In Store Collection Only. Sugar gliders, commonly known as “sugar bears” or “honey gliders” can be the perfect pet because they thrive on love and attention. They are a low maintenance companion pet in many ways, but if you don’t have plenty of TLC to give them, they are probably not the right choice for you. A Joey is a young sugar glide that been out of the pouch at least 7 to 12 weeks.
They are a small marsupial, that look similar to a flying squirrel (though they are not related). Sugar gliders are native to Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea, they are omnivorous, arboreal and nocturnal.
With proper care and nutrition, sugar gliders in captivity have a life expectancy of 12-15 years. Joeys should be adopted at 7-12 weeks out of the pouch. Male sugar gliders reach sexual maturity at 12-15 months out of pouch, and females at 8-12 months out of pouch. Adult sugar gliders are usually 13-15 cm tall, with a tail of equal length. The average weight of an adult sugar glider is between 85 and 170 g.
Sugar Gliders are known as a type of “pocket pet” due to their small size, and because they enjoy cuddling with their owners. Some people even carry their sugar gliders around in their shirt pockets all day, without worrying that they’ll run off. They naturally bond with the people who give them plenty of love, which explains why today they are as popular as more traditional house pets like hamsters and guinea pigs.
Sugar gliders are social animals, both with their owners and with other sugar gliders. They’re playful and loyal nature means that they love and seek attention. For this reason, we urge you to keep two or more sugar gliders at a time. If you choose to only have just one, commit to spending at least two hours a day playing and interacting with your sugar glider. Providing companionship sounds romantic, but it’s also vital to your pet’s health. If you leave a sugar glider alone for days at a time, without any interaction, your pet will likely become depressed.
So how do you “hang out” with your sugar glider? One form of companionship could be simply walking around with your sugar glider in your pocket. This works both for people who like to keep busy while at home, and for people who live alone and like having a pet who responds to affection.
What Is Your Sugar Glider Trying to Say?
Some sugar glider noises include crabbing (fear), barking (lonely or playing), purring (happy), and sneezing or hissing (grooming or playing).
Biting is not a common issue with trained, bonded sugar gliders. In most cases, when sugar gliders bite, it is because they are scared or being hurt. More often than not, the culprit will be a baby sugar glider or an untrained adult who has never properly bonded with their owner or a companion. Unlike rodent teeth, sugar gliders’ teeth are designed like tweezers; therefore their bites are pretty harmless and feel more like a firm pinch.
What Do Sugar Gliders Like to Play?
Sugar gliders enjoy playing and “gliding” outside of their cage, and climbing on their owners. Your home is not their natural habitat, so when you let your sugar glider out for some play time, be sure to supervise them so that they don’t fall into dangerous areas such as open toilet seats or bathtubs.
Sugar Glider Bonding
The bonding process between owner and pet may take several weeks and should begin before your sugar glider is 12-weeks out of pouch. It is possible to have your sugar glider bond with your other household pets, but this must be done slowly. Use your judgment. Just like you, there are some people you’re just not meant to be friends with…
Bonding is an intensive process that will be well-rewarded. Play with your sugar glider, or just keep it in your pocket as you do other safe house chores.
Though they are nocturnal animals, sugar gliders can adjust to any schedule as long as it allows them maximum time with their owners.
Sugar Glider Training
Sugar gliders cannot be toilet trained, but luckily they are clean and predictable animals. If you are perceptive enough to your sugar glider’s body language and habits, you can successfully spend all day holding your sugar glider without any accidents.
Sugar Glider Housing
The recommended type of cage for sugar gliders is a PVC-coated wire cage, with the openings on the bars no larger than 1.25-2.5 cm and a removable plastic waste tray at the bottom of the cage. The plastic tray should be at least 2.5 cm from the floor of the cage and lined with paper. The enclosure should be kept in a warm room, away from heaters or air conditioners, vents and direct sunlight.
A balanced diet for a sugar glider is similar to the diet of a healthy pet cat or dog. The diet should contain 75% pellet food, 25% fresh produce, and a calcium based multivitamin, usually designed to sprinkle over their food, every other day. All produce must be washed carefully because sugar gliders are prone to toxicity poisoning.
The food and water bowls in your sugar glider’s cage should be kept in an enclosed area within the cage in order to avoid contamination, as well as unnecessary waste.
Keep in mind that any change to a young Joey’s diet can induce significant stress, and is not recommended.
When given a choice, sugar gliders will eat sweet and fatty foods over healthy foods. (Can you blame them?) They will also eat excessively if given the opportunity. For this reason, it is crucial to stick to the recommended ratio of pellets to fresh fruits and vegetables. Pellet food should be left in the cage at all times, while fresh food should be removed each morning. The same goes for insects! They are high in fat and should only be given to your pet as special treats on rare occasions.
You might feel like you want to spoil your little friend, but the effects of eating too much of the wrong foods is believed to cause many sugar glider illnesses.
Many owner and breeders create fruit smoothies and vegie relishes for their Sugar Gliders. Search the internet for “sugar glider smoothie recipes”.
Arabic Gum can be used as an appetite stimulant for Sugar Gliders.
Sugar Glider Odor
A strong, unpleasant odor exuding from your sugar glider is oftentimes directly related to their diet. There are people who insist on using a special, expensive, and complicated diet, but it is unnecessary. Feeding your sugar glider large amounts of proteins, meats, sugars, and insects will cause them to emit an unpleasant odor. If you follow a balanced pellet and fresh food diet, your sugar glider shouldn’t smell, nor need to be bathed.
Whether you choose to neuter your male sugar gliders or not, keep in mind that unneutered males will give off a strong odor, and often mark their territory.