Raise Sugar Gliders
Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Rebecca M., Robbi, Lynn and 3 others
There are dog people, cat people, and fish people. If you aren't one of these pet lovers, then you're tastes may be more along the lines of the exotic.
Do you think you are ready to take on a much more challenging pet at home? If you are nodding your head with enthusiasm, you might want to consider getting a Sugar Glider.
Peraurus Breviceps (Latin for "short-headed rope-dancer), commonly known as the Sugar Glider, is much smaller than a dog or a cat. It is arboreal and omnivorous.
It is known as a gliding possum, and categorized as a marsupial. The name "Sugar Glider" comes from the animal's preference for sugary or sweet foods and their ability to glide, similar to that of the flying squirrel. If you want to experience a different kind of pet relationship, this article will give you some suggestions and information you should have, regarding the raising of a Sugar Glider the best way you can.
Considerations in Choosing the Right Sugar Glider
The following are important considerations when raising your sugar glider:
- 1Females have a distinctive slit on their bellies. This is the pouch where they will keep their young ones someday. Males have a button in that area where a pouch would be if they were females.Choosing the sex.Advertisement
- 2Take note that all Sugar Gliders need to adjust to their new environment. New things and sensations will be presented to them and you should be patient to help them cope. Unlike puppies or kittens, Sugar Gliders are not going to cuddle with you immediately, mainly because they're scared to be in a new place with new humans, so be ready to be lunged at or bitten before you earn their trust. Every Sugar Glider is unique so there is no fixed period of adjustment for them. Taking this into consideration, you should have the necessary patience to endure this period. This is the main reason why many pet owners give up their Sugar Gliders after too short of a time, and before they benefit from the developing relationship. They just don't understand that it may take a while before their Sugar Glider warms up to them.The Adjustment Period.Advertisement
- 3Remember that Sugar Gliders are not for everyone. They should not be given to a small child. Sudden reactions or loud noises make Sugar Gliders extremely anxious. You should not give a sugar glider to children until they are old enough to be respectful of the animals' needs. The true bond that you're looking for may not happen for weeks or even months.Bonding.
- 4The temperament of Sugar Gliders is not dependent on their sex. Neutering will not make a difference in the male Sugar Gliders' behavior. Males are territorial, especially as they grow older. If you're considering neutering your male Sugar Glider, ask the advise of your vet before you do.Temperament.
- 5Sugar Gliders are very social. That is why you should never get just one. Even if you are very attentive to your Glider, nothing can match the company of another Sugar Glider. You should keep at least two Gliders if it's your first time caring for these pets. A single Glider will become depressed, stressed, and sick. It might even resort to self-mutilation.Interaction.
- 6If you want a clean pet that doesn't require annual vaccinations, Sugar Gliders are great for you. It is not true that Sugar Gliders have Giardiasis the moment they are born. Like any other animal, Sugar Gliders will only get this parasite if they are exposed to another Sugar Glider infested with the disease, or any other infested animal. If the Sugar Glider's parents have Giardiasis, the joeys will have it before they leave their pouches. Subject your Sugar Glider to Giardiasis testing to treat the condition as soon as possible. Gliders are prone to Cocci bacteria, which is not parasitic. Treatment of Cocci can take 36-48 hours. If the Glider has rare coloration in its bloodline, it is prone to having stress Cocci. Bring your Glider to the vet within the first 72 hours of their stay in your home. Giardiasis and Cocci both manifest first in the form of diarrhea. The gliders would not be able to clean themselves and they would look filthy all the time. Sugar Gliders are prone to HLP (hind leg paralysis) because of calcium deficiency or too much calcium in their diet.Health and Hygiene.
- 7Sugar Gliders are creatures of the night. They do not like to be exposed to bright lights and loud noises. They have large eyes so they are well equipped to see in the dark. If you play with them at night they will not come out if you have bright lights on. Consider housing them in a room with dim lighting, designed exclusively for your gliders. If you force them to be active during the day or under bright lights, you will only stress them out.Night Activity.
- 8Sugar Gliders produce a sound similar to that of a beehive. Other interesting noises are produced when your female glider has offspring. The joeys produce clacking noises to call their mother. They somewhat bark and that could go on for long periods of time. If you are not in favor of hearing such sounds during the night, then you should keep your Sugar Gliders in another room.Glider Sounds.
- 9Ideally, the Glider should be released at 10 weeks. If they are any younger, they will not have the necessary skills they need to learn from their parents. Think twice if the breeder wants to release the Glider when it is only 6 to 8 weeks old. Your breeder may not know enough about Sugar Gliders. Gliders that are too young will be prone to long-term mental and emotional stress. At 10 weeks, they are ready to be in your home. Be careful when you purchase gliders from malls or glider mills. Backyard breeders release their joeys at younger than 3 weeks old and this is not the joey or you.Getting Your Sugar Glider.
How to Raise Your Sugar Gliders
The following are basic tips and suggestions to raise your sugar gliders properly:
- 1Introducing Sugar Gliders is easiest when the Gliders you have are properly weaned and young. It's ideal to get them before they become territorial.Introduction.Advertisement
- 2You can keep two females or two males. However, if you prefer males, make sure that you neuter both of them at three and a half months to prevent excretion of territorial scents, which do not smell pleasant at all. Neutering them will also keep them from hurting each other because of territorial behavior. You can relax around unsprayed females. It is not ideal to spay them because it's too dangerous and they may die of excessive blood loss. Do not go to a vet that performs banding on male Gliders. The Gliders will just end up self-mutilating themselves to remove that band from their scrotal area.Keeping gliders of the same sex.
- 3In their natural environment, Gliders will not show symptoms for as long as they can help it. If they do, the other gliders will isolate them, kick them out of the colony, or even kill them. Sick Gliders will attract predators, which will put the colony in danger. If you notice one of your Gliders is being snubbed by the others, you should take it to the vet and have it checked out.Detecting sick gliders.
- 4Sugar Gliders need a secure and safe place. This is where their cage comes into the picture. Always choose tall cages (52 inches high) made of iron (heavy-duty). The spacing of the grills should not allow them to squeeze through. Do not get galvanized wiring for the cage because this causes urinary tract infections in Sugar Gliders. Wood harbors pathogenic bacteria and urine. Do not choose PVC coated wire cages because this is toxic and fatal to Sugar Gliders.Providing shelter.
- 5Sugar Gliders love to climb and play. Just choose toys they cannot swallow, choke on, or rip apart. Also, make sure there are no sharp edges on the toys. They love wheels for exercise as well, but make sure there are no holes in them. Their legs could be easily caught in them. Use a wheel guard for the axle to prevent tails and feet from being injured.Provide toys and decoration.
- 6Make sure that the sleeping places you provide for your Glider are made of cotton flannel or fleece. Choose the same materials for their pouches to carry them around in.Be choosy with sleeping fabric.
- 7Provide blankets and a portable heater for your Gliders. Never place hot rocks in the cage. This is dangerous.Keep them warm.
- 8Take note that Gliders have the thinking ability of a toddler. Always keep an eye on them. If you are going to do something else, just put them back into their cage.Supervise them well when you let them roam.
- 9For this, you can use a camping tent and fill it with toys. This will allow the bonding process to go more smoothly. This way, the Gliders will learn to accept you as part of their colony.Provide a play area.
- 10Other animals are seen as predators. It is best to keep them away to provide more security for your Gliders. Even the gentlest dog or cat can give into temptation. Do not keep gerbils and hamsters with your gliders. They are omnivorous and they can try to eat your other pets.Keep other animals away.
- 11Use vinegar for cleaning cages. This is a safe cleaning agent for your Gliders. It's natural and will not cause harm to your glider's health.Clean the cages once or maybe twice a month.
- 12These are safe for Gliders. Avoid using kitty litter or other substrates that have added chemicals.Use commercial litter, absorbent pads, or fleece for catching Glider waste.
- 13Gliders need a 1:2 (phosphorous:calcium) ratio. You can provide pellets, but not as a sole source of nutrients. Give them mostly proteins, vegetables, and fruits. Bugs such as mealworms should only be given as treats. Choose bugs that are fed organic substances and are not filled with hormones.Provide a high quality diet and the right supplementation.
Breeding sugar gliders is not for first time Glider owners. It is a serious endeavour. With this in mind, take note of the following considerations before deciding to breed sugar gliders:
- 1This will be enough time to learn the ins and outs of breeding gliders and caring for them.Own gliders for at least two years before you breed them.
Raising Sugar Gliders is not something you should take lightly. These may be small creatures, but they need specialized care and attention. Make sure that they receive only the best from you.
- Never purchase sugar gliders from mills.
- Always ask for lineage information from the sugar glider breeder.
- Prepare all sugar glider paraphernalia first before you bring your sugar gliders home.
- Look for certified exotic animal vets or vets that are willing to learn and take on sugar glider care.
Questions and Answers
Can you play with Sugar Gliders during the day?
Can you play with Sugar Gliders during the day.
Sugar gliders are nocturnal so they sleep during the day. However, you can use daytime to encourage bonding by using a bonding pouch which you would wear while the Sugar Glider sleeps. The best time to play with a Sugar Glider is during its normal waking hours (night time).
I have a 14 year Sugar Glider that is getting close; how can I help him now?
My male sugar glider is 14 years old and it seems the end may be near. He appears to be blind at this point. His mobility is increasingly limited as well. He is struggling getting in his bag and ends up sleeping out in the cage. I have put soft rags and stuff for him to sleep in. He sleeps most of the time. He isn't keeping himself very clean as well. The one bright note is he still seems to have a healthy appetite. All of these are obvious signs of an older animal I know. I don't want him to suffer at any point if possible. What should I be expecting and is there a point at which I should consider putting him down? Don't like thinking about that but as I mentioned I don't want him have a horrible ending (or at least not as horrible as it could be). Thanks for any thoughts you have...
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