Sugar gliders are one of the cutest and most enigmatic animals that you could keep as pets. They are incredibly fun to be around and can bond very quickly. Many people are willing to spend a considerable amount to acquire and maintain them.
The sugar glider is an exotic animal that’s accustomed to its natural habitat. Therefore, it takes a bit of time for them to adjust among humans. In some places such as California or Alaska, it’s also illegal to own sugar gliders. These are all factors which affect its price and cause it to fluctuate.
Physical Appearance of Sugar Gliders
These creatures are quite small and usually measure up to 12 or 13 inches from the nose to the tail. Sugar gliders belong to a family of marsupials. Many people often confuse them with squirrels because they look so similar. Some even consider them to be rodents!
They have a grey-brown coat of thick fur. But, in some cases, rare albino or pale yellow sugar gliders have also been spotted. One of the most distinctive physical features of this animal is a long black stripe that goes from its head to the back. It’s almost impossible to miss.
The other noticeable factor about their physical appearance is the large, round eyes. Since they are known to be nocturnal, these large eyes allow for more light in, letting them see in the dark.
Is it Good to Keep Sugar Gliders as Pets?
This is a question that a lot of people ask given the wild nature of sugar gliders. Interestingly enough, the animals can get used to humans with time and effort and are quite social as well. Many experts do not recommend keeping sugar gliders as a lone pet, however.
Since they usually live in large groups or colonies, it is advisable to get a pair. These animals can become quite tame with training and tend to show affection as well. Since sugar gliders are mostly born prematurely, they prefer to remain in a small space as their bodies continue to grow.
Those who are looking to keep them as pets can easily get small pockets or pouches where they can hide or crawl inside for warmth. This also makes it easy for the owners to carry them around.
Is the Sugar Glider Price High?
The creature is native to Australia and New South Wales, and likes to climb and live in trees. It can make a nest with around ten others in one place and stay quite comfortably. The natural habitat and tropical temperature make it difficult for sugar gliders to adapt to small or enclosed spaces. As a result, pet owners need to keep this in mind when assessing sugar glider price.
If you consider breeders, the value of these creatures varies according to its age and growth. An adult can cost anything between $100 to $200 while a baby that is 8 to 10 weeks in age can go for up to $500. With infants, you can train them easily and get them on different diets quickly, which can be challenging with adult sugar gliders.
Another thing that should be considered for the overall costs of these creatures is the fact that they should be bought in pairs. It can be difficult for one sugar glider to survive for a long time as the creature needs a companion apart from its human owner. This can be quite costly at the end as caring for two sugar gliders means doubling your monthly expenditure.
Upkeep and Care of Sugar Gliders
This is where things can get slightly tricky. These are not regular creatures that can become friendly in a short span of time or begin thriving outside their habitat. In order to make sure your pet thrives for longer, you should focus on creating an environment for them that is familiar and stimulating.
With the right care, sugar gliders are able to last for 10 to 15 years. If you need a pet companion for a long term, getting a sugar glider might be worth it.
Setting up a Cage
Once the creature gets used to its home and owner, it can be let out of the cage under supervision during daytime or nighttime. In order for that to happen, people need to give a lot of attention to setting up the cage for the sugar gliders. It should be spacious and tall, ideally more than 36 inches in width and 24 inches in height.
If you are thinking of getting this animal as a pet, you must keep in mind that the cost of maintenance and proper care will exceed the initial sugar glider price you paid for it. The cage is just the beginning. You will also need to spend on accessories for entertainment and dietary requirements.
Sugar gliders require nesting or bedding, and ropes or branches to climb so you should accessorize their cage with items that will keep the creature active. In case you live in a region with a colder climate, you should invest in a small heater that you can keep at least three feet away from the cage of the sugar glider.
Their diet mainly consists of leaves or fruits that they could get in the wild. As pets, they require similar nutrition and food items which allow them to thrive and live healthily. So, the diet given to a sugar glider should contain fruits, vegetables, insects, nectar, and vitamin supplements that can be crushed into baby food.
As with all other animals, sugar gliders are also prone to illnesses and severe diseases if not treated or looked at in time. The common problems that they can suffer from stem from bacterial infections and injuries that they can easily get due to their level of activity.
In captivity, these creatures are prone to obesity and sometimes malnutrition as well. The owners have to make sure that their feed is well-balanced. If the sugar glider becomes obese, they are likely to develop cardiac diseases in a way similar to humans.
On the other hand, lack of nutrition results in dehydration or deteriorating bone health. Both the scenarios lead to fatalities, so providing a balanced diet is of critical importance.
What to Know
If you are thinking of buying a pair of sugar gliders for pets, you should be prepared to spend a considerable amount of money. Apart from their sale price, which can go higher depending on the laws in your state as you will need special permits to keep them as pets, their upkeep does not come cheap. You will have to make sure that they are given the best care and watch out for warning signs of diseases or illnesses.