Do Sugar Gliders Make Good Pets?

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Doctor Jan Bellows.

Pets are nothing more than domesticated wild animals. Everyone knows that animals like dogs and cats make great pets, but these animals themselves once started out as a type of animal that was wild, aggressive, and sometimes dangerous. Yet someone decided to find, breed, and domesticate these animals and turn them into the loveable pets we have today.

It would make sense, then, that there must be other animals in the world that would also make great pets. One example that is quickly growing in popularity is that of sugar gliders.

What are Sugar Gliders?

Sugar gliders look like rodents, but are actually a type of marsupial. They have the ability to glide through the air like flying squirrels. These animals are quickly becoming great pets appreciated by men and women all over the country.

Benefits of Sugar Gliders as Pets
• Very Friendly
With the right amount of human interaction, sugar gliders are very friendly to humans. They bond extremely well and are not especially timid or aggressive around humans.
• Intelligent
Sugar gliders are surprisingly intelligent. They are not necessarily trainable (in the sense that you are unlikely to train them in a lot of tricks) but they have the ability to figure out things for themselves and CAN be trained with the right amount of patience.
• Small
Sugar gliders do not take up a lot of space in your home. This allows them to be fairly easy to manage, no matter where you live. They can also fit in your pocket, and are referred to as “pocket pets.”
• Active
Sugar gliders are very outgoing animals. They are curious and friendly. Because they are not considered aggressive, they can be fun to play around with and watch as they play and learn inside of your home.
• Long Life Spans
Sugar gliders tend to live until 10 years old or longer. They make great, long lasting pets.

Weaknesses of Sugar Gliders as Pets

Though sugar gliders have a lot of benefits, they also have some weaknesses. Some of their weaknesses as pets include:
• Nocturnal Animals
Sugar gliders are nocturnal animals, so if you are expecting to take them out with you all day, you will be in for disappointment. Their internal clocks can differ dramatically, but in general you can expect your pet to wake up late at night and stay up until early morning.
• Need Attention
Sugar gliders REQUIRE at least 2 hours of attention and play every day. This is the primary reason sugar gliders are not right for everyone. Without attention sugar gliders become extremely depressed. Remember, sugar gliders are nocturnal animals, so it may be very difficult for you to show your sugar glider attention if you are not awake.
• Expensive
Sugar gliders are not prohibitively expensive, but they are certainly not cheap. What adds to the expense is that in order to ensure that your sugar glider does not get depressed due to lack of attention, it is recommended that you get two sugar gliders so that they can interact. This means that though you get two pets, you will also need to pay twice as much money.
• Picky Diet
Without the right diet, sugar gliders can easily get sick. It is vital that you give your pet proper care.
• Not Easily Potty Trainable
Sugar gliders may be intelligent animals, but they are difficult to potty train. Expect to be cleaning up after these animals a great deal.
• Expensive Vet Fees

Most veterinarians are not equipped to handle major sugar glider problems, as these exotic pets are new to the veterinary world.

Overall, sugar gliders make great pets, but only if you have the time necessary to ensure their health and happiness. They are affectionate and loving animals, but require very specific care in order to thrive.

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