SUGAR GLIDER BASICS
Q: What is a sugar glider?
A: A sugar glider (petaurus breviceps) is a small, nocturnal marsupial. Sugar gliders are in the same family as the kangaroo and koala bear, so they also have a pouch in which their babies grow. They get the name “sugar glider,” from two facts: They feed on sweet gums and saps, among other things, in the wild, giving them the first name, “sugar.” The “glider” portion comes from the distinctive flap of skin (patagium) connecting their front and hind legs on both sides, allowing them to glide surprising distances from branch to branch among the trees. They are social animals that live in colonies and love communicating with their colony mates, so we recommend that they live with at least one other sugar glider.
Q: Are these the same animal as “sugar bears”?
A: Yes, they are. The term “sugar glider” is the commonly accepted name for the animal around the world, while “sugar bear” is more of a marketing term used by particular businesses and organizations. When searching for supplies and support for these animals, we highly recommend searching under “sugar glider,” as this provides a wider, and often more accurate, source of information.
Q: Do sugar gliders make good pets? Are they like a dog or cat?
A: They do make excellent pets and loving members of the family, but they are “exotic” pets, they are a unique pet, and very different from a dog or cat. Like a smaller pet, they should be kept in a cage at night for their own safety. Because of their size, they should always be supervised if they are around other pets. They require more time and understanding than a “traditional” pet. Through your care & attention sugar gliders will love and bond to you. They will joyfully nap in your pocket or on your shoulder, and love to take treats from your hand!
Q: Sugar gliders are nocturnal? Does that mean I can’t spend time with them during the day?
A: They are indeed nocturnal, meaning that they sleep during most of the day and are active at night. This does not mean, however, that you will not be able to spend a good deal of time with them. They can adjust themselves somewhat to your schedule and would be sleeping during the majority of a traditional “work day.” Towards the late afternoon and evening, they will become active and playful. This is an excellent time to bond and spend quality time with them.
Q: Since sugar gliders are exotic, does that mean they’re difficult to care for?
A: Not at all! Though they do require more care and dedication than your average, “normal” pet, once the initial investment is made with supplies and the gliders have settled into your home, they will become a regular part of your family. They do have special dietary needs. and we take great care to make sure that our recommended Pet Glider Fresh Diet for Healthy Sugar Gliders is easy to follow. A healthy and well cared for sugar glider can live up to 12 – 15 years.
Q: Since they’re “exotic” pets, can anyone have a sugar glider?
A: For the most part, sugar gliders make wonderful pets for everyone. We do recommend that younger children, below age 12, have parental supervision when handling sugar gliders, given their small size. There are also a few restrictions based on your local state laws. California, Alaska and Hawaii are among a few states that prohibit sugar glider ownership. Please check your local and state laws before considering adopting a sugar glider.
Q: How do I get a sugar glider?
A: The Pet Glider is based in Houston, TX, and has over seventeen years of experience in safely shipping sugar gliders around the world. If you’re able to make the visit to our Houston office, you can pick up your sugar gliders and all the supplies you need from us. We are also able to ship our sugar gliders to a major airport as close to you as possible. We can also ship our supplies, such as cages, food, and more, to your home through both the United States Postal Service and UPS.
Q: What do I need to get started?
A: There are several necessities that are needed to welcome a sugar glider in your home, such as a cage, glass water bottle, glider safe exercise wheel, and more. We’ll be going over getting your home glider ready later in this FAQ, but for now we do offer starter bundles, in Basic, Plus, Deluxe, Luxury and Premium flavors, that offer everything you need to get started and more!