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FAQ

1. What is a sugar glider?
Sugar gliders, petaurus brevicus, are marsupials originating in Australia. Marsupials such as sugar gliders [as well as kangaroos, possums, and koalas], are interesting in that the females have pouches located on their abdomen in which the baby, or joey, grows. Sugar gliders have only been pets in the US since about the late 1980s, early 1990s. Extremely intelligent, they are very similar in appearance to the North American flying squirrel, though there is no relation and their anatomy is actually very different.

2. How big is a sugar glider?
Adult gliders are about six inches from head to rear, while their tail is about another six inches. Adults range from 60g-180g.

3. How long do sugar gliders live?
Sugar gliders can live up to 15 years, though do to many accidents and diet-related illnesses, the average is thought to be about 5-7.

4. How much work is a glider? How much extra work is a second one?
Sugar gliders are by no mean “easy” pets. However, they are much fun to those that care for them, and the work is justified by the companionship and enjoyment received. Gliders are a commitment, but it is a worthwhile one. Gliders need to be fed an approved diet, the cage cleaned regularly, and toys rotated. Multiple gliders can be housed in the same cage and, while it will get dirtier faster, most everything else is the same. It is very highly suggested to have at least two gliders per cage.

5. Why is it suggested to have two?
Sugar gliders are colony animals, and thus are very social. A single glider can very easily get depressed and self mutilate.

6. When are gliders normally awake?
Gliders are nocturnal, meaning that they are primarily awake at night. Typically, daytime is “bonding time”, the time to carry them in a pouch, and nighttime is “play time”, the time to play in your tent or glider room with them.

7. Do I need to take them to the vet?
Yes and no. Vet checks are necessary, but shots or preventative medications are not needed like they are for cats and dogs. If you ever notice anything “different” or “wrong” with your glider, get them to a vet IMMEDIATELY, as gliders are excellent at hiding illnesses.

8. Are sugar gliders okay for kids?
As a pet for them to take care of? No. Gliders need a responsible adult as their primary caretaker. In addition, gliders move quickly and can startle a young child into accidentally hurting these fragile animals. But it is okay to have gliders in a home with children, so long as they are well taken care of and the children are supervised.

9. How much time do I need to spend with my sugar gliders?
Well, the more time you spend with your glider, the more friendly and bonded they will be. I recommend at very least half an hour each day.

10. Is there any difference in males and females?
In temperament, no. Males can fight for territory, though neutering will take care of this, as well as the excess odor that comes with males.

11. Will it pee on me?
Pretty much. You’re a moving potty. But they’re pretty predictable – they don’t like to go in their pouch, so if they’re just waking up, give them a bit of time to walk around and use the bathroom.

12. Will it bite me?
I think this is the question I get the most. Well, gliders do have teeth. And they do have the free will to try and use them. However, if they are not scared or startled, then they will most likely not bite. Therefore, I see it as my fault if I get bitten – I have pushed their boundaries. Some gliders will “nip”, which isn’t very painful, as a way to get your attention if you’re not “listening” to them.

13. What do they eat?
Sugar gliders eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. When considering adopting gliders, be sure to research the vet approved diets. Sugar Glider Info does not believe in using pellets as the sole form of nutrition, but as a part of a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables.

14. How can you tell the difference between play fighting and real fighting?
Basically, if you have to ask… they’re play fighting. Play fighting includes gentles slaps, hisses, chatting sounds, wrestling, and playful lunging. Real fighting inclues growling, screaming, blood-letting bites, and rolling up into a ball. If you see real fighting, the gliders involved need to be separated immediately.

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