Play What ifs.. It may not be a fun game but the knowledge you would get would be invaluable to you once you are starting to work with your new family member. Play this game for at least 3 months, non stop, everyday dedicate a few hours of your time to finding out what is REALLY involved.(Later that few hours would be spent with your glider.) Be sure you read each section. Each one has a very valuable role in the ownership of your new pet. I know this may seem really stupid, but afterwards you will understand how, all this will fit together, to make the life of you and your new pet a great experience.
RESEARCH first!! for at least 3 to six months.. Go 6 months as if you
already have one. Stay up till 4
in the morning, don't fall asleep. Take this game of What If's seriously. Don't rush into getting a glider. Don't expect to get a cheap glider..Learn all you can about them, No one knows everything, EVERYONE of us still is learning about them. .They are very unique animals, with very unique needs. It takes someone VERY dedicated to the species, to be a GOOD glider parent.. How old should they be? What is the earliest to be taken from mom. How can you tell if they are too young? What should you look for at the breeders? What questions should you ask? What will you keep it in? What is the right size for the cage? What size and kind of wire is safe? What needs to go into the cage? What Branches are safe? What temps can they tolerate? RESEARCH>>> spend all the time learning how to REALLY care for your friend.. Cute isn't everything.. Chances are you have seen a "bonded sweet" glider.. well here is a reality bite for all of you.. It takes LOTS of time, patience, and perserverance, to bond with a glider. It doesn't come naturally, You can get the sweetest glider from one of the best breeeders and it can turn viciously mean on you. It doesn't take much to blow a trust. but it takes even longer to rebuild it. There is nothing here that isn't true. You can only find these answers with RESEARCH and LOTS of it..If you rush into this now.. you may regret it later.. I know I will..
What if I did want one ? Are they legal? Do I need a permit or a license? Are there any restrictions?
What if a friend visited with their glider? Time limit? What if they are found?
Sugar gliders are illegal in some states, some states have special permits and criteria that must be met. While playing the what if game, call or write (most have web pages) your State Fish and Game, Wildlife Dept. etc.. Find out from them if they are legal to own in your state. Ask if there are any special fees, permits or restrictions that are required. Check with your City, County, and local municipalities regarding their legality. Opposums (which are marsupials) are illegal to keep as pets in some areas. Gliders are marsupials, and some places have the blanket law of no marsupials permited. If you find they are illegal, Then ask, what if someone was visiting and had one? Ask what the fines or consequences are if found in your possession in your area. If you are in an illegal area. Think hard about wanting a glider. That glider don't have a choice as to what happens to it, but you will know in advance if you are caught with it, it WILL be confiscated, it WILL be put down.. so in a sense you will be responsible for the life of that glider if it is confiscated.
Really know what you MAY get in a glider
The possibility may exist that you don't get a sweet, calm, glider that
loves you right off the bat. There are certain downsides that come with
a glider, Many people have put out excellent info rearding the REAL facts
about gliders. Some gliders may have all the downsides , some only a few.
You must know what to expect. If you expect the worst then when it doesn't
have some of the downsides, that is that much less you have to worry about.
They do pee and poop wherever they want, don't expect to litter train it,
They are very unique animals, with very unique needs. It takes someone
VERY dedicated to the species, to be a GOOD glider parent.. Just ask yourself
if you are ready to take on the responsibility of a baby for the next 15
years. The RIGHT fresh food feedings, midnight playtimes, midnight noises.
temper tantrums, bitings, and not potty trained. They will scratch
and gouge you with their claws. You can not for any reason tap them on
the nose, yell at them or get angry in anyway shape or form. They
will smell, till you LEARN, how to feed it right, clean the cages properly,
and know what to expect. Find a petstore that has untamed, scared gliders.
See if you think they are still cute when you get bit. If they are untamed,
you will get bit. Now don't pull your hand away, take the bite. How many
of those bites are you going to take? My glider doesn't have a mean bone
in her body, but she can change at any given time for any given reason.
You must remember they are still a wild animal, and when scared, those
wild instincts take over Don't expect it to be loving, cute, and cuddly
when you first get it, that comes with bonding. The bonding process takes
days, weeks, months, sometimes a year, sometimes not at all. Are you prepared
to spend lots of money on a glider that may not let you hold it? Cuddle
it?.Are you REALLY prepared for this? Other sites to check out are 8
reasons not to buy an exotic pet, the pros
sugarglider owners should have, Sugarglideritis
Find A Glider Knowledgable Vet
You must find a glider knowledgeable vet in your area. If not you need
to have contacts handy and ready for "in the middle of the night calls".
Glider have been known to only have a short time between injury or illness
and death. They can die from a cold, broken leg, a bad diet, depression
as well as many many other illnesses. Many times with Sugar Gliders since
they are nocturnal, the problems don't present themselves until the middle
of the night. Many times, someone is not online to help, and most vet offices
are closed. So Now what are you going to do. Who would you contact? What
conections do your vets need? What Information will he need when you bring
your glider in? How much will it cost? Too many times people has had to
wait till morning, only to find the glider couldn't. BE PREPARED FOR EMERGENCIES.
Find out how much it would cost to run a total series of tests in the middle
of the night. You may have to do this, and trust me it isn't cheap, I know
of a woman that had spent over 400.00 in a 2 day period, just to keep her
glider alive. Some die and it costs lots of money to find out why.
The most common answer when a vet is asked if they know about sugar gliders
is.... What's that? or What's a Sugar Glider? These are not very good signs
if you need this vet to handle your emergency, especially, in the middle
of the night. As soon as you see the one you want, either ask for a certificate
of health from a vet, ask that it be seen by a vet. or you yourself take
it to a vet.Most common deaths amoung new young gliders could have been
prevented with a visit to a glider knowledgable vet first.
Generational Things to Consider
Each Generation has it's own set of personal things to take into consideration. Granted problems arise that are unforeseen, but many times with a little bit of thought and ingenuity, you could probably come up with things that may happen. Not like: I could lose my job and be homeless, but more along the lines of.. I work 2 jobs, have 5 kids ages 1 to 9 and take care of my invalid grandmother. Using this example it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know this person MAY not have the time to spend with a glider. Ask yourself if you are not self supporting if whoever is supporting you, will spend hundreds of dollars, if this glider gets sick. Are you able to get it to a vet if necessary. Each generation has it's own variables to consider. Remember these gliders live up to 15 years and need at the very least 2 hours of human interaction or socialization. Ask yourself what if this happens or this happens or want to do this. Do you go on vacations? What will you do with your glider?
Housing and Glider Proofing
When playing this game you must also take into consideration, where you live, What will you keep it in? What is the right size for the cage? What size and kind of wire is safe? What needs to go into the cage? What Branches are safe? What temps can they tolerate? What kinds of dangers in your house do you see could be detrimental to your glider. Some homes have baseboard heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves, etc. that would be very enticing for your glider to either crawl into or jump onto. Do you live in an apartment with very thin walls? Gliders do bark and have been known to bark all night long. Walk around you home room by room.. Look for things that could injure your glider, Set a place for the cage. Size it and check out all the possibilities. Is it in the direct sun or in a direct draft? Can it be bumped or moved accidentally? Is it where there is a lot of commotion going on? Pretend you have it already. Prepare the home. Be sure you have all the holes or cracks sealed, Look for places you normally wouldn't look, like on top of window sills, in little corners where mice could have chewed little holes.
Diets/Ingredients and Controversies
What will you feed it? Learn about the various diets and the nutrional needs of gliders. What was once acceptable is no longer all right..There are many different diets and just as many controversial issues regarding their diet. The basic diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables and protiens, which also include live bugs. the percentage is considered to be 25%to 50% proteins 75% fresh fruits and vegetables. Learn of the importance of the Calcium/Phosphorus ratio. Check out the different "ready made " foods and the make at home foods. Cut up fresh fruits and veggies EVERY night. Talk to people who have used each one, weigh out the differences, of each. There are many controversies out there about some foods. Read and ask about the differing sides.
Hands On Experienced Owners Testimonials
When looking and playing be sure you talk with others that have gliders.
Ask them what they did when they first got them to stop the crabbing, biting,
and be sure to ask them what you can expect, how long it took them to bond,
what they feed them, where they play with them, house them. Find out all
you can, but not from just one person talk to a lot of people. Ask people
ever chance you get, do surveys about food, bonding, housing, etc..
Talk to people that have problems with their gliders, biting, nipping,
not bonding..The experience that these
people have already gone through will help you with yours. I honestly believe
the Hands on Experienced is your best source of information. Some popular
Message bases to check out. Keep an open mind and remember these people
have seen fad pet buyers buy a pet, only to get rid of it a few months
later when the newness wears off, when they find out how much responsibilty
is involved, when they no longer have time for them, sometimes after the
glider has already bonded with the owner. Help is there, for anyone REALLY
interested in finding out about gliders.
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