Sugar gliders are adorable marsupials that resemble flying squirrels. Native to Australia, the sugar glider gained popularity as a pocket pet. They’re cute and playful, bond strongly with owners, and glide around like flying squirrels.
Like other exotic pets, sugar gliders are not the ideal pet for everyone and require very specific care. In addition, they’re not the easiest to find. The pet is illegal in many states in the US and breeders must be licensed, so you’re not going to find them in every pet store.
How much are sugar gliders at PetSmart? While sugar gliders regularly run about $200 to $500, depending on the breeding and coloration, they’re not sold at PetSmart at all.
Why Doesn’t PetSmart Sell Sugar Gliders?
Though there’s no official statement from PetSmart about sugar gliders, the general consensus is that pet stores don’t often sell them because they’re an exotic pet and not legal everywhere. Currently, sugar gliders are illegal to own in California, Hawaii, Alaska, Pennsylvania, and individual counties and localities in other states.
In some states, they’re only legal if you obtain a permit, which the state doesn’t offer easily. Some states also require sugar gliders to come from licensed breeders, so your pet isn’t legal if you rescued it or got it from an unlicensed breeder.
Keep in mind, if you intend to get a sugar glider, you can find a lot of the supplies at PetSmart. The store sells toys for rodents and birds, both of which may be great for sugar gliders, cages, hammocks, and other cage décor.
Where Can I Get a Sugar Glider?
If a sugar glider is legal in your state and locality, you can find them from private breeders, some independent exotic pet stores, and rescue organizations. Baby sugar gliders (8 to 12 weeks) are a bit more than sub-adults (12 weeks) because older gliders are more difficult to train. Keep in mind that different colors earn higher prices.
What Else Do I Need to Own a Sugar Glider?
But there’s more to the cost of a sugar glider than the purchase price. Sugar gliders need large cages—like a birdcage—with space to glide around and play. The cage should have multiple water bottles and food bowls, and plenty of toys and lounging spots. Being marsupials, gliders like to sleep in pouches and holes away from bright light.
Then there’s the food. You won’t find many commercial glider foods on the market, so you need to buy a number of different ingredients to feed your glider every day. They need adequate protein, fresh fruit, and sources of calcium, so they can be expensive to feed.
Another thing to consider—gliders are social creatures, so they should have a buddy if you won’t have time to spend with them every day. That increases the cost of acquiring gliders and their upkeep. Also, if you’re getting two, you need a large enough cage for them to have their own space.
Sugar gliders aren’t sold at PetSmart and may be difficult to find in general because of legality issues. If you want a sugar glider, do your research into your local laws, the care of the animal, the supplies you need, and reputable breeders. Though cute, sugar gliders are a lot of work and delicate animals, so they need proper care to thrive.
Featured Image Credit: E Love Photography, Flickr