Newby's
Glider Nook

Only the best for your sugar gliders!

Frequently Asked Questions


We try to anticipate questions you might have about sugar gliders and provide the answers here. If you would like any additional information, please feel free to email us.

Petaurus Breviceps aka Sugar Gliders or Sugar Bears


1.

What are sugar gliders, and where do they originate from?

Sugar gliders are marsupials about the size of a hamster, but they have a tail that is about 6-7” long. Gliders are also nocturnal. Their large eyes allow them to see at night. Relatives of the sugar glider include, but aren’t limited to, kangaroos, koalas, possums & opossums, and wombats. Sugar gliders are not rodents

Gliders are native to Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. They make their homes in the humid rainforest treetops.


2.

How long do sugar gliders live?

With proper diet, enviromental care and regular vet visits, sugar gliders have been known to live upwards of twelve to fifteen years in captivity.


3.

Do sugar gliders smell?

While not really bad, it is a distinct odor. Gliders are very dependent upon their excellent senses of smell to identify other gliders, as well as their owners.  The common misconception is that if you clean more it won't smell as bad.  They have a musky smell to them and they mark their territory with their scent glands.  So the more you clean, the more they mark.  And intact males smell worse than females.  Although if you get the males neutered they have very little smell.


4.

What should I look for when buying a sugar glider?

First off, you want a reputable breeder. From there, you want to look for an animal that is active and will tolerate handling. Signs of good health can be seen in bright clear eyes, perky ears, nice clean and tight fur coat and a good weight. If there is any doubt about the quality or health of the animal, don't buy it.


5.

Should I get more than one or will they be fine by themselves?

It is suggested to keep more than one glider together. In the wild, sugar gliders are community animals and are much healthier and happier while in groups.  Much like meerkats or monkey's, sugar gliders live in colonies and everyone in the colony have their own jobs and roles that they play.

However, a lone glider will be fine for a little while till you are able to get a friend.  Not everyone can afford to get 2 right away and some people prefer to bond with one by itself before rushing out to get another.

Another thing to keep in mind there are those rare exceptions where you may have 1 lone glider because it prefers to be alone.  Risking another gliders life is never the answer when it comes to gliders that do not do well with a cage mate.

And never run right out and get the first glider you find so that yours will not have to be alone.  Do your research and make sure that the new friend that your getting is a good fit for your glider and your family.


6.

What should I have in their cages and why?

Fresh water daily, fresh food nightly, toys, branches, and an exercise wheel are all glider cage necessities.  Also sleeping areas that are warm and cozy.  Fleece pouches are the most recomended sleeping area's that all gliders seem to love!  Gliders need toys and wheels along with out of cage time so they can stay stimulated, active and healthy.


7.

What foods aren't safe to feed my suggies?

Onions, garlic and chocolate are toxic to gliders.  Sugary foods, junk food, nuts and seeds are very high in fat, so please feed these in moderation or for treats only.


8. Do sugar gliders need vaccines or vet visits?

No sugar gliders do not need to be vaccinated like your other household pets.  But they do need to see your vet on a regular basis.  Its always reccommended to take your new glider in to see your vet for a wellness exam with 72 hours of bringing him home.  Since gliders do hide their illness very well, you want to bring them into your vets office at the first sign of a problem.  Alot of times if you wait to bring them in, it may already be too late.  You hear alot of times that they were fine the night before and in the morning they are already gone.  So please be aware of warning signs like dull eyes and coats, droopy ears, lethargy, dehydration and diarreah.


9. Are females better than males?

I always tell people that the sex of the glider is a personal preferance.  I myself prefer male pets over females.  I have always had the strongest bond with my male pets, ever since I was a child.  While my husband bonds better with female pets.

Yes intact males do have a more musky scent than females but a neutered male smells no different than a female.  And neutered males also tend to be a bit more laid back and easy going.  But again, the preferance of which gender you should get will depend on you....not the sex of the animal.


10.  Can I take one out for bonding or do I have to take the whole colony?

You do not have to take the whole colony with you for bonding time.  And you do not have to feel guilty for spending more time with one over another.  

You will at times find that some gliders prefer to be left alone with out a lot of human interaction and thats fine as long as that glider also knows that you are still there and they will still be safe.  Am I saying that you shouldn't try to bond with those types of gliders?  NO, I'm not.  I am saying that their bond has to be different as not all gliders have the same kind of bond with people.  You can still interact with that glider and you can still do bonding, but you may have to adjust how you bond with that one over the one that loves to cuddle.


11.  Why is lineage so important when it comes to breeding?

Lineage is your glider family tree that goes back many generations.  If you do not have lineage on the gliders you wish to breed, you have no idea if they are related or how closely they are related.  And everyone is aware of the damage that inbreeding can do to any animal.

Sugar gliders have not been in the United States for very long.  Roughly 30 years and they all had to come here from somewhere right?  For the most part they all came from overseas and there were not much record keeping in the early years and alot of those original gliders were more than likely inbred.  

Since then, the responsible breeders have worked very hard to breed out the inbred percentages to provide healthy joey's.

I hear alot "I got them from seperate breeders or from seperate states so I know they aren't related".   That is the biggest false statement there could be.

As breeders, we get our gliders from all over the country from many different breeders and the only way that we know for a fact that they are not related is through looking at their lineage.

Just because I got a glider from Florida, does not meant that its not related to a glider in Illinios or Maine.  All of our gliders are entertwined and without checking the lineage, how are you to know?


12. What does Pet Only mean?

Pet only is a term that is used when a glider goes to a home that will not be bred, when it will live out its days being a loved and spoiled pet.

There are 2 kinds of prices when it comes to gliders.  Breeding price and pet only price.  

Breeding price gives you all the rights to be able to breed that pet responsibly with lineage and the help of the breeder you got it from to mentor you in breeding.  

The pet only price is for those that are interested in getting gliders but are not at all interested in breeding them.  With that, you will still get all the help with gliders that you may need but your new baby will not come with lineage nor will your breeder help you with breeding questions pertaining to the proper way to breed responsibly.


13.

My gliders are picky eaters.....can I puree their fruits and veggies so they don't have the option of picking and choosing what they want?

Blending or pureeing their fruits and veggies is not a good idea.  Sugar gliders are sap suckers and get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals from mashing their food in thier mouths and extracting all the good stuff out of it and spitting out the insoluable fiber.  When you blend or puree their food you are forcing them to swallow the insoluable fiber that they cannot digest properly.  Their digestive tract is not designed to be able to break down the insoluable fiber therefore it inhibits the absorbtion of those vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals.  

Besides them not being able to digest food properly when it is blended or puree'd, your also denying them of the enjoyments and enrichment that they recieve from being able to pick up their bits of food to hold in their hands to eat.  

Chopping their food up in smaller bits is fine, but please do not blend or puree their dinner.