Sugar Gliders are interesting exotic pets that can make great companions for the right family. However, because they’re not conventional pets, their care needs can be a bit confusing. It isn’t odd to not know what your sugar glider needs.
To help your sugar glider thrive, we’ve put together this list of essential supplies. While this doesn’t include everything you could purchase for your pet, it does give you an idea of what you’ll need before you adopt a sugar glider.
The 9 Essential Sugar Glider Supplies
You’ll also need some type of bedding for your sugar glider’s cage. You want to choose bedding materials that are safe for sugar gliders to use. Avoid cedar and pine, as these can be potentially harmful for sugar gliders. Instead, recycled newspaper with non-toxic ink or paper-based bedding works best.
Paper-based bedding is a popular choice for sugar gliders. It’s soft, comfortable, and can be easily cleaned because it visibly changes color when soiled, indicating an impending change.
Avoid dusty bedding, as this can lead to respiratory problems. You’ll probably want something absorbent, too. The bedding should be easy to replace and clean, as you’ll need to clean out the cage regularly.
Something like the Kaytee Clean & Cozy Bedding works well. This bedding is paper-based and expands to take up quite a bit of room. It is also relatively absorbent, which is always a nice addition.
3. Pouches and Nesting Boxes
You’ll need to provide your sugar gliders with somewhere to sleep. Instinctively, sugar gliders want to sleep somewhere secure and safe, which typically means you’ll need to purchase a hanging pouch or hammock for your pets to sleep in. This is especially important for sugar gliders, as they are nocturnal and, therefore, prefer a comfortable sleeping pouch during the day, away from distractions, noise, or drafts.
Hanging pouches are soft, fabric-covered pouches that mimic the cozy sleeping environment that sugar gliders naturally seek in the wild. They provide a warm and secure place for sugar gliders to sleep during the day. Pouches are typically made from fleece or other safe fabrics.
There are many types of pouches available out there. You’ll need to choose the right pouch for your sugar gliders based on their size. A simple pouch like the Exotic Nutrition Hangouts Nest works well for most sugar gliders.
To date, there is no pellet diet formulated for sugar gliders that is considered nutritionally complete for them. However, there are some pellet diets on the market that can be used in conjunction with other fresh foods or supplements for your sugar gliders. Ultimately, as most of a sugar glider’s diet comprises calcium-loaded crickets and a nectar substitute, pellets are best used in a supplemental, minimal role. Nonetheless, they are useful for ensuring that your beloved pet isn’t nutritionally deprived.
A pellet option to consider to incorporate into your pet’s diet is Sunseed Vita Prima Sugar Glider Food. It is a fortified mixture that can help your pets reach their daily nutritional requirements. However, it is best to consult your veterinarian for a nutritional plan when it comes to your sugar gliders.
In addition to food (and obviously water), your sugar gliders will need a few bowls placed throughout their cage at various levels. These bowls are intended to hold their food, water, and treats. It’s best to purchase more bowls that you place at one time in their cage, as this makes the task of replacing bowls much easier as you clean already-used bowls.
The Exotic Nutrition Press N' Slide Small Animal Feeding Station is a convenient, easy to use, dishwasher-safe bowl that can easily attach to any part of your sugar glider’s cage. It can be used for both food and water; however, you should use a separate bowl for each, and not mix their food with their water.
Of course, your sugar gliders will need toys, too. We recommend offering a variety of toys that encourage different behaviors. For instance, toys for chewing, climbing, hiding, and swinging are all great options.
You’ll find tons of different toys available for your sugar gliders, and you can also make your own toys in some cases. We recommend rotating toys regularly to prevent boredom. Introducing new toys can keep their environment fresh and interesting.
Hanging jungle gyms like the Exotic Nutrition Jungle Gym works well for sugar gliders, as they provide swinging and chewing opportunities. In addition, toys made for parrots are often well received by sugar gliders.
Health and Grooming Supplies
7. Nail Trimmers
Sugar gliders need very little grooming. However, they do need their nails trimmed regularly. In captivity, sugar gliders won’t wear their nails down as much as they would in the wild. Overgrown nails can be very uncomfortable for them and can lead to problems like difficulty climbing.
The frequency of nail trimming depends on how fast your pet’s nails grow and their activity level. On average, nail trimming might be needed every 2 to 4 weeks. You can use small animal nail clippers to keep their nails trimmed. Don’t use scissors, though, as this can cause splintering.
The Kaytee Small Animal Pro-Nail Trimmer works very well and is highly recommended.
You’ll need something to carry your sugar gliders in when visiting the vet or cleaning out their cage. Choosing the right carrier can make your life a lot easier. You’ll want to choose a carrier that provides them with enough room to feel comfortable while also being escape-proof.
Be sure the carrier you choose has proper airflow to prevent overheating. The carrier should also be easy to clean, secure, durable, and provide multiple access points for your pet.
A carrier like the Frisco Top Entry Two-Toned Small Pet Carrier works well. It opens at the top, which makes it easier to get your pet in and out. It’s also very easy to wipe clean when you’re done.
9. Cleaning Supplies
Keeping your sugar glider’s environment clean is important. If their cage is allowed to get dirty, it can increase their risk of illnesses. A safe, mild cage cleaner works well for most sugar gliders.
The Hepper Bio-Enzyme Spray works wonders and is safe to use in your sugar glider’s cage. It lifts and removes even the most stubborn stains and odors, and has a neutral scent that won’t harm or irritate your pets. Best of all, it works on a variety of surfaces, including carpets, floors, and fabrics.
This list provides you with the basics you need for your sugar glider. If you purchase everything here, you’ll likely be off on a very good foot. Of course, there are lots of extras you can purchase, like tons of toys. However, you will find all of the essentials above.
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Featured Image Credit: kemuncup_81, Shutterstock