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Talk Me Out Of Sugar Gliders!


Getting There...
So I am currently very driven to get 2 sugar gliders as pets. I understand their need for a complex diet and handling time, and fully committed to researching and dedicating my time to their needs. However, having never owned them before, I'm sure there are other concerns I haven't addressed. Has anyone here had any experience with these as pets or have any advice on them?
I'm just musing for now, but think I would really like them as pets,
Just some points that are universal for any pet and often forgotten:
Have you figured out the monthly cost of ownership? Are you employed currently, can you manage that?
Is there a vet that can tend to them in the area- do you have a nest egg incase of an emergency?
What are you doing for the next 10-20 years of your life? Are you ready to deal with their complicated requirements for THAT long, or do you honestly see yourself getting worn out/bored/tired after the first year?
Is moving somewhere that may require you to surrender them a potential problem?

Find an active sugar-gliders community/forum or two. That's the best way to learn everything there is- from other's experiences. They'll also know the secrets the generic guides and pet stores won't tell you.
Most definitely what Liz said, seek out online forums and try to read all their archives, look for active forums who have new posts everyday. And make posts yourself asking questions if you don't see the answer, tell them you haven't got any yet and are only researching, decent forum people will appreciate your research, answer your questions and post links to info to help you out - they want you to succeed with your pets as much as you do.

I would love a pair of the little guys (supposed to keep them in pairs for their emotional well being), I bought a book on keeping them some years ago and there is a reptile shop in Minneapolis who breeds them but never did get them.
i used to have gliders(hence my name) in all honesty they are like dogs. they need attention. you form a bond with them that you dont form with any other kind of pet. they are truly special little animals.

some things to note:
-give them LOTS of space. they love to scamper around and a big cage is needed to make them happy.
-diet should consist of lean proteins(in moderation) and fresh fruits and veggies. crickets, mealworms, pinky mice and nuts are treats that are high in protein but should only be given in moderation.
- fresh clean water at all times....duh
-give them PLENTY of toys and things to occupy their time in their cage. several nesting boxes, bells, excercise wheel(wodent wheel= amazing), sterile branches and even fake foliage all make for great objects.
-as said above... make sure you have a vet already lined up. it took me almost an hour and a half to find a vet then another hour to drive out there when my last glider got sick... took too long and she unfortunately died. :(

be sure to do plenty of other research and have a fair bit of cash saved up. they grow on you... quick. so be ready. good luck!

If you're really looking to be talked out of this just take into account that they are forest canopy gliding creatures, and you will most likely never be able to give them the habitat they deserve.

The same goes for flying frogs, flying geckos, flying snakes, flying squirrels, most birds...

Those creatures are built to soar from tree to tree experiencing the exhiliration of flight. Will you ever be able to provide that?

Of course there are all the other practical reasons that everyone else mentioned about owning an exotic pet like this.

But in my opinion it's kind of like keeping whales in water parks, they are built and meant to live for so much more...

(have we lost ourselves)
meant to live for so much more...

(have we lost ourselves)

lol...really? :-))

back to the topic, i would never try to talk someone out of taking an animal out of a pet shop. as long as you know the responsibilities you will be doing that animal (or those) a favor. Currently me and my gf are looking into...chinchillas, wolf hybrids, mini-pigs and another rabbit. lol. fantasizing about having any one of these (or your gliders) is alot of fun, but actually having one or some is a huge undertaking (seems to me the smaller they are the more responsibility).

so...if your like me...then you'll probably get them so...HAVE FUN! take a BUNCH of pictures! (make sure to show liz) lol.
In addition to those who've already posted, check with Rattler & Trapper7 - both have owned gliders...
Many years ago I was tempted to get a pair of them. I bought a book or two on them, read and researched on the web.
They sounded more demanding then what I was able to provide so I never got any.

About a year ago I looked into them again and thought I saw something on some breeder pages that they could not ship to certain states. So you may want to be should that you can have them in your state.
I am currently in school, so it would be at least a year or so until I graduate and get them, but I'm not too worried about bored, I am good with maintaining pets. I'm pretty sure I will get them when I can, and I plan on getting a breeding pair.
and continuing cost. Like children, pets require constant care and attention. They need regular check ups and care if the get ill. Make sure you have plenty of extra cash. Recently my dog torn his ACL. This required about $800 in surgery and a lot of care. We had a cat that had kidney disease, multiple surgeries and finally death = lots of cash. I got a rescued dog that I knew was dying from a bad heart, but was determined to give him a couple of good months = $$$. If you get them make sure to have a stock of cash meant for their care. Good luck.
havent read all the posts as im short on time but i have kept Sg's.....they are nocturnal and want to play when you want to sleep and generally very grumpy bout being woke up midday.....the food requires preparation unlike most other pets.....very sharp claws and they dont understand that your face is not a suitable landing spot.......must be kept in groups, can get neurotic as hell if their mate dies......must be fed every day so you need someone to feed them if you go on a trip.....

interesting critters, was glad i kept them to experience them but i will not get them again in the future....
I agree with all above posters. I haven't kept one, but I understand high maintenance. I got a bearded dragon before I fully understood all the attention they require. And the vet bills! Yeouch!

I'm not saying "don't do it", but just be sure you have all your ducks in a row before you do.
A relative of mine has a couple flying squirrels. She keeps them in a macaw cage at night where they can run around and play. This cage is easily the size of your average closet.

The cage had to be modified and grid was welded onto it because without it they could squeeze out. Each squirrel has its own wheel made for flyers/gliders, to keep the nails trimmed there is special sandpaper inserts that go on the outside of the special wheels. There is a constant supply of nuts, and bird seed, but fresh fruit and vegetables are given nightly, probiotics are given, vitamin supplements are given, and the toys (bird toys pretty much) have to be rotated out every few months or else they will get bored and "power groom" bald spots.

During the day, they stay on my relative at almost all times. She is their "tree" and they sleep in her bra, they will crawl around from one pocket to another. During the evenings hey spend time with the whole family they belong to and they will jump and glide around, run around.... Doors must be kept shut, toilets all must stay closed when not in use, cealing fans must be off when they are out.

They are as demanding as a dog or cat, except very fragile. These are flying squirrels but the care is essentially very similar to sugar gliders... They both need proper diet and housng, interaction, etc.

It is my understanding that gliders are much more mellow than flyers. Flyers are skittish, like any other squirrel. I'm not allowed to eat potato chips or any snack that has a noisy bag around them when they are out because it freaks them out. They are toilet trained and are taken to go pee on a papertowel on a glass dish three or four times a day. Not making that up lol. They still poop everywhere, but at least they don't pee on you.

With all that said... They are completely worth all the expense, trouble and effort if you are willing to meet their needs. They will proved you with years of companionship and happiness if they are anything like flying squirrels. They will form a bond with you, and will in essence become your little buddy and pal and not so much a pet. For my relative, the squirrels are as much a part of her family as her kids or husband are.
My grandfather down in Arkansas found a baby squirrel on the ground seemingly helpless so he took it home and raised it free range around the house and kept it until it died a number of years later. Wasn't a flying squirrel but he found it good company. As far as finding an exotic pet vet, good luck with that. The vets around here don't even deal with rabbits or hamsters or anything "simple" like that (my aunt's lop ear got sick) they send you to the University of MN which will run you very big bucks indeed!