Sugar Glider as a Pet
Maybe you’ve never heard about sugar gliders kept as pets, but they are quite popular among people who prefer to take care of exotic animals. Sugar gliders are loved for their small size, cute face and unique features. However, it’s harder to look after exotic pets. There are lots of things a person should know before making a decision about getting sugar glider as a pet. This animal has a long life expectancy, requires special ration, spacious home and your love, of course.
Sugar gliders are also known as Petaurus breviceps (in Latina). At people homes they can live from ten to fifteen years. Length of their body without tail is from 15 to 21 cm. Tail has the same length. Weight of the animal is usually from 95 to 170 g.
Sugar gliders are similar to squirrels. They have almost the same form of body and live on trees as squirrels do.
Character and Behavior
Sugar gliders are playful and sweetheart, but their character can become spoiled if you gave them too little attention. If you are owning more than one pet, they usually find a common language and get along. Even if your animals are friendly to each other, you should assure they are not aggressive with you.
Sugar glider communicates with you by using different sounds. Pet can show its bad mood, fear, hunger etc. When gliders are annoyed or sad, they usually make sounds similar to crabbing. Don’t touch your pet after you hear that if you don’t want to be bitten. Also, it’s better not to wake up animal during his day sleep as it’s more active at night. To sum up, gliders behave themselves loud, so don’t be surprised.
Main activities of pets are gliding from one place to another and climbing. That is why they require a lot of space. Also gliders are great fans of day sleep and often curl up somewhere to have a nap.
Unfortunately, you’re not able to make them use toilet. That is the only problem if we are talking about cleaning up after gliders.
There are several ways of giving your pet more attention. For example, let the animal follow you in pocket wherever you go. If the sugar glider you own is not tamed enough, be patient and gentle to make friends with it.
Though glider is small, it’s not so defenseless. Don’t scare your pet if you don’t want to feel the sharpness of its teeth and claws.
Comfortable Home Requirements
The minimal size of a cage for two gliders is 60x60x90 cm. However, it’s even better to buy a bigger one. Also, big height of pet’s house is more preferable than its big length or width. As animals often glide, they need a lot of free space for that.
Cage rods must be horizontal, so the sugar glider is able to climb up. Optimal space between rods is nearly 1 cm. There are things which are must-haves in a pet’s house:
- Toys to play with;
- Closed training wheel;
- Artificial branches and small trees;
Also fasten some nests where glider will sleep in the upper part of its home.
Don’t forget to assure the cage is closed well. Sugar gliders are smart, so finding out how to open the cage is not a problem for them. And falling down may seriously injure the animal.
Put shavings instead of carpet on the cage floor. Aspen or fir are the most suitable, but cedar is invalid as it has too strong smell and that may injure pet’s breathing system. Cage must be cleaned once a week or even more often. Unfortunately, if you forget to do that, sugar glider may become ill.
Animal shouldn’t live in direct sunlight. Also don’t let it be in a place with possible drafts. Temperature in the room where the cage stands must be from 21 to 32 0C.
Sugar gliders are exotic animals, that is why they require special ration. These animals often suffer from calcium and phosphor imbalance. The only way to avoid that is to feed the pet correctly.
Though wild gliders usually eat nectar, fruit and juice they get from trees, the animals are omnivores. Be ready that your cute pet may eat meat, for example, insects or even smaller animals!
People usually choose BML ration for their pet gliders. Diet includes eating of:
- Cereal for small children;
- Calcium powder;
- Fresh fruit and even vegetable (usually eaten before night time).
Talking about formulated rations, they are not so popular. It’s hard to follow them for many people and lots of breeder also think this kind of diet is not so good.
These animals are known to be very stressful. Some of them even injure themselves while feeling bad for a long period. That is why owners of sugar gliders must assure there are no conflicts among their pets and animals have enough free space.
The most common glider illness is an infection (bacterial or parasitic). Usually, pets get sick after eating dirty fruits or vegetables. That’s why it’s necessary to wash and clean every product you feed your animal with. The simplest parasite is called Giardia. Main symptoms of its presence are water deficit, weight losing and weakness.
As it was said before, sugar gliders suffer from calcium and phosphor imbalance. Your task is to feed the animal correctly in order to avoid that.
Before owning a glider, find good veterinarian clinic where the animal can be treated well. Regular visits to the clinic are the best way to find out illnesses and get rid of them.
Owning a Glider
It’s better to buy the animal from a professional breeder. He’ll tell you about glider’s health and character features, will explain how to look after the pet, what diet to choose and how to equip the cage. Moreover, don’t forget to check if owning the glider is legal in your region.
Features of Wild Animals
Sugar gliders spend their childhood in their mother’s bag. Though animals are similar to squirrels, they are not rodents, but marsupials.
Wild gliders live in Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea. Adults make their homes at the tops of trees. Name of animals is combination of their two main features. They are named ‘sugar’ as they love sweet food and ‘gliders’ because of the way they usually choose to move.
Wild gliders’ families are called colonies. Social component is very important in animals’ life. Gliders are not loners, they make relationship and communicate to each other with big pleasure.