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Sugar Glider

Information for happy, healthy sugar gliders!

What is a sugar glider?
 A sugar glider is a small marsupial. Their natural habitat is high in the tree tops of Australia. Marsupials carry their young, called "joeys", in a pouch.  In the wild, suggies live in colonies. They are very social animals. Kept as pets, they will require as much attention and play time as you can. The more the better!

Sugar gliders are about 5-6 inches in length with a tail of equal length. Their fur is soft, grey with a black stripe running from the head to the base of their tail. The tips of their tails are black. Their bellies are cream or white colored. Being nocturnal animals, suggies have large black eyes, that enable them to see extremely well in the dark. Most daytime hours, your pet suggie will be curled up in a sleeping pouch or nesting box. They also have a keen sense of hearing and smell. Suggies have 5 digits on each paw, with nails for climbing. Suggies are called "gliders" for a reason. They have what is called a patagium. This is a furry membrane of skin that stretches from their wrists to their ankles. When they jump from tree to tree in the wild, they will extend this membrane and glide. Their tails are used as a rudder of sorts, helping suggies direct themselves while gliding. They sometimes might use their tails to grab toys when they play but they do not use their tail to hang from anything.


Quincy (above) in his tent

BIG love in a small package!

Like I stated above...suggies are highly social animals. It is not a pet you can just put in a cage, feed, and leave alone. If this is the sort of pet you want, then a suggie is NOT for you.  Owning a suggie will require you to interact with them on a daily basis. I had one suggie and was told in order for him to thrive, I would need to get him a cage mate. I thought I had decided against that when I got Quincy, but not long after I added 2 more males to our household, and had hoped to properly introduce the boys so they can all be kept in one cage. Quincy was a tad aggressive with his vocals with the boys and I knew I wouldn't be able to do this. Quincy acted VERY different when Renny came to live here, yipping and barking and trying to get her attention LOL so I successfully managed to introduce them and they now share a cage. Suggies left alone with no interaction will become depressed. This is a severe problem. It can and will cause the death of the suggie. If you cannot commit at least 3-4 hours a day (on and off is ok) to your suggies, then they are not for you. Keeping 2 gliders is what most people do. That way, they have constant company day and night, if you are asleep or at work, etc. Suggies will bond to their owners. They will curl up in a shirt pocket and sleep during the day, or you can wear a bonding pouch. Other owners let their suggies curl up inside their clothing, wherever the suggie wants to nap. This is such a precious feeling!! You suggie(s) will come to see you as his best bud and will EXPECT your time. Don't let them down!!

Male? Female?

I've had people ask me "Why did you get a male suggie?" Honestly...because I was told a long time ago that the male suggies don't have the "attitudes" of the females. However, I now know that is not true. Every suggie is different, and they all have different personalities.  A good friend has a female suggie and she is so sweet!!  And now that Renny & Lethe are here, they are the most darling, sweet girls and both love to be petted and likes to climb on me and run up and down my arms at feeding time.

You can tell the males by the scent glands on their chest and on the top of their head. It's a "bald" spot. And it looks so darned cute!! Females do not have these scent glands. Females DO have an anal scent gland however. Un-neutered males will also have their "pom" drop, anywhere from 6 months oop (out of pouch) and older. I read that if you choose to get your males neutered, the bald spot will grow fur again. Neutering also prevents pregnancy. Suggies really do not have a typical "breeding" season in captivity. If you decide to keep a male and a female, keep this in mind. If you do not want joeys, contact a vet with glider knowledge and get your male neutered. It will also cut down on any aggression from the testoserone. Males do have an odor. Personally though I do not find it offensive or strong. I keep a clean cage and a good diet so the scent is minimal. Males neutered at a young age will not develop these scent glands.

Simply put, it's a matter of preference on the sex of your suggie. With the proper diet, housing, and bonding, male or female suggies will thrive and flourish under your care.

Also, it is very important to have a good vet that sees sugar gliders. Make this high on your list when deciding on a pet suggie. Also, some states do not allow exotic animals to be kept as pets, so this is something you are going to have to look into as well. If I can help any further, email me [email protected]

*Sugar gliders are NOT rodents. When taking your suggie to a vet, do NOT let them "float" their teeth. Rodents teeth continue to grow throughout their life...sugar gliders teeth do NOT. It is an un-necessary procedure. Also, if your vet needs to trim your suggie's nails, keep in mind, on their back feet, there are 2 digits that are webbed together. They use them when they groom (which they do a lot). Most times those nails do not need to be trimmed. *

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