Sugar Glider as a Pet: What You Should Know

Breeding a Sugar Glider at home is not easy: it requires space, care and time

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By Alex

sugar glider

The Sugar Glider is a small, nocturnal marsupial native to Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea. Sugar Gliders are becoming popular as exotic pets in some regions and have gained some recognition in popular culture. Let’s learn about its physical and behavioral characteristics and everything you need to know about raising it indoors.

The Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps, from Latin for “short-headed acrobat”) belongs to the Petauridae family and is a small marsupial. Therefore it is a totally different animal from flying squirrels, with which it is often confused.

In recent years, it is becoming more and more popular as a pet, although it is not really that easy to raise it at home. Falling in love with it is easy, taking care of it properly, as is necessary, is not so easy and requires time, space and lot of care.

Sugar Glider: physical characteristics

This small marsupial is up to 30 cm long, including the tail, which can be as long as the entire body. The latter is very important because it is an excellent tool for gathering food or holding on to trees.

It reminds a flying squirrel not by chance, as it flies for all intents and purposes! These glides are due to the presence of a membrane called the patagium. The patagium crosses the entire body at the bottom, extending from the hind legs to the front legs.

Its flight is the result of a mathematical calculation where it takes into account many factors to get to its destination. They can jump up to five feet.

The average weight of a Sugar Glider is about 115 grams for females and 140 grams for males. Males can also be distinguished because they have a small hairless area on their heads.

The fur is gray and characterized by darker stripes. It is thick but short. The belly is completely white and females, just like kangaroos and have a pouch to accommodate the pups. The tail is extremely long, almost like its body.

The head is triangular in shape, with large eyes and very small ears that can detect the presence of prey in the dark.

Being native to the rainforest and coastal areas of Australia and New Guinea, the Sugar Glider should be considered for all intents and purposes as an exotic animal.

sugar glider

Sugar Glider: character

In spite of what one might imagine, the Sugar Glider proves to be a very sociable animal. It always desires company, which is why it is often suggested to buy them in pairs.

It also loves to be in its owner’s good graces, and in some cases has been seen to show affection by flying to him when he returns home.

However it is not suitable for children, as it cannot be treated as a cuddly puppet, since it is particularly delicate. Before you allow it to be petted (a temptation that is hard to resist), you will need to have gained its trust, which requires some patience and time. Do not forget that the Sugar Glider has sharp nails and teeth, and although it is not an aggressive animal, it will bite the moment it feels threatened or frightened.

Sugar Glider: price and home breeding

The cost of this pet is about 180/200 dollars. Since it has to be purchased in pairs, you have to consider double the expense. If you do not want to end up with a real breeding of petaurs, avoid buying male and female.

Before venturing into this choice, take into consideration all its needs, primarily the fact that it will fly from corner to corner. It may not be pleasant for someone to find a flying animal jumping from one room to another.

In addition, you should know that it also emits its own characteristic cry and that being a nocturnal animal it might make some noises while you sleep.

Sugar glider
Looks like a flying squirrel, but it’s a totally different kind of animal. Here’s how a Sugar Glider flies between branches.

Where to breed it

You will need to equip yourself with an aviary large enough to encourage its movement. Keeping a Sugar Glider in a cage would be a real torture, so if you don’t have space, avoid adopting it. It’s a huge commitment and we mean it.

Also, consider that males have a heavier and pungent odor. Therefore, the location should also be well evaluated.

Inside this aviary (which must be at least 2 meters high), you shall place all the eating and drinking supplies, including small toys. You must place it in a dark corner and make sure it is not exposed to temperature changes. Try to recreate its natural habitat by including branches from which it can jump.

Sugar glider

The Sugar Glider is popular especially in North America, but it is beginning to have its admirers here as well.

It is crucial, however, to know it well before falling in love with it and making instinctive decisions.

How long does a Sugar Glider live?

The Sugar Glider lives approximately 12/13 years. The longest-lived specimens reach the age of 18 years.

Food

You will need to prepare food every night, as it is a nocturnal animal. The Sugar Glider eats mostly vegetables, fruits, and insects. Obviously to compensate for the lack of protein you will have to go for crickets, locusts, and whatever else, which you will surely find in pet stores.

Every week you will need to add a calcium supplement: the Sugar Glider needs it for its bone health. Unfortunately, on the market to date there is still no single product that can provide all the nutrients to this small marsupial.

Sugar glider
What does this cute little animal eat? Watch out for proper nutrition…

As a result, you will have to arm yourself with patience and try to balance its diet, avoiding it accumulating weight.

For any doubts and for regular visits, it is always good to contact veterinarians who are experts in exotic animals.

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