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Supply Checklist Before Taking Your New Sugar Glider Home

<< Back to All Sugar Glider Help & Education or Shop Sugar Glider Products

  • Cage
  • Exercise wheels
  • Food dishes
  • Water bottles and water bowls
  • Nest pouches / Nest boxes
  • Toys
  • Cage accessories
  • Bedding / Cage liners
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Nail Trimmer
  • Food
  • Vitamins
  • Treats
  • Bonding pouch
  • Travel carrier
  • Exotic veterinarian address and contact information

If you are a new sugar glider owner, we offer a Sugar Glider Starter Package (food, dishes, exercise wheel, nest pouch), multiple Food Starter Packages (staple diet, gummivore, insect eater diet, supplements), or Cage Starter Packages (the Sugar Glider Starter Package + Cage) at deeply discounted prices for owners wanting to purchase starter items all together. 

CAGE

Because sugar gliders prefer to climb and jump, the amount of vertical space is most important when considering cage options for your sugar glider. The minimum cage size for a pair of sugar gliders is 36" tall x 24" wide x 24" deep (12 cubic feet of interior room). Larger is always better, choose the biggest cage that you can afford and that comfortably fits in your home. This will also save you money down the road if you decide to get more gliders, you will have the space for them instead of having to purchase yet another cage. The spacing of the wire should be no more than 1/2 inch. The direction of the bars, vertical or horizontal, is not a concern. Sugar gliders are extremely skilled climbers and have absolutely no problem at all climbing up, down and around on vertical wires. The size of the cage doors is an important feature to look at, large doors make rearranging cage accessories and accessing your sugar gliders much easier. Our three cages that were made specifically for sugar gliders, in order from most popular is the Congo Cage (18 cubic feet of interior room), Madagascar Cage  (16 cubic feet of interior room) and Brisbane Cage (15 cubic feet of interior room). View our Cage Department for high-quality sugar glider cages. Related info articles: Suggested Cage RequirementsCage FinishesComparison of Exotic Nutrition's 10+ Cages.

EXERCISE WHEEL

An exercise wheel is a huge necessity for sugar gliders, and is easily a favorite activity. Typical hamster wheels found in a pet shop are not safe for sugar gliders. They are often too small, do not have a solid running track, and have center axles which are not good for sugar gliders. Center axles that run through the middle of the wheel are dangerous for sugar gliders because their tails can get wrapped up around it. It also constrains them to the bottom of the wheel instead of letting them hop across, and can make them to arch their back as they run, causing curvature of the spine. We've designed a high-quality wheel specifically for sugar gliders - the Silent Runner. This wheel is the preferred 12" diameter size for sugar gliders, large enough for them to not only run comfortably, but also leap from one side to the next. This wheel has multiple accessories available - Cage Attachment, AutoClean Track, Sandy Track. The Cage Attachment will allow you to mount the wheel up high in the cage. Sugar gliders love spending time at the top of the cage, so they will feel most comfortable running high up. This also allows the wheel to be securely fastened in one place, with no chance of sliding around and making noise or falling over. A Sandy Track is placed within the wheel for 24-48 hours at a time and used for nail filing. Long nails can be painful for an owner, and dangerous to a sugar glider, more about this is discussed below in the nail trimming section. An AutoClean Track is perforated which allows feces, urine, and other pet debris to drain from the wheel. This track requires much less cleaning than other solid-surfaced tracks and increases ventilation within the wheel. You can watch a sugar glider in action on a Silent Runner in this YouTube video. You should never limit your sugar glider's exercise, having one wheel per sugar glider is best, so there will be no waiting around for a turn, or fighting. Some sugar glider owners also use clear running balls that you can put your pet in to let them get exercise outside the cage. View our Exercise Wheel Department for superior, safe wheels. Related info/articles: Watch our  Youtube video on the easy assembly steps for the Silent Runner


FOOD & WATER DISHES

There are two features you want in a food/water dish - #1 glass/stainless steel materials and #2 bolt-on design. Dishes that hang on the side of the cage are one of the best options, you can mount them high up so your sugar gliders are not climbing above and accidentally defecating in the food/water. The dishes can be fairly small, most diets call for only 1-2 tbsp of food. Plus, the smaller the dish, the less likely of the food being soiled by urine/feces as mentioned before. Dishes that detach quick and easy for cleaning/refill are also a feature you'll want to look for. Our Coop Cups have a wire holder that stays bolted to the cage, and the cups slip in and out of the holder. No constant screwing and unscrewing necessary. "Sugar glider kitchens" are also a common supply to have. If you own sugar gliders, you know it's not unusual for them to make a mess while eating. They will often suck all the nutrients out of food then discard the remains (called "spittings"). They are also known to sort through food and even chuck things around. If you are experiencing this problem, we recommend the No Mess Feeding Station or Acrylic House to use as a "sugar glider kitchen", where they can enter and eat, and the mess is contained. We advise owners to always have multiple water sources, at least one water dish and at least one water bottle. Water bottles are great because they usually only need to be refilled once per week and are sanitary since the water is contained. However, water dishes are also useful to sugar gliders who either don't know how to get the water from a bottle, or prefer an open water source. Many people prefer to keep the water dish bolted to the cage right below the water bottle, this catches any drips and teaches your sugar gliders that both are a source of water if they've never used a bottle before. The Hanging Glass Water Bottle is our most popular. Having glass/stainless steel dishes are much more sanitary than plastic. They don't rust, and are much easier to clean than plastic. View our Dishes & Bottles Department to browse all options. Related info articles: 

NEST POUCH / NEST BOX

Your sugar gliders will be spending 13-19 hours per day sleeping. It is great to have multiple nest pouches in your sugar glider's cage, to give them different areas to sleep. Having multiple nest pouches is also helpful for washing, so your sugar gliders will still be able to sleep when you are rotating a pouch out to wash it. Although a group of sugar gliders will sleep together in the same nest pouch 99% of the time, it is good to give them another pouch option, so they are not forced together in the times they want space. You will want nest pouches with metal hanging clips, not plastic that can be chewed. Nest pouches also help with the bonding process as you can remove the pouch from the cage, with sugar gliders inside, and let the pouch rest on your lap. Nest Boxes are also another option as a sleeping area. These are wooden boxes you can mount on the cage and fill with scraps of fleece, Cozy Cotton Nesting Material, or even put a pouch inside. View our Nest Pouch department to see all options. Related info articles: Safe Fabrics for Sugar Gliders.

TOYS

Sugar Gliders are very interactive animals. They should have enough toys in their cage to promote interest, curiosity, and movement. Rearrange the cage often. The simplest way to enliven your pet's surroundings is to continually rearrange the toys and accessories within his cage. And the easiest time to rearrange his cage is when you clean it. It can be as simple as moving a shelf to the other side of the cage, or as complex as a complete rearrangement of everything inside your pet's home. Overwhelmed by the amount of toys available? We offer toy bundles at deeply discounted prices that are great for simply and affordably filling up a cage with fun items. Related info articles: Toys that are Important for Sugar GlidersLet Em Forage.

CAGE ACCESSORIES

Having play toys and forage toys is not the only important objects to have in the cage. Creating an actual environment with ropes, branches, plants, bridges, ladders, tunnels and hoops is equally as important. A cage should never look bare. Sugar Gliders crave a stimulating environment to help keep them active and alert in their cage. Cage accessories are perfect for providing sugar gliders with new shapes, colors and textures to explore while in captivity. Frequently moving and switching out accessories can help optimize a pets physical and mental health. Overwhelmed by the amount of accessories available? We offer accessory bundles at deeply discounted prices that are great for simply and affordably filling up a cage with fun items. View our Cage Accessory Department to see all options. Related info articles: Enriching Sugar Gliders' Lives. 

BEDDING / CAGE LINERS

Cage liners are a quick and convenient way to clean up messes that fall to the bottom of the cage, including spilled food, feces and other excretions. Another option is bedding like a layer of shavings (never cedar; we suggest 'Carefresh Bedding') in the bottom of the cage that will help absorb wastes, and should be cleaned out once or twice a week (more often if needed, depending on how many you have).  Related info articles: 

CLEANING SUPPLIES

Cage sanitation is an important responsibility that comes with owning an exotic pet. Sugar gliders can be messy, smelly critters but with proper care and regular cage cleanings you can minimize these things. We recommend spot cleaning everyday by removing dirty dishes, changing out the cage liner, and wiping any particularly large spots of feces. A more thorough cleaning should be done about once per week by taking out accessories like the exercise wheel to clean and wiping down the bars with a cleaner like Kage Kleen. If your cage has wheels, it is good to do a deep cleaning a few times per year by wheeling it outside and spraying it down with a hose or pressure washer.   Related info articles: Sugar Glider Odor Control

NAIL TRIMMER

A sugar glider’s nails can grow to be long and sharp. Not only can this be painful to you as an owner and leave marks on your body, it can also cause your pet to frequently get stuck on pouches, fleece accessories, ropes, clothing, and more. Getting caught on these objects can be very dangerous if you’re not around. Your sugar glider will twist and yank their limbs until they’re free, possibly injuring themself. This is why trimming your sugar glider’s nails is not a suggestion, but your responsibility as an owner. Use a nail clipper designed for pets, not a regular human nail clipper. Related info articles: Trimming Your Sugar Glider's Nails.

FOOD

There are many opinions on which foods are best for sugar gliders. You can spend hours upon hours reading about all the options you have for sugar glider diets. We want to provide you with the necessary information to make informative decisions, and to choose what you think will be right for your gliders. We do not wish to dictate your decisions, but rather offer guidelines, answer questions, give recommendations, and provide options. In the most simple terms, the diet we recommend is to feed a complete staple diet along with a variety of supplements. Our sugar glider food start packages are a simple and economical way to begin. Related info articles: Exotic Nutrition Foods for Sugar GlidersVeterinarian's Opinion on a Sugar Glider's DietFeeding Guide for Sugar Gliders.

VITAMINS

If an Exotic Nutrition diet (Glider CompletePremium Sugar Glider DietSugar Glider Diet with Papaya & Eucalyptus) is making up at least 75% of your sugar glider's diet, additional vitamins are not necessary, because Exotic Nutrition diets already have already been fortified with vitamins and minerals. If the Exotic Nutrition diet becomes less than 75% of your sugar glider's diet, you will need to add Glider-Cal (calcium supplement) and Glider Booster (multivitamin) to be sure your sugar glider is getting the nutrients it needs for proper growth and development. Exotic Nutrition's boosters are multivitamin supplements that ensure your pets are getting the nutrients they need to thrive, boosters fill any nutritional voids in a pet's diet. Any days you feed insects to your sugar gliders, it is strongly suggested to add a calcium supplement to the diet. Many insects are high in phosphorus, which partially blocks calcium absorption in a sugar glider and cause hind-leg paralysis, a calcium supplement will compensate for the loss of absorption.  Related info articles: Why are Multivitamins Needed for Sugar GlidersNutritional Problems of Sugar Gliders.

TREATS

Healthy treats have several benefits for both pets and pet owners. Treats can lend variety to an otherwise monotonous diet and add behavioral enrichment for animals that spend their lives in a small, limited environment. Most importantly, treats form a connection between pets and pet owners. Options for treats can be vegetables, nectars, fruits, acacia gum, insects, gums, pollen, worms, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, sugar beet, honeydew, sugar cane, and eucalyptus branches, powder, and leaves. As stated before, diversity is key, and these are all things gliders feed on in the wild. Offer treats 2-3 times per week or as a small portion (less than 10%) of the main diet. Treats may lead to health issues like obesity when overfed. If your pet is not consuming its regular balanced diet, withhold serving treats until stable eating habits resume.  Related info articles: Healthy Treats and Chews for Sugar GlidersEucalyptus LeavesAdding Variety To Your Sugar Glider's Diet

BONDING POUCH

Carry bonding pouches are extremely useful in helping with the bonding process. These are similar to nest pouches in the way that they provide a warm, comfortable place for a glider to relax, but they also have a zippered closure to keep a glider secure inside and a strap to carry around on a person. They are a safe and convenient way to spend time with your glider all day while they stay asleep in the pouch. Just walk around doing regular activities and your glider will get used to your smell of you and the sound of your voice.  Related info articles: Safe Fabrics for Sugar GlidersBonding With Your Sugar Glider.

TRAVEL CARRIER

Trip to the Vet? Going away for the weekend? Just cleaning the cage? Travel carriers or temporary cages are a necessity for all these activities. See all of our carriers.  Related info articles: 

EXOTIC VETERINARIAN ADDRESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION

Before welcoming your glider into your home, prepare ahead of time by finding a reputable exotic pet veterinarian. You can get recommendations from your breeder, another local glider owner, or by calling vets in your area.  Related info articles: Veterinarian Database.

Extra Supplies

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Please Note: Exotic Nutrition is not in a position to provide specific health and care guidelines on an individual basis. Please visit our animal info tabs or consider purchasing a care guide book for additional information. If you have a health or pet emergency issue, please notify your veterinarian or a specialized technician.

Exotic Nutrition
270 Enterprise Drive
Newport News, Virginia 23603

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