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How to Take Care of Sugar Gliders

Updated on May 23, 2017
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Brittany Banks loves animals. She likes to help people learn more about them and the proper ways to take care of them.

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Sugar gliders are one of those exotic animals that everyone wants because they are adorable and make awesome pets. They can live up to 10-15 years with proper care. The name refers to their love for sweet food. Sugar gilders like to live in pairs or more, so two girls is fine. Two boys are fine to have, but they have to be neutered or they will fight. You can have a boy and a girl, but neuter them so they will not mate. Neutering will help with the smell and their temperament as well. They like to bond and be vocal with each other because they are social animals and will quickly show their affection or displeasure.

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Cage Requirements

A three foot tall bird cage is great for a pair of sugar gliders. They do like height, so try to find a cage that stands tall. Make sure the bar spacing isn't wider than 1/2 inch, because sugar gliders are tiny and can squeeze through small spaces causing injury. The larger the cage, the happier your sugar gliders will be.

At the bottom of the cage you can use fleece. Fleece is the only material that is safe. Add multiple layers of it and change it every week. You can rewash fleece and it comes in different colors. Make sure there are no loose threads, pill or seams showing. They can easily get their feet caught and end of losing a limb. Good fleece is commonly named anti-pill or blizzard. If you have a drop tray underneath the cage that sugar gliders can't walk through, you can use kiln died pine pellets. Paper bedding or bed pads are fine as well.

Fill up your cage with fleece pouches and hang them up. Sugar gliders like to cuddle with each other and sleep. You can find these cloth pouches online, but be sure to find the appropriate size. Make sure the pouches do not have any seams showing inside and out, loose strings, or pill. Always check your pouch when you purchase one. You can find good pouches that are already made on Etsy.com.

Use a attachable food dish that you can hang up high in the cage. Sugar gliders like to be up high and eat their food. You can find this attachable food dish at your local pet store. Try to find a size that can fit one cup of food. Purchase a water bottle that you can attach to the cage. Water bottles help keep the cage clean.

Use toys that are safe enough for your sugar gliders. Make sure they are not small enough to cause any injury. Sugarglidertoys.com is a great website for some examples of what type of toys that can be used.

Add a wheel to your cage. There is only a select few type of wheels that your sugar gliders can use. Go through sugarglider.info/housing/safe-wheels/. They make some great safe wheels for your sugar gliders. Never purchase one from a pet store. Pet stores do not make safe sugar glider wheels.

Hang some hammocks in the cage. Make sure these hammocks are safe by not having any seams showing, loose strings, or pill. Some people will use branches. If you decide to use branches, do not go outside and just grab some. You can purchase some from a pet store that are pesticide free. Some types of safe wood include:

  • Apple Tree Wood
  • Aspen
  • Real Bamboo
  • Beech
  • Cottonwood
  • Maple (Not Red)
  • Silver Maple
  • Sugar Maple
  • Mulberry
  • Pear Tree Wood
  • Ribbon Wood
  • Willow Tree Wood
  • Sassafras Wood
  • Mimosa
  • Hazelnut Tree Wood


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Diet & Supplements

Your sugar gliders will need four tablespoons of food provided every single night. This means that each sugar glider should receive 2 tablespoons. Remove any food in the morning and throw it away. A sugar glider's diet contains: insects, meat, fruit, and vegetables. Insects should be fed as treats only. You can feed mealworms, superworms, and horned worms. Www.suggie.info/staple-diets has some great diets that you can feed. A good staple diet you can feed is a BML diet. Visit bmldiet.com/bml-recipe.html and learn and feed this diet. They have specific diets, because it can cause health issues. Be sure to check out these websites for what type of diet you would like your sugar gliders to eat. Purchase Pet Glider Complete Multi-Vitamin/ Multi-Mineral With Calcium Plus. You can find this product on thepetglider.com. Sprinkle a pinch of it on each serving. Do not dust the bugs, this can cause an over dose of vitamins. The table below this section will show what are safe food to feed.

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Safe Fruit
Safe Vegetables
Safe Meats
Apple
Avocado (Small Amounts)
Chicken (Remove Bone
Apricot
Broccoli (Small Amounts)
Turkey (Remove Bone)
Bananas
Cabbage
Quail Eggs (Raw Or Cooked)
Blackberries
Carrot
Yellow Wax Beans
Blueberries
Cauliflower (Small Amounts)
 
Cantaloupe
Celery
 
Cherries
Collard Greens
 
Figs
Cucumber
 
Grapes
Zucchini
 
Grapefruit
Pumpkin
 
Honeydew
Yams
 
Melon
Butternut Squash
 
Mango
Green Beans
 
Nectarine
Turnip
 
Papaya
Kale
 
Peach
Bok Choy
 
Pear
Dandelion Greens
 
Pomegranate (Remove Seeds)
Parsley
 
Raspberries
Cilantro
 
Strawberries
 
 
Watermelon
 
 
Kiwi
 
 
Passion Fruit
 
 
Cactus Fruit
 
 

Handling And Nail Clipping

Your sugar gliders will wake up towards the night time. This is the best time to handle them. Take them out gently and quietly. They do get scared easily. Do not force them to do any thing. Use a mesh pop up tent. This is a great way to bond with your sugar gliders and is safer than anywhere else. They can run and get lost easily. Do not leave your child with your sugar gliders alone. Sugar gliders are very vocal animals. Your sugar gliders will make noises as they are taken out of the cage and out of the cage. These noises may scare you, so try to be calm and quiet. They do sleep during the day and only come out and about around night time. Some people buy custom pouches, so they can carry their sugar gliders with them any where. This is a good thing, because it will help them bond to you. You can find these bonding pouches through Etsy.com

You have to clip their nails or their nails can get caught and it can result in loosing a toe. Clip your sugar glider's nails gently and do not cut the quick. If you have to, check out some YouTube videos on how to cut their nails.

Cleaning

You will need to clean the cage every two weeks. Always keep an item that it not washed for awhile, because they'll over mark their territory and pee every where. Have someone keep an eye on your sugar gliders while you are cleaning the cage. Remove everything from the cage and fill your bath tub. Add distilled white vinegar to the water and place the cage in it. Let it soak for about an hour. Any cloth items should be hand washed with hot water and vinegar. You can clean the branches by placing them in the bathtub with the cage. Food dishes and any toys can soak with the cage and branches. Spot clean for poop and any spilled food. Clean the cage in cycles, cage and toys one week and pouches another week.

Conclusion

If you care for your sugar gliders properly, they will live a long happy life. Your sugar gliders will bond to you and each other. This will take time and patience. Sugar gliders can live a long time, so be prepared and do additional research if needed. If you have any questions or concerns, let me know or find someone who has great experience with these exotic animals.

© 2017 Brittany Banks

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