Sugar Gliders as Pets
These cute marsupials need socialization
Sugar gliders are popular exotic pets. They’re small, cute, and unique little animals. But just as you would with any other exotic pet, a potential sugar glider owner should be aware of the care requirements and personality traits of a sugar glider before getting one. Having a sugar glider as a pet is a long-term commitment. They require a special diet, lots of attention, and space.
- Scientific name: Petaurus breviceps
- Lifespan: Sugar gliders live about 10 to 15 years in captivity.
- Size: The sugar glider’s body is 5 to 6 inches long and the tail adds another six inches. Their top weight is around 5 1/2 oz.
- Difficulty of care: Advanced. These are high-maintenance pets that require a lot of socialization.
Sugar Glider Behavior and Temperament
Sugar gliders can make endearing, playful, and entertaining pets but regular human interaction is very important if you want your glider to be friendly, especially if you have a colony of them. Sugar gliders will bond to other gliders that they live with. While these glider relationships are very important, you’ll still want to make sure your glider is also friendly with you if you want to handle it.
The noises that a sugar glider makes are usually to tell you that it is upset, frightened, hungry, or to express other emotions. “Crabbing” is the most often heard sound of an upset glider and this audible warning should be heeded or you may be in for a nasty bite. You may hear this sound if you wake a sleeping glider up during the day since they are nocturnal. Sugar gliders are very vocal pets, which takes some first-time owners by surprise.
Sugar gliders are quick, love to climb, will glide from place to place if space allows it, and like to cuddle up in a nest during the day to sleep. They cannot be potty trained but they are otherwise fairly clean pets.
Allowing a sugar glider to ride in your pocket or in a pouch that hangs around your neck is an easy way to bond and interact with them throughout the day. If your glider is not tame and isn’t used to being handled, it may take some time and patience to get them to the point where they are cuddly.
Remember that they have sharp teeth and nails and although they are not aggressive pets, they will bite if they feel threatened or frightened.