The sugar glider is a popular exotic pet that is small and well-known for its huge button eyes and soft coat. The sugar glider has much to offer as a pet, being both interactive with its owners and easy to bond with.
Not only are sugar gliders a long-term commitment as a pet because they can live between 10 to 15 years in captivity, but they are not the best pets for beginners. They require a lot of care, and these social creatures require a lot of enrichment, socialization, and plenty of exercise because they are playful creatures.
If you are interested in owning a sugar glider as a pet and have done all the necessary research you need on how to care for them properly and meet their needs, then these are the essential supplies you will need to get started in caring for your very own sugar glider.
The 7 Essential Sugar Glider Supplies
1. Suitable Cage
Sugar gliders love to climb, jump, and explore their environment which makes it important to provide them with a large cage. Vertical space is more important to consider when purchasing a cage for your sugar glider and it should include ramps and levels in the cage that they can climb to. Since sugar gliders must be kept in pairs because they are social creatures, you want to look for a cage that is a minimum of 24 inches in length, 36 inches in height, and 24 inches in width.
This is only the bare minimum for sugar gliders, and it is considered to be quite small, especially if you want more than two sugar gliders in a cage so always aim for as large a cage as possible. The more toys and sugar gliders you want to add to the cage, the larger it should be.
2. Food and Water Dishes
When choosing a water and food dish for your sugar glider, you want to look for one that is made out of either glass, ceramic, or steel. These types of dishes are easy to maintain, and many come with brackets that allow you to attach the bowls to the bars of a wire cage.
The food bowl should be quite large so that your sugar glider can forage through the food as they are known to mess food out of the bowl. It is also a good idea to have one water bottle at a certain level of the cage, and a water dish on another level so that your sugar glider has access to fresh water at all times.
You can also purchase a set of food and water dishes that can be attached to the cage and match each other. If you prefer to feed your sugar glider out of a bowl that is placed on a level in the cage, you can use an anti-turning food dish.
3. Enrichment Toys
Sugar gliders love to play and explore as they are interactive animals. This makes it essential to provide them with different toys as enrichment to help combat boredom. You may need to rearrange the toys often, as sugar gliders can become bored if they are not offered a range of different toys that are changed out every month.
Accessories such as hammocks and tunnels are loved by sugar gliders, and instead of purchasing toys separately, you can buy a bundle of toys for your sugar glider that you can place in the cage and swap out when needed. Toys that encourage your sugar glider to climb and explore as they do in the wild are the best options. Sugar gliders also enjoy chewing, so providing them with wooden chew toys will help keep them busy.
4. Bedding or Cage Liners
Sugar gliders can be quite messy, so it is important to fill the bottom of their cage with a layer of a substrate such as bedding or use a cage liner. This will make cleaning easier for you, as they will mess food, excretions, and chewed items onto the bottom of the cage. If you choose a sugar glider cage that has a flat pan that can be removed, then a cage liner will be a better option so that you do not have the hassle of cleaning up spilled bedding from the sides of the cage.
Sugar gliders are foragers and need an omnivorous diet that contains all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. They eat a variety of different foods such as insects, fruits, vegetables, and cereals.
When choosing a staple food for your sugar glider, look for one that contains a blend of ingredients that they would naturally eat in the wild. Since sugar gliders use a lot of energy, they need the carbohydrates from cereals and bread that can be found in different commercial foods.
6. Exercise Wheel
Providing your Sugar glider with an exercise wheel is important because they are very active. Most exercise wheels are too small for sugar gliders, which is why you should choose one that has a diameter of more than 12 inches (30 cm). Your sugar glider’s back should not arch, and the wheel should not have an extended axle because their tails can get caught in it.
If you have more than three sugar gliders in the same cage, you may want to purchase two wheels for them so that they can each have their turn running on the wheel. Some wheels can be attached to the cage, while others can be free-standing on a sturdy base. This wheel is completely silent and is designed for sugar gliders.
7. Nesting pouches or box
Sugar gliders are nocturnal and spend between 13 to 19 hours sleeping during the day. They will benefit from having a sleeping pouch or a large nesting box that they can turn into a sleeping area. Some nesting boxes can be mounted to the bars of the enclosure to save space, and you can place a natural nesting material in them to make sure the bottom is soft and comfortable for your sugar glider to sleep in. Although sugar gliders typically sleep together, it will be beneficial to offer them two separate sleeping areas in different areas of the cage.
Once you have purchased the essential items for your sugar glider, you can start preparing their new home and making it as enriching and comfortable for them as possible. Make sure that the cage you purchase is large enough to support your group of sugar gliders and all the accessories you plan to add in without the cage looking too cramped.
Most of these supplies will be a once-off purchase, however, you will need to purchase food, chew toys, and bedding every couple of weeks when they run out.
Featured Image Credit: MARVIK, Shutterstock