Vet Care for Dogs, Cats and Many Other Animals

3 Key Points About Sugar Gliders

by Calvin Newman

The world of pet care extends far beyond the familiar world of cats and dogs. Many people enjoy keeping exotic pets, including the small, bug-eyed mammals known as sugar gliders. If you'd like to adopt your own sugar glider, take the following three tips to heart so you can give your new friend a happy, healthy life.

1. How to Feed Your Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders get their name from their love of sweet foods such as fruits. However, a sugar glider who only dines on fruits won't get all the nutrients it needs for optimal health. Like so many other animals, these creatures require a variety of foods and nutrients along with access to clean, fresh water.

A combination of fruits, vegetables, and occasional insects should make up one-third of a sugar glider's diet, with the remainder consisting of prepared kibble and plant nectar. The fruit and vegetable serving should include a calcium supplement since low calcium levels can cause seizures, weak bones, and other issues.

2. Where to Keep Your Sugar Gliders

Since sugar gliders thrive more successfully in the company of other sugar gliders, you'll probably want to keep at least two at a time. Your pair of sugar gliders will need a wooden enclosure measuring at least three feet in height by two feet in width. The enclosure should feature bars spaced a maximum of a half-inch apart.

Change the bedding in your sugar glider enclosure weekly to maintain a pleasant, hygienic living space. You can use shredded newspaper, kiln-dried bedding available at pet shops, or even certain kinds of kitty litter for this purpose. 

3. When to Schedule Sugar Glider Veterinary Care

Sugar gliders need preventative veterinary care just as other pets do. Start by taking your newly-adopted sugar gliders to a veterinarian who specializes in exotic pets. The veterinarian will perform a comprehensive wellness exam and treat any health condition as needed. Make annual wellness exams part of the animal's routine.

You need to recognize the signs of potential illness in your sugar gliders so you can schedule immediate veterinary evaluation and treatment. Weak, listless sugar gliders may suffer from malnutrition. Sugar gliders that pick at their own skin may have stress-related issues. Breathing problems and lethargy may indicate obesity.

Sugar gliders may require a bit more education and attention than some more common pets, but once you settle into a responsible pet care routine, you'll find the results greatly rewarding. Contact an exotic pet veterinarian near you to learn more about pet care and schedule any care your new pets may need.