Sugar gliders are fascinating little animals. They have recently increased in popularity as pets around the world. Gliders are a little different than other small pets such as hamsters and gerbils and have different needs to remain healthy and live extended lives. Here is what to expect from a pet sugar glider.
Sugar gliders thrive on social interaction. It is strongly recommended that they be kept in pairs or more when in captivity. Single pet gliders will require a substantial amount of time interacting with their owner to prevent them from becoming depressed. When they suffer from depression they often starve themselves to death.
They are a nocturnal animal, which means they sleep during the day and are active during evening and night hours. Their large eyes are adapted to help them see at night. Because of this they don’t enjoy bright lighting during the daytime or nighttime. For their daytime sleeping they will need a nest box in their cage. They will sleep better and be healthier with a nest box to snuggle down inside of. A wooden box will work just fine. They should be allowed out of their cage at least every evening to play and bond with their owner. Some people buy a sugar glider pouch and carry their gliders around with them. This can create a very strong bond between owner and glider.
Their cage should be large. Sixteen cubic feet is a good minimum size for a sugar glider cage. The cage should be taller than it is wide. Sugar gliders need extra space to use when they are awake. Inside of the cage, give them branches and hanging toys to climb but leave enough open area so they can glide from side to side. The temperature in their living space needs to be between 70 degrees and 90 degrees. An auxiliary form of heat will most likely be needed. Fresh food and water should be provided on a daily basis. Things to be aware of when looking for a cage include wire spacing and latches on the doors. Gliders are very small so the spacing between the wires of the cage needs to be very narrow to keep them from escaping. Door latches need to be secure and not easily opened. Sugar gliders have been known to learn to open weak latches on their own. Escaped sugar gliders can be extremely difficult to find and can get injured when unsupervised.