WHAT TO EXPECT WITH YOUR NEW SUGAR GLIDER
Congratulations!! You have a sweet baby all ready to bond with you! I've written out a few things to help you, but if you get stuck and need questions answered, feel free to call me.
Sugar gliders are members of the possum family. They live between 5-7 years in the wild, but
can live 12-15 years in captivity.
Daily interaction is essential as sugar gliders are highly social animals. Plan on spending a
minimum of 2 hours each day with your glider, especially if you only have one. The more
time you spend with your glider, the stronger the bond will be between you.
Gliders are nocturnal animals. They sleep during the day and eat and play at night. Taking
your glider out during the day is fine. He may sit or play on you for a few minutes, but then
will probably want to curl up and go to sleep. He will be much more active to play with at
night. Get a piece of rope and dangle it in front of him, he will tug on it and play a miniature
game of "tug-of-war" with you!
"Glider proof" a room for him to play in each night. A bathroom works great, but be sure
to keep the toilet lid down as gliders CANNOT swim! These guys are little escape
artists and you should keep this in mind when you choose a play room for him. Roll a
towel up and place it at the bottom of the door to keep him in his room. Also keep
this in mind when you purchase a cage. Make sure that you choose a cage that closes
securely and has squares no larger than 1/2 X 1 inch.
Sugar gliders cannot be potty trained. They will not use a litter box. As a matter of fact
the majority of the time that you pick them up (especially if you wake them) they are
going to use the bathroom on you.
Gliders need a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. They need a ratio of
30-35% protein and 65-70% fruits & vegetables. Also a vitamin supplement is
very important (the best is Rep-Cal Non-phosphorous w/Vit D3....it is a white jar
with a bright pink label and can be found at Petsmart). Try to use fruits and veggies
that are high in calcium and low in phosphorous. (Corn is usually a glider favorite, but
should not be fed frequently as it is very high in phosphorous)
Water bottles should be cleaned daily. I use bottled spring water to make sure that
my gliders don't get all of the additives that are in the city water, but that is just a
And excellent source of protein is called Leadbetter's mix:
1/2 cup dry baby cereal (oatmeal or mixed)
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tsp vitamin supplement (Rep-Cal is best)
2 2&1/2 oz jars Heinz stage 2 chicken baby food
1 4oz bottle gerber mixed fruit juice w/ yogurt
1 hard boiled egg w/shell left on
1/2 cup honey
mix ingredients well & pour 1 tbsp into each cube of an ice cube tray and freeze. Just
pop 1 cube out per glider each night. (until your glider is a few months older, he will
just need 1/2 cube....so your batch of leadbetter's mix should last almost a month!
This recipe will meet you gliders protein needs completely. If you choose not to use the Leadbetter's mix, other good protein sources are boiled chicken, gerber chicken baby food franks (kind of like vienna sausages, but not as high in fat and preservatives), crickets,
mealworms (mealworms are high in fat so don't feed too many). Nuts are also a source of
protein and gliders really love them, but are high in fat so they should only be fed occasionally
as a treat.
Dry catfood is highly debated as a good protein source. Many breeders feel that it causes
intestinal blockage as gliders do not consume enough water to pass the dry food through
their bodies. My motto is: when in doubt, don't.
Other favorite treats are peach and pear nectar (you can find this at your grocery store
either on the mexican food aisle (Jiminez brand) or on the juice aisle (Kern's).
A few of my gliders' favorite foods are.......Grapes, watermelon (seeds are toxic, so you need
to cut up small enough to be sure they aren't getting any seeds), apple (seeds are toxic), carrots,
fresh spinach, cucumber, corn. You will need to feed 1/4 cup fresh fruits&veggies mixture and
if he doesn't eat all of it for a couple of nights, decrease the amount you give him slightly until he
is eating all of it, then every few weeks until he reaches adulthood, increase the amount you give
him as his appetite will increase as he gets bigger. Try to give a wide variety of fresh food - I
have found that if I feed the same thing over and over, they don't eat as well. Frozen veggies
are also fine to feed but canned fruits and veggies are high in sodium so are not as healthy.
Good sources of information are:
Sugar Gliders A complete owners manual by Caroline MacPherson (book)
International Sugar Glider Association
Most importantly, find yourself (and your baby!) a vet that treats exotic animals. If your glider gets sick or injured, you will already know where you can take him! When fed a proper diet,
and with lots of interaction, gliders are very healthy animals. They are not prone to parasites or
Good luck with your new friend, and PLEASE contact me if you have any questions or problems! 972-613-8010 or Mike972@home.com (email)