April 15, 2021

The Truth About Keeping Sugar Gliders as Pets

The sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)


Do you want a pet but can’t have a cat or a dog? Are you looking into getting something small, furry, and adorable? Have you seen sugar gliders and thought about adding them to your home? Are you wondering: Are sugar gliders good pets?

Read on to discover the truth about having a sugar glider as a pet.


What Is a Sugar Glider?

If you’ve seen a sugar glider, then your first thought might be that it’s a rodent, similar to a squirrel.

While these two animals share some similarities, the truth is that a sugar glider is a marsupial — which means it has a pouch. This is where the young stay until they are large enough to live on their own.

Sugar gliders are considered to be “exotic pets,” mainly because they aren’t a cat, dog, or farm animal. They are native to Australia and areas in Indonesia.

On average, they are five to six inches long with a six-inch-long tail. They only weigh between four and six ounces, and they usually have gray fur with black markings.

The trait that gives sugar gliders their name is a thin, skin-like membrane that connects to their front and back legs. When then extend their limbs, this membrane can help them glide from branch to branch.


Do Sugar Gliders Make Good Pets?

Now that you know a little bit more about the general characteristics of sugar gliders, you are probably wondering: Are sugar glider good house pets?

The short answer to this question is yes, they can make good house pets.

The long answer is that unlike ferrets, hamsters, or gerbils, having a sugar glider requires some work.

Remember sugar gliders are not rodents. If cared for properly, their lifespan can be between 12 and 15 years. They are also incredibly intelligent animals and can learn their name and how to do tricks.

When it comes to care, sugar gliders need as much attention as you would give a cat. They have some independence, but they still need love and attention, as well as the right food.

In addition, it’s important that you have a good sugar glider cage. This will give them a place where they can feel safe.

You might think that because sugar gliders are small that you can keep them in the same type of cage that you would use for hamsters and gerbils. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. They need space to move around.

The larger the cage, the happier your sugar glider will be. If you’re asking: Are sugar gliders good apartment pets, the answer is yes, as long as they have a cage that’s big enough for them to move around in.


Placing Your Sugar Glider Cage in the Right Spot

In addition to getting a cage that’s large enough for your sugar glider, you also want to make sure you put it in the right spot.

Sugar gliders are nocturnal animals, which means that they are most active at night. Thus, you want to place their cage in an area that is out of direct sunlight.

It’s also beneficial if the cage is somewhere quiet. Since these animals spend their time in trees, you might consider placing their cage on a high shelf.


What Do You Feed Sugar Gliders?

One of the reasons that sugar gliders received their name was because they enjoy eating sweet foods. In the wild, their diet mainly consists of nectar and tree sap. However, these creatures are omnivorous, which means that they will eat both plants and insects. Thus, in the wild, they will also eat insects, fruit, and potentially small rodents and/or birds.

If you have a sugar glider as a pet, you have to feed them the right food. This will ensure that they stay healthy and happy. It’s possible to find food that has been developed specially for the dietary needs of your sugar glider. You might also consider speaking with your vet to determine what food is the best option for your pet.


Do Sugar Gliders Require Special Care?

If you are wondering: Are sugar gliders good pets for kids, the answer is that it depends.

Since these animals are small and delicate, young children can hurt them if they squeeze them too tightly.

It’s also important that you take the time to bond with your sugar glider. They can become strongly attached to their human families, but you have to let this relationship develop.

It could take any from a few days up to a few months for sugar gliders to become bonded with your family.

If you have a child that is impatient or gets easily distracted, then they may not be able to develop the necessary bond with their sugar glider. Without this relationship, your sugar glider will become lonely and stressed, and this could have a negative impact on their health.


Keeping Your Sugar Glider Happy

When wondering: How good are sugar gliders as pets, the truth is that they can be absolutely wonderful pets, as long as you take the time and effort to take care of them.

These critters are incredibly susceptible to stress. This can lead them to self-mutilate, which means they may bite or scratch themselves and cause harm.

Some of the things that can stress a sugar glider out include having a cage that’s too small and putting sugar gliders together that don’t get along.

They can also be susceptible to parasitic and bacterial infections. Although, the most common ailment that impacts their health is malnutrition.

The best way to ensure the health of your sugar glider is to make sure there’s a vet close by that knows how to care for and treat these furry creatures.


Are Sugar Gliders Good Pets?

If you are wondering: Are sugar gliders good pets, the answer is yes — as long as you are willing to take care of them. Like any other animal you bring into your home, you need to give them the proper attention, feed them the right diet, and make sure they have a suitable habitat.

For more information on how to properly take care of animals and how they can take care of you, check out the other articles on Pet Radio Magazine.


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