If you have a thing for pocket friendly pets, as in one that you can purchase without burning a hole in your pocket, and are small enough to fit into your pockets, then I think you should get a Sugar Glider for yourself. These petite creatures are ridiculously delectable in their appearance, and relatively easy to care for.
First things first: you need to know that Sugar Gliders are marsupials, and like the kangaroo, they start their life in their mother’s pouch. They are usually found in places in and around Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia. Their diet and habits actually account for their being named so, much like our Snot-nose and Smelly-pants. They, when in the wild, feed on nectar and the sap of eucalyptus sap, and are therefore called ‘sugar’, and gliders because the flap of skin in between their ankles and wrists allows them to glide between trees
Contrary to their being called so, their staple food is not just sugar( honey or sweet sap). They are omnivorous animals, and their diet includes a plethora of items like fruit, honey, insects and even small birds and rodents.
Sugar Gliders are social creatures, which is one of the reasons why you will love having them as pets. In the wilderness, they usually live in social family units, and just cannot stay alone, without social interaction. In fact, there are many cases of them dying due to depression induced by staying alone. For that reason, you must, if you are thinking about getting one of these delectable creatures as pets, meditate on the amount of time you can spend with it so that it does not suffer from bouts of negligence or depression. A practical thing to do would be to get more than one, so that your pet gets to have his social interfaces even when you are not around.
Sugar Gliders, if you are a mushy shilly-shallying pet lover, are the perfect match. They are playful and extremely endearing pets. You must. As mentioned before, keep them in groups of two or four. Company is nonpareil for sugar gliders. Other than food and company, they are not really exacting pets, so to say. They are clean and do not need multifarious housing requirements. They are what you can call long-term pets, for they, if provided for in a proper manner, can live up to fourteen years in captivity.
Now, there are some things which you should keep in mind while tending for a Sugar Glider. As said earlier, their need for company tops the charts. You need to around them as much as possible, and I cannot stress this enough. Since they are such tiny creatures, you might, if possible, take them with you in your pockets! Trust me, they will love riding around in your pocket or a gunny bag. Delectable as they are, they are not very good with training, so you will have to take necessary precautions. To adduce this, I may add that Sugar Gliders have sharp nails which will dig in to you when they are either climbing on landing on your body. Now, since, you cannot train them to be gentle on you, you need to trim their nails on a regular basis. Their teeth is another such concern. Although, they are not aggressive creatures to begin with, if threatened or scared, there is a high tendency that they might bite. Now, you cannot, of course, chop off their teeth. What you can do, however, is to be patient enough to get your pet to like and trust you so that it does not feel threatened in your presence. Also, it might be in your best interests to not let anybody whom your pet is not familiar with touch or cuddle it.
Now, you need to give your pet a full meal, which contains all the necessary requirement, including vitamin and mineral supplements. Whether sugar gliders should be given sugar to eat has become a highly debatable matter, which has heightened in the wake of a disease typical to them called nutritional osteodystrophy, which stems mostly from an imbalance of calcium or phosphorous in the diet. So, I would advise you to consult a good vet-dietician for the purpose.
Housing is another important part of keeping a Sugar Glider. You might be good enough to let your pet share your pet but I would advise you against it. Other than infections that are fairly common, there is also the risk of other animals trying to make a meal out of your pet. The best thing to do is to get a cage, of more than 36 inches, for a pair. In this respect, let me remind you that bigger is better, and they are more keen on the height of the cage than the floor space. The cage should be no more than two inches wide, since horizontal bars will induce them to climb and they will not lose their typical agility. Now, you should be creative in your decorating the cage with toys, boxes and glider pouch. An exercising wheel would be wonderful. You primary endeavour should be in keep your pet active and busy.
Sugar Gliders make wonderful pets, and I can assure you that if you do get one of these endearing creatures for yourself, you won’t ever regret it. As said earlier, Sugar Gliders, unlike other pets, do not respond to castigation at all, so the best thing to do is to take precautions and always treat them with the love, care and respect they deserve.