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New Sugar Glider Checklist

Use this checklist of things to get before bringing a new sugar glider home.

By Audrey Pavia

sugar glider
Sugar Glider Crabby/© Courtesy John Tornese
Nesting boxes, a bonding pouch and nail clippers are just some of the items you need for your sugar glider.

1. A large, tall, well-ventilated cage, no smaller than 36 by 24 by 36 inches for one to two sugar gliders
2. Climbing branches, hanging toys, ladders, bells and swings

3. Multiple nesting boxes and/or sleeping pouches (including an extra one for training and aid in transporting your sugar glider)

4. A bonding pouch

5. Recycled paper or aspen shavings for bedding. You can also use shredded, unbleached paper towels.

6. Several small mammal water bottles, hanging food containers and one or more solid-floored plastic hamster exercise wheels. 

7. A secure small mammal carrier to transport your sugar glider.
8. Commercially prepared sugar glider diets or appropriate homemade sugar glider recipes, vitamin and mineral supplements. Fresh vegetables and fruits

9. Crickets, mealworms or other feeder insects

10. Vitamin and mineral supplements designed for sugar gliders. If not available, use a multi-vitamin and mineral product for cats, dogs or reptiles that contains calcium but no phosphorus.
11. Nail clippers designed for cats or human babies.

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New Sugar Glider Checklist

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Reader Comments
It helps a person get started right before bringing a Sugar Glider. Makes it easier to care right for the pet from the beginning.
William, San Francisco, CA
Posted: 2/24/2014 8:19:47 PM
Tikki, your argument can be used for absolutely any domesticated animal. No one thinks twice about someone who keeps a bird for a pet, an animal that lives to fly. Yet we clip their wings and take away their ability to fly freely (to keep them from escaping outside and ultimately being killed). Dogs are social pack animals, yet many people leave them home alone all day while they are away at work or school or worse yet, tie them up in their yard and never let them in the house at all. Sugar gliders are no different than any other animal kept as a pet. There are many generations of domesticated sugar gliders being bred by legal and licensed breeders. When a person brings a new furbaby into their home, hopefully they take enough time to make their home safe for that furbaby. Many people let their gliders roam freely in homes that have been made safe for them. And guess what? Though the gliders love to jump and play and explore, they will ALWAYS prefer to be near the person they are bonded to because that is what makes them feel safe and happy. Sugar gliders only live 6 or 7 years in the wild and they can live over 15 years in captivity with proper care. I know of one who is 18 years old and still going strong. The point is, if you don't have the time or intelligence to properly care for any animal, you shouldn't keep one as a companion. If you are the kind of person who is dedicated to giving your furbaby the best possible life, it is a relationship that is beneficial both to the person AND the furbaby who will experience a long life of love, happiness and good health. Keeping animal companions is a hallmark of humanity. Keeping a professionally bred domesticated animal is entirely different than keeping a WILD baby animal snatched from it's mother in it's native land, like your penguin/human analogy. Stealing wild sugar gliders is illegal and punishable by large fines. I highly doubt this is being done with any kind of frequency. They have been bred in the US and elsewhere for decades and there is no point in kidnapping babies from their mothers in the wild. Spend your time and effort protecting animals that need to be protected.
Kira, Phoenix, AZ
Posted: 10/27/2012 11:16:32 AM
I'm sorry Mailie, but you are completely wrong at #17.

Throughout my entire family (5 families) that live here in Indiana, we have all used heat rocks and they are by far the best things out there for keeping your little guys warm. Heating lamps are a nice idea and are a good substitution for heating rocks but they are not required.

Not vet out there will tell you that heat rocks are dangerous to the animals. People say that the animals are burned by them and that they are too hot. But you can not find a single documented case of where a heat rock has burned any animal. You will hear people say they do, but it's hearsay and not a fact at all.
DDPJ, Columbus, IN
Posted: 5/9/2012 7:10:17 AM
I would like to add to the list:

12. Find a Veterinarian

13. Emergency Medical Kit including an e-collar

14. A friend on standby that knows how to care for and has spent time with your gliders in case you need a glider sitter.

15. Find someone who can take them if some unforeseen circumstance happens. I have heard of this trouble with birds who live a long time and either outlive their owner or an owner dies prematurely. Put this info in a WILL so your suggies are always protected.

16. Slush fund for unexpected costs i.e. emergency vet bills. I suggest no less than what your vet would charge for an emergency appointment and lab tests.

17. Heat lamp for on top of or near the cage in case they want room. DO NOT GET HEAT ROCKS! They are dangerous

18. Glider dining room, this saves so much time with cleanup and helps reduce waste of food.

I know this adds a bit to the expense of owning gliders but being prepared will help your suggies have a healthy and long life.
Mailie, butte, MT
Posted: 4/8/2012 3:06:24 PM
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