Being relatively new to the pet scene, Sugar Gliders are fascinating little creatures, however, it's really important to do your research before deciding they would be the right pets for you. Sugar Gliders need pretty specialised care and therefore you need to invest both your time and money in creating the right environment for them. On top of this, taking care of your new pets so they stay happy and healthy means spending lots of time with them so you form a bond.
Sugar Gliders are nocturnal marsupials native to the southern Pacific regions of the world. They look very much like flying squirrels due to the fact they both boast gliding membranes (patagiums) but that's where the similarity ends. They are much happier living in groups and never do well when kept on their own. However, they are quite expensive and setting up their environment can be quite costly too.
It's really important to invest in a good quality cage and one that's extremely well made. Cages need to be very secure and the environment has to be just right for your Sugar Gliders so they remain healthy and thrive. Their environment should be stress-free and because they are nocturnal, they need to be kept in an area that boasts being nice and quiet during the day. The other thing to bear in mind is that many household cleaning products are toxic to Sugar Gliders.
They need lots of space so larger cages are much more suitable than smaller ones and the space between the bars has to be under half an inch otherwise, Sugar Gliders would be able to squeeze through them and escape. These lovely little creatures need lots of space and area to run and jump around in to their heart's content. Not only this but they need lots of interactive toys to keep themselves amused so that boredom doesn't set in.
When it comes to temperature, this needs to be controlled and cages should never be placed in drafts or close to a window or door. The ambient temperature in their environment needs to be kept at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If well cared for in the right kind of environment, Sugar Gliders boast a life span of anything up to 10 to 15 years which means they are a long-term commitment.
Keeping Sugar Gliders as pets not only means setting them up a brilliant and interesting environment to keep them in, but it also means you need to know what to feed them so they remain strong and healthy. These cute creatures need to be fed a specialised diet which boasts a calcium phosphorus ratio of 2 to 1. Their dietary needs to include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables but they also need protein which is typically in the form of insects.
Sugar Gliders also need to be fed a calcium supplement in their diets to maintain the correct phosphorus to calcium ratio. You can source most of their nutritional needs yourself whether locally or online – but if in doubt, you need to talk to the vet and ask their advice.
Because they are so specialist, Sugar Gliders are not the best choice of pets for children to look after. They can move very quickly which means they can easily be dropped and seriously injured. The other thing to bear in mind, is that even when well socialised, a Sugar Glider will nip if they feel threatened or are unhappy about something. This is true of pets that have bonded well with their owners too!
Lastly, because they are nocturnal children will soon become bored with Sugar Gliders losing interest in their pets all too quickly which is never a good thing. All this added together means Sugar Gliders are not the ideal choice of pets for children to keep and look after.