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Sugar Gliders as Pets - Care Sheet - What to Do and Avoid - KBMDC

Sugar glider care – All in one article care sheet

Proper sugar glider care is a key to healthy and happy pet. Therefore, we have gathered all necessary information to take care for your glider properly to avoid any problems in the future.


Sugar gliders are marsupials that look cute and attractive. They are known for their gliding skills and have a distinct membrane running from their wrists to their ankles which give them a good control and balance. When you have sugar gliders as pets, you should be well aware of the basic details like the lifespan, characteristics, diet pattern, physical exercise and all other aspects related to caring for them. They are the natives of places like Australia and New Zealand. Since they are considered to be exotic animals, you should have a valid license and legal approval when you bring home sugar gliders as pets.  The following article will give you a fair idea about sugar glider care, sugar glider lifespan and all other concepts that you should know so that you can keep your pets healthy, active and entertained.

Sugar gliders lifespan

Sugar gliders lifespan is an average of 15 years. All through their lives, sugar gliders are very social and love to express their feelings. They love to live in groups and always keep jumping about in their cages, due to which, they need slightly bigger cages than pets of their size. If you are the owner of a sugar bear pet, you will be the subject of envy among your neighbours and friends. However, you have to understand that owning and maintaining a sugar glider is not an easy challenge.

What to focus on when you want sugar glider as pets

If you want to bring home a sugar glider and ensure that it lives happily and healthily all through a sugar glider lifespan, you have to pay attention to the following factors:

  • Personal bonding
  • Cages & Accessories
  • Nutrition & Diet
  • Health issues to watch out for

In the following article, all of these points are explained in detail to provide you more information about sugar glider care.

  1. Personal Bonding

This is an integral part of sugar glider care. All through the sugar gliders lifespan, you have to work on your relationship with the pets. They are exotic animals, and they are very sensitive to smell. They can catch known scents easily. When you get a baby sugar glider home, ensure that you carry it in a bonding pouch along with you during the day. When you keep carrying them very close to your chest, your pets will understand you more and will grow more comfortable around you.

Play time is another important point that you have to remember as part of sugar glider care. Tent time and tub time are excellent ways in which you can engage your sugar gliders in. They love to play hide and seek inside the tent. This way, you can spend more time with your pets and get them familiarized with your actions and scents. If you want to ensure that your pets stay healthy and happy, you should grow at least a couple of sugar gliders, because they are exotic and social animals.

  1. Cages and accessories

Housing is the next important factor that you should think about when you want sugar gliders as pets. These marsupials are quite big and social animals; hence, they need cages that are spacious and have measurements of at least 20”x20”x30”. A sugar bear pet can be happy and healthy only when its cage is clean and hygienic. Ensure that you have ½” bar spacing in the cages so that your pets can have a good time.

Sugar gliders are very restless animals. If you don’t keep them occupied, they get frustrated and can suffer from mental disorders. Therefore, you should ensure that the cages are stuffed with accessories like sugar glider toys, exercise wheels, bottles for water, soft bedding, food bowls, ladders, swings, tunnels, tents and other play items. All of these will help your pets to stay active and energetic throughout the sugar glider lifespan.

  1. Nutrition and diet

When we are talking about sugar glider care, can food be left behind? You should know what sugar gliders eat, what they don’t like, what foods are safe and unsafe for them, their eating time and styles, main meals, treats and information on supplements. Fresh fruits, vegetables, protein, vitamins, minerals and calcium are very important for the overall health of your pets. Therefore, if you plan to bring home sugar glider as pets, you should be thorough of the basic diet chart containing safe and healthy foods.

If you want your pets to stay healthy, you should resort to natural foods of fruits and vegetables every day. Yes, you can give supplements and pellets, but they shouldn’t be more than one spoon or two spoons per day. They should be used as supplements to the main meals. Also, never give nuts or chocolates to your pets as they cause severe health issues in them.

  1. Health issues to watch out for

Sugar gliders are very social and happy animals. However, they are also prone to a lot of ailments that result from food allergies, unhygienic conditions and the like. If you see the following symptoms in your pets any time during sugar gliders lifespan, it should ring an alarm bell in your mind.

  • Deficiency of calcium (can happen when the foods that you give don’t have the right calcium –phosphorous ratio; the ideal ration of calcium to phosphorus is 2:1). This condition causes trembling and eventually paralysis of limbs
  • Open wounds that can cause severe infection in bodies of sugar gliders
  • Obesity (when you feed foods that are high in fats, this condition can happen in sugar gliders)
  • Stress and mental disorders (when you don’t keep them entertained or when you don’t allow them to socialize as much as they want, they suffer from this condition)

Some points to note

In the aspect of sugar glider care, here are some of the points that you have to keep in mind so that your pet stays active and healthy.

  1. Give enough focus while selecting the bedding for your pets. This is an important part of sugar glider care. Use paper bedding or kiln dried bedding as these are non-toxic for the pets.
  2. Change the bedding at least once a week, as sugar gliders are very sensitive to smell and other allergies.
  3. Nesting pouches are a must; sugar gliders are nocturnal, and they want an environment to be created in such a way so that they feel like they are residing in a forest. Ensure that you place a wooden birdhouse and wooden perches to resemble trees and branches. Eucalyptus and Manzanita are considered to be safe types of woods that you can use for sugar gliders.
  4. Don’t clean everything together and too frequently. Sugar gliders are very sensitive to smell; therefore, you can use a mild detergent or just water to wash the parts of the cage.
  5. Normal pet foods like dog food and cat food should not be given for sugar gliders as it can be toxic to
  6. Chocolate, artificial sweeteners and refined foods are a strict no-no for sugar gliders. Knowing what not to give these pets is an important aspect of sugar glider care.
  7. Remove leftover fruits and vegetables from the previous night as soon as you wake up in the morning.
  8. When you are bringing home sugar gliders as pets, you should know to understand their noises and patterns. When they create strange noises, it means they are frightened or hungry.
  9. Sugar gliders are nocturnal animals, so they sleep during the day. For this precise reason, their cages should be in a place that doesn’t witness too much of movement. This will allow them to sleep during the day.
  10. Having emergency contact numbers of professional sugar glider veterinarians is a must; these are exotic animals, and they need special care and attention. When they fall sick, you have to take them to veterinarians who have enough experience in treating them.

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