Sugar Gliders
Sugar GlidersSugar GlidersSugar Gliders
What should you expect from your sugar glider?

Sugar gliders make interesting pets. They are about the size of a hamster with soft fur. They are very social animals and are best kept with at least one other sugar glider. If kept alone, they require considerable playing attention and social interaction with their owners.

Being nocturnal, their eyes are very large, and they prefer dim lighting. They have specialized incisors designed to gouge trees to extract sap, so they need branches to chew. They have several distinctive vocalizations, from alarm yaps and hisses to low barking groans, screams and high squeaks.

Are sugar gliders tame?

Sugar gliders should be socialized by the breeder when they are very young. They usually are not provoked to bite, although they may investigate fingers with their mouth. Tame sugar gliders bond with their owners and like to ride around in pockets.

What do sugar gliders do all night?

Sugar gliders sleep during the day and are active at night. Relative to other animals, their cage should be extremely large with many branches and perches for exercise. They should be let out of their cages every evening for supervised play with their owners. During the day they need a wooden nest box in which to sleep.

What should you feed your sugar glider?

There is no simple commercial diet for sugar gliders. Sugar glider diets are multi-faceted, time consuming, and frequently changed as new information is obtained. Sugar gliders should be fed a variety of foods appropriate for insectivorous/carnivorous animals. A commercially prepared insectivorous diet should be fed up to 50 % of the total intake, particularly for active breeders. Leadbeaters mixture can be cooked and fed as the other primary food source (approximately 25 %). In addition, 20-25 % of the daily intake by volume can be made of chopped produce-- specifically apples, grapes, mangoes, papayas, carrots, sweet potatoes-- dusted with a vitamin/mineral powder.

Approximately 5-10 % of the daily intake may include hard cooked egg yolk or a variety of pet industry- raised insects (crickets, mealworms, wax worms or moths, all fed calcium-enriched feed or dusted with a mineral supplement). Nectars formulated for lories ( a nectar-eating parrot) can be given as a fruit portion substitute or as an occasional treat.

How can you keep your sugar glider healthy, happy and safe?
  • Purchase a captive-raised animal because it is usually healthier, of known age, and has adapted as a companion animal.
  • Take your sugar glider to a veterinarian specializing in exotic animals, such as the ones at Saukville Veterinary Clinic, for a physical examination and fecal check for parasites.
  • Keep environment temperature between 70 and 90 degrees.
  • Heat supplementation to the area of the sugar glider's cage is necessary in most homes.
  • Frequently clean enclosure and nest box so feces and urine won't accumulate.
  • Feed fresh food in the evening.
  • Provide fresh water every day in a crock (elevated off the floor of the cage to prevent contamination) or sipper bottle.
  • Provide branches from nontoxic trees, such as apple or citrus, for climbing and chewing.

Housing for your sugar glider should:
  • Be as large as possible, at least 2 cubic feet in size (24" x 24" x 48").
  • Have wire sides with spacing no more than 1 inch square to prevent escape.
  • Have a wire bottom and pull out tray for easy cleaning.
  • Include a tamper-free cage door lock.
  • Provide nest boxes that are attached high in the cage.
  • Have shredded paper towels or recycled newspaper pelleted bedding material to line nest box
  • Have food and water crocks where they cannot become contaminated in the cage.

Things you must keep away from your sugar glider:
  • Excessive fat in the diet (peanuts, seeds)
  • Chocolate, refined sugars
  • Processed human foods with preservatives
  • Pesticides
  • Cedar shavings
  • Branches from toxic trees
  • Bright lights or direct, unfiltered/ unshaded sunlight
  • Excessive humidity
  • Dogs, cats, ferrets, and small children
  • Running loose in the home
  • Rapid changes in temperature
  • Uncovered light bulbs