cage should be located in an area free from drafts and heating and air conditioning vents. Sugar Glider nest boxes, acrylic houses, or any type of plastic dome can be used to provide your gliders with a draft-free living space.
6. What noises do Sugar Gliders make?
Sugar Gliders (as far as we can tell) make 4 distinct noises. The first is the 'get away from me noise'. This has been described as sounding similar to an electric pencil sharpener. The sound is also referred to as 'crabbing'. You may hear this noise a lot at first, but after a month you will learn what they like and don't like and you may never hear this again (hopefully).
The second is a happy chirp, which they make when excited or happy. The third is a quieter chirp which we have yet to find a purpose behind (other than simple communication). The fourth noise is a loud sharp barking. We believe this is some sort of call for other Sugar Gliders or just for attention from human owners.
7. How long do Sugar gliders live?
Life Span in captivity: Sugar Gliders will live for 10-15 years if they are cared for properly.
8. How do I supply their water?
Water should ALWAYS be available for your glider to drink. Use either a shallow water dish or a water bottle designed for small mammals. Never leave the toilet seat up! Gliders drown quickly. Make sure you have covers on all large drain holes.
9. How often do I feed?
Food should also always be available in pellets or fresh fruit (apple, grape, or orange). Pellet foods should be changed after being left out for 24 hours and moist foods, no more than 12 hours.
10. What shouldn't I feed?
Never feed them chocolate, or allow them to eat houseplants or give them access to chemicals or toxins. Don't feed them cat food or foods made for another animal species.
Bonus: Some other important health information to know ...
Calcium deficiency can cause paralysis and even kill. Make sure that your glider has vitamin/calcium supplements.
A normal weight range is from 90 to 150 grams, with males weighing more.
Healthy eyes are black with no flecks of white or clouding. They should be bright, alert, and responsive, and not sunken in.
A healthy nose is pink and moist with no discharge or crust. Any noise while breathing is a sign to take your glider to the vet.
Gums and membranes should be pink, should be free from lesions, and not appear or feel dry.
The ear should always spring back to its original shape. No wax should be present. Look for ear mites.
Feet should be pink and soft. Check for injured toes. Trim toenails with small toenail clippers, or use a Sandy Trimmer Wheel.
Coat should be smooth without any missing patches. (This does not include the "bald spots" on males where the scent glands are).
Be aware of diseases and illnesses found in Sugar Gliders. Diabetes, pneumonia, urinary tract blockages, and other maladies are a few of the things to which gliders are susceptible. Gliders usually only show signs of ill health when they are near death, so it is important to react quickly when abnormalities are noted.
You should have a vet before any health problems occur. Ask your vet if they have treated gliders before, and what training have they had specifically geared towards treating gliders. The Vet Database may be of help to you in finding a vet who knows what he is doing where your glider is concerned. If you notice any of the following symptoms rush your glider to the vet as quickly as possible:
- Legs not moving correctly
- Feet not grasping, or stumbling
- Glider moving around blindly, banging into walls, or acting as though he cannot see
- Vomiting, diarrhea or constipation
- Self mutilation
- Losing hair in patches
- Flaky dry skin
Exotic Nutrition™ supports legitimate scientific research projects with financial donations to help advance the health and well-being of Sugar Gliders and other exotic mammals. A percentage of the profit from sales goes toward funding of these scientific projects. We hope you will join us in our quest to advance research in the exotic mammal health care fields.
The Exotic Nutrition Pet Company specializes in the manufacture and distribution of exotic mammal feeds, supplements, and accessories. Our facility is located in Southeastern Virginia. We have always prided ourselves in meeting the needs of our exotic mammal friends when they are kept in captivity, and have always strived to bring the finest quality animal diets and accessories to conscience pet owners worldwide. Ensuring the health and well-being of your captive exotic is our main concern.
We are, and will continue to be, a company whose objective is to deliver the best possible products and services at an affordable price. Our company stands behind the products that we manufacture, and continuously monitors quality and freshness to offer you, and your pets, the highest quality foods, supplements, and accessories for exotics available.
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