Home > Tips On Sugar Glider Care, Health and Feeding > About Sugar Gliders

About Sugar Gliders

Sugar Gliders are marsupials; that is their young start life off in a pouch (like a kangaroo). They originally hail from Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and live in forests. Their name is derived from their diet (in part they feed on nectar and the sap of eucalyptus), and from the flap of skin they have between their wrists and ankles that allows them to glide between trees. They are omnivorous, meaning they will eat plant material and meat - food in the wild include nectar, fruit, insects and even small birds or rodents. They live in social family units in the wild, a trait which makes them inclined to bond well with their human family. However, if they are deprived of social interaction they will not thrive (in fact they can become depressed to the point where they may die).  
Sugar gliders make endearing, playful, and entertaining pets. As mentioned above they are very social, and ideally they should be kept in pairs or groups, and in any case they should have a good deal of social interaction with their owners. They are fairly clean and do not have complex housing requirements. In addition, they tend to be fairly healthy (although it may be difficult to find an experienced vet to treat them) and can live to be 12-14 years in captivity. They do need a good amount of interaction even if it’s just riding around in a sugar glider
BONDING POUCH all day. Their nails are sharp and will scratch if they need to dig in while climbing or landing on you (keep them well trimmed). They also have sharp teeth and though not aggressive, will bite if they feel threatened or frightened. If not acquired tame and used to being handled, it may take a great deal of time and patience to get them to the point where they are cuddly.  
Sugar Gliders do have fairly strict dietary requirements. The ideal diet for sugar gliders is still a widely debated topic among keepers. For some recommended diets, see
SUGAR GLIDERS RECIPES"for more information on diets and the diet options that" are recommended by others. A potential problem in sugar gliders is paralysis stemming from an imbalance of calcium to phosphorus in the diet (i.e. too low in calcium and/or high in phosphorus). This disease (called nutritional osteodystrophy) can be prevented by proper diet and vitamin/mineral supplements, such as Wombaroo diet supplements. Remember these are just supplemental and not a complete diet, please see care and feeding for more information on sugar glider diet and nutritional needs.  
As for housing, a cage of 24 by 24 inches, by 36 inches high is a good minimum size for a pair. This is a minimum, though - bigger is better and for sugar gliders the height is more valuable than floor space. The cage wire should be no more than 1/2 inch wide, and horizontal cage bars allow climbing. The interior of the cage should provide lots of interest with toys because sugar gliders love to play and are full of energy. One way they can burn off excess energy is with an exercise wheel appropriate for gliders. Safe non-toxic branches can also be a fun and natural way for your glider to get the exercise they need. Corner hammocks and bridges can be hung in the cage for added fun and comfort. When your sugar glider needs a quiet restful place to sleep, a Sleepy Time
CAGE POUCH,or a BONDING POUCH can be hung in the cage for rest time. If a sugar glider is not tame when acquired, time, patience, and gentle frequent training sessions will eventually allow bonding of the glider to its owner. Gliders adore being near their owners and wearing a bonding pouch around your neck and close to your heartbeat will be what your glider needs to feel safe and secure. They will be lovely companions who view you as an equal. Sugar gliders do not respond at all to punishment or domination, so treat them with respect, gentleness and understanding, and you will be rewarded with a devoted companion.