A sugar glider is a small marsupial possum, originating from Australia, Tasmania, and Indonesia. They are nocturnal, tree dwelling animals that enjoy eating sweet fruits. They are extremely social and crave the attention of the people around them, which is what makes them so endearing as pets.
Average Size / Life Span
Adult sugar gliders are approximately 10-12 inches long, with half of that length being just tail. They only weight about 4 or 5 ounces. These animals can live 12-15 years in captivity with good care.
Feed your sugar glider once every day, and remove all uneaten food after no longer than 24 hours. Variety is extremely important with sugar gliders. Their diet should be made up of a quality sugar glider pellet, fresh vegetables, and fresh fruits. Apples, avocado, sweet corn, mangoes, sweet potato, grapes, cantaloupe, broccoli, carrots, and plums are all good fresh items. They really enjoy their fruits and vegetables to be sweet. However, do not give these animals sugar, candy, chocolate, etc.
25% of their diet needs to be protein. The protein source should be switched up daily, as some protein sources are also high in fats, which isn’t great for a glider. Unsalted raw nuts, crickets, grasshoppers, mealworms, and earthworms are all good protein sources that are also high in fat, and should be fed sparingly. Small pieces of unseasoned, cooked boneless skinless chicken, tofu, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, and cottage cheese are all good protein sources.
Water is very critical to these animals. A clogged water bottle could cause swift dehydration and death. For this reason, it is very wise to keep at least two water bottles in the cage, as well as a small bowl of water. Use heavy ceramic bowls or bowls that attach to the side of the cage to avoid tipping for both food and water.
Sugar Gliders, like many reptiles, are very prone to getting Calcium deficiencies. Thus it is very important to provide your pet with several types of supplements. First, once per week food should be dusted with a light amount of a reptile Calcium powder with Vitamin D3 and once per week food should be dusted with a reptile multivitamin powder supplement. Also, a small animal liquid multivitamin that goes in their water bottle should be offered as well.
Spot-clean your frogs enclosure as necessary. When feces/urates/uneaten prey items are present, remove them as soon as possible. Clean & disinfect the water bowl on a weekly basis. Depending on cage conditions, remove all substrate & cage furniture and completely disinfect using a 5% bleach solution approximately every 30 days. Rinse the enclosure thoroughly and allow to dry before replacing cage furniture & your dragon.
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Cage Setup and Maintenance
Being an arboreal animal, gliders need a cage that is tall. They also require plenty of space and ventilation. For these reasons, bird cages are great options. Make sure the cage is no smaller than 20”x20”x30”, and remember that the bigger the cage, the happier they will be. The bedding should be Carefresh, recycled paper pellet, or aspen wood shavings. Provide your Sugar Glider with plenty of branches, a nesting box or cloth bag, bird ladders and swings, bird and small animal toys, ropes, a comfort exercise wheel, and a plain bone for chewing.
Keep your glider’s cage clean by changing the bedding frequently and cleaning decorations and toys regularly. Move these toys and climbing items around often and swap them out too so your pet doesn’t get bored. Wash their food bowls daily, and never leave old food sitting around in the cage.
It’s a very good idea to get a bonding pouch, a cloth bag that you can attach to your body, preferably over your heart, to carry your Sugar Glider close to you to form a bond. Pass the bonding pouch around to multiple friends and family members so they can interact and bond with several different people. It’s best to do this often when the animal is still young.
These animals are so social, they will want to be around you all the time, and can become depressed if not given enough attention. For this reason, it is usually best to acquire two gliders to live together. They will still desire frequent human interaction though.
Sugar Gliders can have litters 2-3 times each year, but only 1-2 babies at a time.
Throughout the U.S. breeding and selling Sugar Gliders requires a license.
Notes and Comments
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