Q: What is a sugar glider? Is it a rodent like a squirrel or mouse?
A: Sugar glider is the common name for a small marsupial native to Australia and Indonesia. Its scientific name is Petarus Breviceps.
Q: Are sugar gliders good pets?
A: They can be good pets, but they require lots of extra attention and care. They need a balanced diet, a large cage and daily interactions to remain healthy. It is illegal to keep sugar gliders in some cities and states, so keep that in mind before you acquire one. It may be difficult to find a vet that has the specialized knowledge needed to care for these small critters.
Q: How long do they live?
A: Sugar gliders live as long as our more common household pets, dogs and cats. Their average life span in captivity is 12 to 145 years. This means that you must be ready to care for your pet for many years.
Q: What do sugar gliders eat?
A: Sugar gliders require a specialized diet with a careful balanced of protein, calcium, fruits, vegetables and other nutrients. There are many commonly accepted diets which you can prepare such as BML, Priscilla’s Diet, the HPW diet and Darcy’s (Ensure) diet.
Q: What is the proper way to house sugar gliders?
A: Sugar gliders need a very large cage compared to most small pets. For 1 or 2 sugar gliders, the minimum cage dimensions are 24 inches wide by 24 inches deep and 36 inches high. A bigger cage is of course better, especially taller cages, since sugar gliders are arboreal and need the extra room to glide around. Bar spacing on the cage should be no more than 1/2 inch wide to ensure that your sugar glider cannot squeeze out. The bars should be powder or pvc coated as galvanized wire cages can result in urinary tract infections.
Q: What kind of toys do sugar gliders like?
A: You can find toys specially made for sugar gliders on the Internet or you can use baby toys and bird toys. You can even make your own sugar glider toys if you are handy and there are many directions to be found on sugar glider websites. Sugar gliders love toys that enable them to hang or climb around their cage and pouches or nests were they can snuggle. You want to avoid toys with small parts, especially small holes that your sugar glider could catch his toes in and injure himself. Also, avoid cat toys since catnip is toxic to sugar gliders.
Q: Do I need more than one sugar glider?
A: Two sugar gliders is strong recommended since they live in colonies in the wild. One sugar glider will often be extremely lonely and can become depressed. Depression in sugar gliders causes poor health, self-mutilation and even death. If you do choose to have only one sugar glider, be prepared to spend 3-4 hours a night interacting with him.
Q: What is the best age to get a joey?
A: Baby sugar gliders are called joeys, just like baby kangaroos. Joeys should be a minimum of 8-10 weeks Out of Pouch (OOP) before they go to their new home. This ensures that they are properly weaned and can eat on their own before leaving their mother.
Q: Can I let my sugar glider run loose in the house?
A: Sugar gliders should only be let loose in a glider-proofed area, also known as a safe room. They should be supervised at all times to make sure they don’t get into trouble and injure themselves. They can easily fit into small spaces and run the risk of being squished, drowning in a toilet or sink, harmed by other pets or potentially eat something that is toxic to them.